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Review: Disney Aladdin (Live Action) Home Video Release

Aladdin Blu-ray PackDisney’s Live-Action Aladdin is now available digitally and will be on disc September 10th.   This film is a retelling of the animated classic from the 1990s.   This re-imagined film features Will Smith as everyone’s favorite blue Genie with  Mena Massoud playing Aladdin and Naomi Scott is Jasmine.  The film stays true to the animated version and features your favorite songs and iconic scenes, but with a new twist many of them.  Jasmine has an expanded role in this version including her own song, “Speechless”.   For more on the film here is Maggie’s review from the theatrical release of Aladdin.

The home video release features several formats including digital, 4K, Blu-ray and DVD.   There are an assortment of bonus features that vary by format.  For a full listing of the features here is the original home video press release for Aladdin.  I was sent the Blu-ray package to review, here are my first impressions of several of them from that offering:

  • Aladdin’s Video Journal – In this nearly 11 minute piece Mena Massoud shares video and pictures from the production of the film.  He was given a phone/camera for the production.  I thought this was an entertaining look behind the scenes.  As with all pieces I thought it was a little short, but it did put more of a human/actor side to the featurettes vs many traditional making of videos.  I thought this was the highlight of the bonus features.
  • Guy Ritchie: A Cinematic Genie – Clocking in at around 5:30 this piece shares some insights into the film’s director, Guy Ritchie, and why he took on this project. I would have liked to have seen a more in depth interview with him, but being over five minutes it is longer than many featurettes at least.
  • A Friend Like Genie – An over four minute piece looking at Will Smith’s Genie. How he pay homage to the original and worked to make the character his own.
  • Speechless – Creating a New Song for Jasmine (Digital Exclusive) –
  • Deleted Song – “Desert Moon” – This duet by Aladdin and Jasmine is a near final sequence from the film. The piece is introduced by Alan Menkin who wrote the song.
  • Deleted Scenes – A half dozen scenes in various stages of completeness. I thought they were interesting to view but I would have really liked to have seen an introduction/more insight on each.
  • Bloopers – A two minute featurette showing the lighter side of the cast.
  • Music Videos – Speechless and two versions of A Whole New World

Overall I found the bonus features were entertaining set.    They did showcase some of the scope of the project and the mood on set, but were fairly limited in scope.  I was surprised not to see anything about the choreography and production numbers as well as the costumes and sets for this film.   Also they opted not to take a look at the technical or special effects in the film.  The magic carpet rig does get some screen time and a couple mentions as do the effects used for the genie but nothing in depth.

If you missed Aladdin in theaters this summer or want to revisit Agrabah this video should be on your list to consider adding to your library.  If you enjoy bonus features, the set included on this offering are entertaining and will make for a nice addition to many collections.

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