The first reactions for Disney’s live-action Aladdin remake are in and they’re surprisingly positive. Disney has released plenty of reimaginings of their classic animated movies over the last several years, and they have largely been successful. Fans of the original films have been excited to see the stories and characters in a new light in the past, but Aladdin has been a difficult movie to properly gauge interest in. While there is certainly a built-in audience for the movie, it has also had one of the more controversial developmental cycles for Disney’s remakes.
The doubts started early with Guy Ritchie serving as the director, while the casting of Mena Massoud as Aladdin and Naomi Scott as Jasmine, while talented, lacked star power. Disney instead elected to have the Genie be the A-list star, with Will Smith taking over the role that Robin Williams made famous, and shaky CGI in the marketing didn’t help dismiss doubters over the new take on the character. Outside of a few smaller pieces of marketing, Aladdin has had a difficult time gaining positive buzz, but that now appears to be changing.