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With a New Song-Filled Trailer and a Normal-Looking Genie, There Might Be Hope for ‘Aladdin’

With a New Song-Filled Trailer and a Normal-Looking Genie, There Might Be Hope for ‘Aladdin’

Anticipation for Disney’s live-action Aladdin movie has seen more bumps and dips along the way than a magic carpet ride, but the movie’s latest trailer might finally be giving fans some reason for optimism.

The last teaser for Aladdin, which revealed Will Smith’s Genie for the first time, was received with general perplexity and mild horror. Visual effects animators looked to have tried to walk a line between a grounded Genie and an animated one, and the results were something closer to a square-jawed Tobias Funke than anything else. However, in the new trailer, we see that Will Smith is going to have space to do plain old Will Smith things, appearing at least as often as himself as he might as the big blue fella.

The new trailer strikes a few other hopeful notes, most notably hints at some of Aladdin‘s famous musical numbers: “A Whole New World” and “Friend Like Me.” There’s a hint of Will Smith in the latter, but not too much, and Naomi Scott, a former worship leader, seems to have the vocal goods as Jasmine.

If anything still has us worried, it’s that the trailer still can’t quite shake the impression that this movie was made on the cheap. It feels a tiny bit amateur. There’s no explicit reason to be concerned with any of the cast, but the new-ness shows a bit, most apparent in Mena Massoud’s portrayal of Aladdin and Marwan Kenzari’s portrayal of Jafar. A trailer isn’t enough to write them off, but we’re still not sold. These are two charismatic characters, and they demand a lot from live performers. These guys have their work cut out for them.

There’s still some work to be done on Aladdin. The movie doesn’t come out until May 24, so the Disney magic has time to spice this one up. Has the company truly let us down yet?

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