dvd.review.aladdin

“It’s all part and parcel of the whole genie gig: phenomenal cosmic powers, itty bitty living space.”

ImageMovie
Nobody will deny that the early 90’s were a golden period for Disney animation. The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and The Lion King were all great movies, but my favorite has always been Aladdin.
One thing that I like about Aladdin more than the other Disney classics is the music. Don’t get more wrong – I love the music in those other movies as well. I can’t describe what it is about the music, but before the other night I hadn’t seen the movie in probably close to 10 years, but I knew the words to every single song.
Another thing that I like is the animation and characters. While I’ll admit that the animation is quite as breathtaking as in The Lion King, it really is quite well done. I love the characters, though. Everyone loves Aladdin because he’s ultimate underdog. He’s basically homeless and he has no family, but he has big dreams of being important one day. One person who is important is Jasmine, the princess of Agrabah. She has never been outside the palace walls and dreams of a life without being controlled by what everyone else wants her to do and think. The main villian in the movie is Jafar, a slender looking advisor to the Sultan. Why the Sultan has a guy that looks like that on his staff is beyond me. What really makes this movie, though, is Robin Williams as the Genie. The combination of creative animation and incredible voicework makes the Genie quite possibly the greatest animated character ever. I honestly challenge anyone to find a better character. Other minor role players, such as Iago and Abu, also add quite a bit of comedy to the movie and as a whole.

Video & Sound
Presented in anamorphic widescreen since the first time since it was released in theaters, Aladdin looks absolutely amazing! The colors are very bright and vibrant, the picture looks very sharp, and I didn’t notice any scratches or blemishes. The sound, although it won’t give your surrounds a huge workout, was very well done as well.

Extras
The first of the extras is the two commentaries. The first, featureing producers and directors John Musker, Ron Clements, and Amy Bell. It’s the better of the two, but it’s not great. The second commentary features four animators and they spend most of the time talking about who drew what. I honestly thought it would be great, but it was awfully weak.
Also included on the disc is a sketch animation version of a deleted song – “Proud Of Your Boy” – performed by Clay Aitkin. The song is pretty Clay Aitkin-y… I don’t particularly care for it, but your Disney-watching kids might. The second video features everyone favorite newlyweds Nick Lachay and Jessica Simpson (would it have killed her to change the last name?) singing “A Whole New World” which is the most memorable song from film. I prefer the original version better, but I suppose if this moves a few more copies, I can deal.
My favorite featurette was “Diamond in the Rough” which is a nearly two hour long documentary about almost everything related with the making of the movie. This is probably the best featurette I’ve ever seen on an animated flick. A lot of the rest of the stuff on the disc is kids stuff like games which are semi-interactive, but not really for anyone above the age of 10.

Closing Thoughts…
The combination of great music, awesome animation, and hilarious voice acting, especially by Robin Williams, make this movie a classic. Although it took a while to come out on dvd, it got a great dvd release. I don’t care how old you are – this is a movie you can throw in and enjoy.

Overall Score
Movie – 9
Video & Sound – 7
Extras – 8
Overall – 8