Aladdin Blu-ray Review
One of Disney’s best animated films finally gets a Blu-ray release.
The story: Aladdin (a poor thief with a heart of gold) and his trusted monkey pal Abu are roped into retrieving a magic lamp for the villainous Jafar (the Sultan’s adviser). As luck would have it (albeit a dangerous bit of luck), Aladdin winds up with the magic lamp. After rubbing the lamp, he meets the all powerful Genie who grants him three wishes. To say what he wishes for would spoiling the fun for those few people who haven’t seen it, but suffice to say, Aladdin hopes to woe the feisty and strong willed Princess Jasmine.
Aside from the shoe horned in animal characters (seriously, every major character has an animal sidekick) and the out of place pop culture references, “Aladdin” holds up quite well 23 years after its theatrical debut. Unlike a lot of the rushed Disney animated films, “Aladdin” spends time with its major characters (ie Aladdin, Princess Jasmine, The Genie, and Jafar). Whether you’re learning about Jasmine’s desire to find love and life or The Genie’s wish to be free, there’s a lot of characterization here.
On the subject of the characters, I think we can all agree that the late great Robin Williams gives one of the finest voice acting performances, well, ever. He makes the lovable scene stealing Genie his own and gives the character such life. Williams even belts out some great tunes!
Speaking of the tunes, “Aladdin” boasts some of the finest musical numbers in any animated film thanks to the talents of Alan Menken, Tim Rice, and Howard Ashman. Who doesn’t love “A Whole New World,” “Friend Like Me,” and “Prince Ali”?
Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? This hi-def transfer does not disappoint. Everything from the Cave of Wonders to the “A Whole New World” sequence dazzles in 1080p.
Audio Track: 7.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? It doesn’t get much better than this. The songs sound especially amazing in 7.1.
* DVD copy and Digital copy.
* “The Genie Outtakes”- This is a real treasure as you get to hear alternate line readings and improvisation by Robin Williams accompanied by storyboards. Comments by directors Ron Clements and John Musker and the supervising animator of the Genie Eric Goldberg are also included.
* “Aladdin: Creating Broadway Magic”- A 19 minute featurette on the “Aladdin” Broadway show.
* “Unboxing Aladdin”- Joey Bragg unboxes items and talks about “Aladdin.”
* “Genie 101”- A rundown of Genie’s impressions.
* “Ron And John: You Ain’t Never Had A Friend Like Me”- Directors Ron Clements and John Musker talk about their careers, “Aladdin,” their collaborations, their personal lives, and more.
* Trailers for “Aladdin,” “The Return of Jafar,” and “Aladdin and The King of Thieves.”
* Music video, story reel, and behind the scenes featurette for “Proud of Your Boy,” “A Whole New World” music video and behind the scenes featurette, and another “A Whole New World” video.
* 2 deleted scenes and 4 deleted songs.
* Disney Song Selection option.
* “Inside The Genie’s Lamp: Guided Tour”- A 6 minute animated segment.
* “The Genie World Tour”- An animated segment about the free Genie’s trip around the world.
* Commentary by John Musker, Ron Clements and Amy Pell and a second commentary with Andreas Deja, Eric Goldberg and Glen Keane,
* “A Diamond In The Rough: The Making Of Aladdin”- A collection of extras about the producers, the production, music, animation process, voice talent, and various other subjects.
* “Alan Menken: Musical Renassiance Man”- A 20 minute featurette on Menken.
* “The Art of Aladdin: Art Review With Filmmakers’ Commentary”- The title says it all.
Overall Thoughts: Buy it.
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