Disney just premiered a short special look at its May tentpole Aladdin that gave a better look at the movie and its principal characters than the first November trailer. We get to see Mena Massoud’s Aladdin enter the cave to get a hold of the lamp, as well as Naomi Scott’s Jasmine part of a procession. Finally, Will Smith’s Genie makes an appearance and from the looks of it, the internet does not seem to have taken it well.
The trailer currently has an astonishing 3K dislikes against 8K likes. General sentiment over the internet is negative, with comments ranging from disappointment against Disney for developing yet another live-action remake, to the visuals looking something akin to a B-movie. Perhaps the biggest complaint thus far has been directed towards Will Smith’s CGI Genie who looks too CGI than realistic with his chubby body and misfit head. His performance seems inspired by the long-running Broadway play than Robin Williams’ turn in the 1992 original so that could be an additional point of contention as we see more of the movie.
I can’t really say I share all those criticisms. The movie looks like it’s going to be a visual feast, but I understand as much as anyone else that it’s going to take a lot more than that to tell a gripping story. Fortunately, Aladdin already has a well-known and revered tale; it’s just up to the filmmakers and Disney to package it in a fresh, yet satisfying narrative. And with Guy Ritchie up to the task of directing (The Man From Uncle, Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows), it’ll certainly be an interesting tale. Besides, they have about three more months to polish the visual effects before its final release, giving them plenty of time to tune things up.
It also looks like Aladdin might be marketed somewhat differently. Normally, movies of this scale get two full-length trailers, one serving as a teaser of sorts and the other being the more traditional look that details the story, the action and kicks off ticket sales. In this case, Disney might end up premiering just one full-length trailer that gives it all (a technique often employed in films of other industries such as Bollywood) as we now have two teasers around the film. It also looks like Disney, maybe considered airing a Super Bowl spot for Aladdin, considering its 1-minute length but decided against it at the last minute for some unforseen reason (could they be internally aware of a possible negative reception to this?).
Aladdin releases in theaters on May 24. Meanwhile, let us know what you thought of the trailer and Will Smith’s Genie, among other things, in the comments below.