This week’s review is of a family classic. I should also mention that I’ve recently been promoted at work, and the promotion involves more travel. I’ll try to maintain the Saturday Movie Reviews as long as I can, and at least one other author is willing to pitch in when he can, but we can’t guarantee that they’ll last every single week. (I want to try to get them at least up to the one year anniversary of the first one in the series.)

Cast, Crew, and Other Info

Scott Weinger as Aladdin
Robin Williams as Genie
Linda Larkin as Princess Jasmine
Jonathan Freeman as Jafar
Frank Welker as Abu
Gilbert Gottfried as Iago

Screenplay written by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio. The IMDB lists an additional 18 individuals with story credit.
Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker

Complete cast and crew information can be found at the IMDB.
Buy from Amazon.com or Amazon.ca.

Premise

A poor peasant falls in love with a princess and obtains a powerful genie. Along the way, he learns a life lesson or two.

High Point

“Never Had A Friend Like Me” embodies the energy of Robin Williams, and shows exactly why he brought the movie up from mediocrity to classic.

Low

Point

The amount of time needed for the sultan to exercise his right in the job. Wasn’t that solution obvious from the start?

The Scores

The originality isn’t that great. It starts out as a standard adaptation of an extremely well known story. Then they introduce Robin Williams as the Genie, and he revives the mood and modernizes the entire delivery. I give it 4 out of 6.

The animation was mostly smooth. There were a few off-model faces, and the blending of the CGI with traditional animation could have been done a whole lot better. I give it 4 out of 6.

The story, apart from the time required to reach the obvious out, was well handled. (Had they at least shown the Sultan thinking of that, only to have Jafar make him forget about it, they’d have helped themselves out a lot.) I give it 4 out of 6.

The voice acting was well done. The casting was excellent, avoiding the celebrity casting when an unknown would do a better job. (This differs from their later efforts, where every voice actor was some sort of household name.) The only voice actors I recognize by name are Robin Williams (who couldn’t have been improved upon), Gilbert Gottfried (who suited his role well), and Frank Welker (who I know only as a voice actor, and a remarkable one.) I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response is pretty good. It starts out mediocre, but then the Genie arrives in a storm of humour. After that much laughing, the audience is relaxed enough to let their guards down and allow themselves to become really invovled in everything else. I give it 5 out of 6.

The production was well edited and choreographed, but CGI and traditional animation just don’t blend as well as these people seem to think. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, this is a really fun family film, well worth checking out. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Aladdin receives 33 out of 42.