Mom's Review: Disney's Aladdin
It's the first full week of summer vacation at our house this week. There's already been hours of pool time, a constant stream of kids asking for snacks, and lax bedtimes. We've been to the library. We've gone out for ice cream. We had Grandma and Grandpa visiting for a week so the girls were happy to pack as much fun in as possible.
This past weekend, we also went to see Disney's new live action Aladdin film. I love giving the girls tons of options to keep them entertained throughout the day, like BINGO games and DIY chalk, that keep them away from screens. But we aren't a screen free house either. In fact, we loooooooove doing family movies.
While my husband was away at a car show event (his idea of a perfect Father's Day), I took the girls to our local movie theater to see Aladdin. Our movie theater is pretty small, with only a couple of screens, so films don't stick around for long before being rotated out. Whenever possible we try to see movies at our local theater instead of having to drive thirty minutes to one of the larger theaters. The main reason besides closer proximity? Reclining seats!
Does your theater have reclining seats? We never used to be big movie goers because it can get expensive and our youngest doesn't have the longest attention span. But for the past couple of years we've started making family movie theater dates a thing because the girls love it so much. And, reclining seats!
We have a newish rule in our house that we don't watch movie trailers. Maybe the first initial teaser trailer that comes out months ahead of the movie release, but that's it. It gives a sense of going in blind to the movie that is kind of exciting. So I knew Aladdin was coming out, and I had seen plenty of pictures floating around the internet of Will Smith as Genie, but I didn't have a sense for how this movie would feel compared to my childhood cartoon version.
Can we talk about that for a minute? I know that marketers are majorly playing off the nostalgia that '90s kids seem to have in spades, but I do not even for one second care. Keep it coming. Take my money. Give me Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin and Lion King and Trolls and Lisa Frank folders every. single. day. I will eat it up.
Anyways. I took the girls to see Aladdin, and all three of us were equally excited. The girls' elementary school has a theater program for fourth and fifth graders, and they put on a huge production every year. I'm talking, they practice after school one night a week from October through April, to make that year's production polished and amazing. My oldest daughter was part of the theater program in both fourth and fifth grades, and this year they did Aladdin! It was perfect timing, and got us all extra excited for the film.
Now, after all that rambling, let's get to the juicy part: the review. I. freaking. loved. it. I gained a new appreciation for Aladdin as a character while watching the school's rendition of the play, and the movie highlighted that appreciation even further. As a kid, the movie was all about Jasmine for me. I'm a big fan of princesses, so the boy thief? Not really on my radar. But as an adult, I love how the movie is about equal parts princess and boy thief, and the battles they each must face in order to be who they really are meant to be.
The singing was wonderful. The dancing was fun. The acting was empowering (Naomi Scott KILLED her role as Jasmine). And can we just take a minute to appreciate Will Smith as Genie? Can I get an amen? The film really brought the story of Aladdin to life for me.
I love the newer trend in family big blockbuster movies lately: tackling stereotypes, overcoming prejudice, and overall more normalization of marginalized groups. The same story is being told, but there is more emphasis on breaking gender norms (such as Jasmine being perfectly qualified for becoming Sultan, except for the pesky fact that she's female). My girls both picked up on the girl power vibes, and I love that these are the kind of movies my girls are growing up watching.
Overall, I loved the movie so much that if there weren't so many other great family movies coming out this summer, I would consider going again. Haha. Have you seen Disney's new live action Aladdin? What did you think?