To celebrate the long weekend, I took my children on a mother and daughter date to see the brand new, live action version of Disney Aladdin now in theaters. Since the original cartoon was one of my favorite childhood movies, I was excited to share the new version re-imagined by director Guy Ritchie with my children because the visuals, the soundtrack and the story all looked very promising. Trust me, the movie offered a cinematic experience and more, while imparting life lessons that both children and parents can appreciate!
Disney Aladdin (2019) Movie Review
Despite having heard some mixed reviews about the release of the movie, I was immediately impressed. Since visuals have come so far since my childhood, it left me wondering if cartoons will have any place on the big screen. Will this new generation of film buffs care about drawings and animation, or has the new shift become only to focus on realistic effects? For children who instantly see their faces transformed into new characters on Snapchat and with Instagram filters, these new live action, realistic effects meet the demand for an eye-catching experience at the movie theater. Seeing the realistic pet tiger Rajah walk next to Jasmine was remarkable to me, but for my daughter who experiences cinema as true reality, it must have been even more dramatic.
So powerful was this experience to my daughter, in fact, that during the climax of the story where good battles evil, it brought her to tears. Even with constant reminders that good always wins, she saw the evil side as larger than life. The suspense was concerning to her because the immersive experience was sensational and breathtaking, but emotional at times.
Life Lesson #1: Girls should speak out and use their voice to make the world a better place.
One incredibly valuable life lesson that the movie imparted on my daughters was that girls should never be silenced in their effort to fight for good. Jasmine, played by Naomi Scott, does an excellent job making this point clear in the song ‘Speechless,’ which speaks to girls everywhere about how important it is for them to share their ideas of truth and justice.
In the ending of the new 2019 version of Aladdin (*Spoiler Alert*), Princess Jasmine defies the barriers of her society by becoming the first female Sultan in the history of her country Agrabah. As the new Sultan, she is able to change the law that requires her to marry a prince. Not only is she allowed to marry as she wishes, but she also gains control of her country. With her new powerful role, she can stay true to her ideals of making it a better place for the poor to live, while also maintaining peace with other nations.
Life lesson #2: Be true to yourself and value experiences over superficial belongings.
Aladdin teaches a valuable life lesson about being honest with oneself and caring about experiences rather than superficial belongings. Aladdin, played by Mena Massoud, faces an inner struggle over whether he needs to become richer in worldly things in order to impress Jasmine and her father. He must defy the ill wishes of Jafar, played by Marwan Kenzari, who wants to expose him for his poverty.
Another struggle for Aladdin is to risk disappointing Jasmine, who badly wants to believe his story of being a wealthy prince. Aladdin shows growth as a character when he realizes that he would give up anything, including his love, to be himself.
The idea of being true to yourself is very relatable for today’s youth who are in constant competition to post their latest success or their latest purchase to social media. Never before have the values of peers influenced a generation to such a large extent. As my children get older, they have far more outside influences than I had when I was a child. While there are many ways that parents can impart the idea on children that they should value authenticity over superficiality, Disney is successful in bringing this idea to mainstream media to help bring awareness.
Life Lesson #3: Friendship is one of the most valuable things in the world and should not be taken for granted.
Aladdin shares a third life lesson about friendship as one of the most valuable things that should never be taken for granted. As characters grow and develop during the movie, the idea of a one-sided friendship is examined. Genie, played by Will Smith, knows that he can always offer more than he can expect others to offer him in return. When Aladdin gives Genie freedom, the true characteristics of friendship are revealed. Friendship becomes defined as someone who has pure intentions and does not care what you can offer in return. With many young viewers still learning how to make good friends, this beneficial message imparts wisdom that can make a difference.
Make sure to download the free printable activities to go along with Disney Aladdin (2019)! These include bookmarks, mazes, games, coloring sheets, and more!
A thrilling and vibrant live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic, Aladdin is the exciting tale of the charming street rat Aladdin, the courageous and self-determined Princess Jasmine and the Genie who may be the key to their future. Aladdin opens in U.S. theaters nationwide May 24, 2019.