Saturday night, I was feeling the desire to watch the Disney classic Aladdin, but I did not have the DVD in my collection. I have a lot of DVDs so I was surprised it was not there, since Aladdin has been one of my favorite Disney movies of all time. I know I had it once on video tape, but apparently I never purchased it on DVD.
That sent me on a search of streaming services, but they also turned out to be a dead end. So I gave up on my wish.
Today I watched the animated Early Man and I hated it. Because of that, I went on a search again to try and find a great animated film. Heading to YouTube, I found success. There was a version of the feature length film that was sped up just a little bit. The songs went faster than normal, but I was willing to put up with that to get a dose of Aladdin.
I love this movie. It might be my favorite of the Disney movies. The number one reason is, of course, Robin Williams as the Genie. The frantic, energetic performance may be the greatest voice over performance in the history of film. If not number one, it is certainly in the argument. Williams took the script and did his typical improvisation with it, and much of what he did with the script caused the animators to redo the visuals to fit Williams improv. That is amazing respect shown one of the greatest comedic minds of out time.
The music is tremendous. “Friend Like Me,” “Prince Ali,” “A Whole New World,” “One Jump,” could not be more perfect in this film. Robin Williams showed even more of his skills with the vocals of the Genie’s songs. The score beautifully highlights the story and the tone of the film.
The film also benefited from one of the best villain pairings of all time in Jafar and Iago. Jafar is as wicked and evil as any villain and he was brilliantly voiced by Jonathan Freeman. Then, Jafar’s wicked sidekick Iago, voiced by the talented Gilbert Gottfried, played the villainous henchman without fail. Iago delivered several of the best lines of the film with nasty precision.
But Jafar was not the only character with a sidekick here. Aladdin had two of the best sidekicks ever in Abu the monkey and Carpet the Magic Carpet. These character bring a flavor to Aladdin and each have a vital moment in the story.
The pace of the film is wonderful, as the film moves very quickly. Aladdin has an exciting story with a great villain and a love story that feels real. You care about these characters and you love the songs. It is a classic film for the entire family and I am so happy that I was able to see it tonight after the failure of Saturday night.