Aladdin Special Edition DVD
Imagine if you had three wishes, three hopes, three dreams and they all could come true.
Ron Clements & Jon Musker
Running Time: 90 minutes
US Certificate: G UK Certificate: U
Country: United States
These days we take it as read that all the big animated releases will be accompanied by a voice-over cast of A-list celebs. Just look at Shark Tale: its participating ensemble of such major Hollywood big-hitters as Will Smith, Robert De Niro, Renee Zellweger, Angelina Jolie, Jack Black and Martin Scorsese would be practically unthinkable in most live-action flicks yet, in animation, weve come to expect it. Aladdin, with the ingenious casting of Robin Williams as its hyperactive motor-mouthed Genie, is the movie that kicked-off the trend.
Loosely based on the tale of the same name from The Arabian Nights, this captivating toon tells the story of street urchin Aladdin (voiced by Scott Weinger). The slightly-gullible young chappy is conned by the Sultans scheming vizier Jafar into heading inside a hidden cave and poking about for a musty old lamp (prompting a score of references to Raiders of the Lost Ark). Of course it all goes King Kong and poor Al is left trapped in the cave with no-one to keep him company but pet monkey Abu and a newly-discovered magic carpet. At least, thats what he thinks until he rubs the lamp and out pops Genie and, let me tell you now, he aint never had a friend like this.
Three years before this one came out, directorial pairing Ron Clements and Jon Musker launched a Disney renaissance with The Little Mermaid, arguably the Mouse Houses best effort since The Jungle Book way back in 1967. Here, they go a step better, bringing us a nigh-on perfect piece of feature-length animation. Its fast-paced, its romantic, its got a good tight storyline, the musics fantastic (who here doesnt know the words to Friend Like Me or Whole New World?) and, thanks to the efforts of both Williams and U.S. stand-up Gilbert Gottfried as the blackly-comic parrot Iago, its also very funny.
Films like this one serve as a reminder that it really wasnt all that long ago that Disney were getting their 2D flicks spot-on. Compared to their more recent attempts such as Home on the Range, Treasure Planet and the near-sacrilegious Jungle Book 2, Aladdin truly is a diamond in the rough.
It's Got: A thrilling chase, a wondrous place, for you and me!
It Needs: To be watched over and over again. This ones a more than worthy addition to anyones DVD collection, young or old.
DVD Extras This 2-Disc Special Edition truly is one of the best DVD packages Ive ever come across even the bonus material has its own bonus material!! Disc 1 contains deleted songs, deleted scenes (generally in storyboard format, which if anything makes it even more interesting), audio commentary with the option of pop-up fun facts, and some specially made music vids (including Newlyweds Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey singing Whole New World well, even the best of DVDs have got their weak spots!). Disc 2 is where they keep all the interactive games, including a virtual magic carpet ride which kids will love and a guided tour of Genies lamp. Best of all though is the mind-bogglingly extensive documentary Diamond in the Rough: The Making of Aladdin, which, if watched in its entirety, lasts for over two hours. Alongside that theres a featurette on composer Alan Menkin, a stills and publicity gallery, a look at how the artwork for the film was chosen, and a handful of trailers. For anyone with even half an interest in animation, its a must-have. DVD Extras Rating: 10/10
Alternatives:Aladdin and the King of Thieves, The Return of Jafar
One of Disneys finest moments seeing a film as good as this one almost makes sitting through guff like Home on the Range worthwhile.