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'Aladdin': Get the first look at Will Smith as the Genie in the official trailer for Disney's live-action remake

'Aladdin': Get the first look at Will Smith as the Genie in the official trailer for Disney's live-action remake

Arabian nights

Text: Aravin Sandran


Aladdin has a knack for parkour and freerunning.
The trailer opens with Aladdin (played by Egyptian-Canadian actor Mena Massoud) on the run from the city's guards (presumably after stealing something). He scales the heights of Agrabah's traditional Middle Eastern architecture with a strange athletic prowess  running, jumping and even 'monkey-barring' — to escape the wardens. Further on in the trailer, he manoeuvres ice walls, wearing only some threadbare linen attire.

Aladdin has more clothes on.
In the 1992 animated version, Aladdin wore a vest with a pair of flared pants; his chest was fully exposed. This time, however, he is more buttoned up, which means less skin on screen for the ladies to admire.

Jafar's voice is less than intimidating.
Marwan Kenzari might be known as 'Hot Jafar', but that was before we heard him speak. The trailer has outed the man with the same tone of voice as David Beckham. Jafar sounds more like a strict primary school teacher now.

 

Will Smith's Genie isn't blue throughout the film.
Fans were a little disappointed with the depiction of Will Smith's Genie when the previous teasers were released; it simply looked like the actor had been shoddily painted blue and given an almost meme-worthy personality. Now, the new trailer reveals the Genie will take on a more visually-appealing naturalistic body. We can't say the same for his sassy persona and finicky hand gestures though.

Iago, Jafar's parrot, makes a minor and mysterious cameo in the trailer.
The tropical plumage of Iago was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the animated version. Voiced by the inimitable Gilbert Gottfried, the parrot brought plenty of slapstick humour to the villain's otherwise stoic scenes. In the trailer though, we catch only a glimpse of Iago as he flies across Jafa's lair. We do know that the more restrained vocals of Alan Tudyk will be bringing the parrot to life this time around.

There seem to be some Bollywood influences.
The story of Aladdin is known to take place somewhere in the Middle East, but in this new trailer, there seem to be references to India. We're talking about the costume design, and in particular, the dramatic embroidered train of Jasmine's fuschia outfit; it called to mind the intricate handwork that is most often seen on South Indian saris. Elsewhere in the trailer, we spotted large choreographed dance numbers that wouldn't seem out of place in an epic Bollywood flick. The movie has been marred with controversy from the beginning, so it'll be interesting to see how Disney skirts around this cultural mix-up.

Disney's Aladdin hits theatres on 23 May 2019.

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