Monday, March 15, 2010

Robert's Movie-Pick of the Week: Walt Disney's Aladdin (1992)

My theory on the essential characteristics of a truly enjoyable movie is a well-balanced amount of comedy, romance, and action.
The 1992 Disney production of Aladdin has all these elements which make it a joyous comedy-adventure film for the whole family! After years of seeing previews of Aladdin on other Disney DVD's and VHS's, I happily acquired the film at a local library sale for 50 cents only!

In this adaptation of Aladdin, our hero is nothing more than a “worthless peasant,” longing for riches and royalty. Meanwhile, Princess Jasmine of Arabagh, bored in her golden cage, longs for a life of adventure outside the castle walls. One day, while escaping from her palace life, her Highness runs into a peasant of the streets, a thief to boot, who steals for survival. It is, of course, none other than the one and only Aladdin himself and accompanied by his pet monkey Abu. Naturally, it is love at first sight – with all the problems that this unfortunate condition brings…

Once Aladdin discovers that his love interest is the Princess, he is bewildered that the one he fell in love with is royalty. While he longs for her hand, and she longs for his, they both know that they are star-crossed lovers: a princess can only marry royalty and not some worthless street urchin. Alas! Meanwhile, an evil sorcerer named Jafar, royal advisor to the sultan plans to overthrow the government and become Sultan himself. He tries to achieve this with the help of a magic lamp in a Cave of Riches. However, only a man worthy enough, best described as a “diamond in the rough” may enter this wondrous cave. Java knows that this diamond in the rough is no one other than Aladdin! Jafa subsequently tricks Aladdin into going into the cave and get the magic lamp for Jafar. Fortunately, Jafar's plan goes wrong and Aladdin gets to meet the Genie inside the lamp! The rest is history…

While watching the climax of the film, I wondered about how the sequence would look with live action visual effects. I very much enjoyed the comical elements in the movie. Most of the film’s comedy comes from Aladdin’s wise cracking Genie (voiced by Robin Williams). Nevertheless other characters also share a portion of comic relief which casts away the traditionally comic “flatness” from the movie. That is to say, in similar animated films where there are jokes only on one character, and this can sometimes bring a certain flatness to the film.

In any event, the film is a humorous tale of adventure, mystery, and forbidden love that is sure to enchant the whole entire family!

movie rating on scale of 1-100: Robert Steven Mack - 99/100

Copyright 2010 by Robert Steven Mack

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