September 25, 2019
(We see the Channel Awesome logo and the show opening, before cutting to NC in his room)
NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. There's a very old saying. If it's not broke, Disney's remake of Aladdin sucks.
(The title of the 2019 Disney live-action remake is shown, before showing various footage)
NC (vo): In the ongoing need to suck nostalgia's withering teat, Disney offers us its latest multi-million dollar budget table scraps. The funny thing about this one was, people were kind of on to it at first, especially with the portrayal of the Genie. At first, audiences were angry he appeared not to be blue.
NC: Clearly, the biggest problem this movie could face!
(Footage of the Genie, portrayed by Will Smith, is shown)
NC (vo): Then when they saw he was blue, but awkwardly computer-generated, people freaked again, with Disney reassuring folks that he will look less awkward in the final film. And that, um...
NC (vo; beginning to be creeped out at the Genie's appearance): Um...oh, God!
Genie: (pointing to Aladdin) I said you...
NC: (jumps in fright) Christ! He's making...
NC (vo): ...his Shark Tale animation look like Paddington! (Images of Oscar from Shark Tale and Paddington from the 2014 film are shown) This is the less awkward Genie? Well, let me tell you. As a crowd that's been duped a million times in the past, we're...
NC: ...totally gonna be duped again! (An image of the film's Rotten Tomatoes score, 57% for critics and 94% for audiences, is shown)
NC (vo): Yep, despite mixed critical reviews, crowds once again seemed to love Disney shit being shoveled right back into their mouths. But to the film's credit, there is a lot more to it than just an awkwardly animated Fresh Prince of Booberry. You're forgetting the flat lead, lame villain, boring comedy, and complete lack of anything fresh and memorable that made the original a household classic.
NC: (acting as a nervous film buff pointing to posters of the remake and the original Aladdin) But it...looks like thing I associate with good, so must have substance. (Beat) It's the Instagram of movies.
NC (vo): Okay. I'm gonna try and figure out why this movie is beloved by so many, while giving the point of view of a douchebag who likes it when Disney, you know...Disneys... (Images of several classic Disney animated features are shown) ...and not...Disneys. (Images of several Disney's live-action remakes and reimagings are shown)
NC: Let's take a look at the crowd-pleasing box office remake... (An image of a news report of fans' mixed reactions to the film's version of "Prince Ali" is shown) ...where were you guys?! YOU WERE DOING SO GOOD! (Immediately calms down and resumes his opening sentence) ...Aladdin.
(The film opens on a large ship sailing in the sea)
NC (vo): So we start off this Arabian Night with...a pirate ship.
NC: (emotionless) You know what? It's different. In a Disney remake, that's like seeing a leprechaun feed a unicorn fresh Easter Bunny. You just don't see it!
(In a smaller ship next to the big ship, two kids speak with their father, who is actually the human form of the Genie)
NC (vo): Two kids on a smaller ship admire the Black Pearl, as their father, played by Will Smith, says it's not worth the staring.
Lian: I'd be so happy if ours was that fancy.
Genie: 'Cause it looks better?
NC: (as Genie) Look, just because something is clearly animated doesn't make it better. (Speaks normally as a clip from the original is shown alongside the remake's opening shot) I mean, okay, in this case, it does, but I got paid a lot of money for this!
Genie: I think it's time that I told you the story.
Omar: Maybe if you sing.
Lian: It's better when you sing.
NC: A lot of people disagree with that... (The image of the news report of fans' mixed reactions to the film's version of "Prince Ali" is shown briefly again, until we are suddenly shown an image of another news report praising Will Smith's singing skills of a Spanish performance of "La Bamba", stunning NC) Oh, we don't now! Can you give me the memo of Smith things we like and Smith things we don't like? (Posters of Men in Black 3 and Collateral Beauty are shown)
(To introduce the story, the Genie starts singing "Arabian Nights")
Genie: (singing) ...where the caravan camels roam. Where you wander among every culture and tongue...
NC: (as a young kid) Really? I hear they cut off your ear if they don't like your face... (as Genie, grabbing the CD soundtrack of the original film) Listening to that shit again, huh? Whoopsie! (Throws the CD away, as a splash is heard)
Genie: (singing) ...to another Arabian Night!
(Footage focusing on the "Arabian Nights" opening sequence is shown, showcasing the city of Agrabah in great detail and introducing a majority of the main characters briefly throughout)
NC (vo): Yeah, Will Smith's singing isn't that great, but I will give credit, this version of "Arabian Nights" is actually pretty solid. As the credits roll, it expands on the song, adding different melodies and mixing up the orchestration, while also showing us Agrabah and introducing us to our main characters.
Genie: (singing) There's a road that may lead you to good or to greed through the power your wishing commands...
NC: At first, I thought, "This is actually gonna do things right."
NC (vo): Add and improve as opposed to take away and repeat.
NC: But then we get this in the same sequence.
(The sequence introduces the villains, Jafar the vizier and Iago the parrot, showing them watching a random thief walk into the Cave of Wonders, which shuts, trapping the thief inside)
Cave of Wonders: The diamond in the rough.
(Jafar, disappointed at what happened, begins walking away as the song continues)
Genie: (singing) Arabian Nights...
NC: Yeah, that's our intro to the Cave of Wonders and the villain, two big parts of the story.
(Footage of the opening scene in the original is shown)
NC (vo): In the original, they build up the villain, they build up the cave. Where did that gold bug come from? Shit! Look at that entrance! "Only one may enter here." Suddenly, there's a mystery. The story is immediately in motion. So much character and information is cleverly introduced to you in a way you would never forget.
(The remake's scene of the Cave of Wonders shutting and trapping the thief inside is shown again)
NC (vo; as the Cave of Wonders): Who disturbs my slumber? (Shuts itself) Ah, never mind. We don't have time. (as Iago) Squawk! How is this movie longer? (as Jafar) I'm Jafar!
NC: Move over, Raiders of the Lost Ark. (A famous image of Raiders of the Lost Ark appears on the left side, but then moves to the right side as footage of Jafar's intro is shown in its place) Most epic movie intro ever unlocked!
(In another part of Agrabah, Aladdin, a kind-hearted street urchin who tries to get by along with his pet monkey Abu, meets Princess Jasmine, who has snuck out of the palace to explore the city, tired of her sheltered life)
NC (vo): We're introduced to the street rat Aladdin, played by Mena Massoud, who comes across Princess Jasmine disguised as a peasant, played by Naomi Scott. Both look and sound exactly like their animated counterparts, but where things get awkward is their chemistry. One of these performers is acting their friggin' heart out every moment onscreen, while the other clearly thinks these are the rehearsal takes.
NC: Can you tell which one is which?
(Several scenes of Aladdin and Jasmine speaking with each other are shown)
Jasmine: Aladdin, isn't it? (An image of a yellow smiley face with the caption "Invested" is shown below Jasmine with a ding sound being heard)
Aladdin: Uh, you're welcome. (An image of a yellow frowny face with the caption "WHAT!?!" is shown with the Price is Right losing horns being heard)
Jasmine: The queen was killed. The Sultan's been afraid. (The "Invested" sign is shown again)
Aladdin: Seems everyone's been afraid since then. (The "WHAT!?!" sign is shown again)
Jasmine: You can't escape what you were born into? ("Invested")
Aladdin: You should tell the princess to get out more. ("WHAT!?!")
Jasmine: Oh, do you have my bracelet? ("Invested")
Aladdin: Yes. It's beautiful. ("WHAT!?!")
(Aladdin notices guards yelling in the distance)
Aladdin: Monkey knows the way. Abu...
NC (vo; as Aladdin): Am I still on camera? Oh, I guess so.
Aladdin: You'll be fine.
(Several clips focusing on Aladdin are shown)
NC (vo): I feel bad picking on this guy, 'cause he clearly can move and dance, he looks good and sounds good. He's multi-talented. But for whatever reason, "Take 2" was an outlawed phrase when he was on set.
Aladdin: (in a later scene) While the princess is out, would you like to go for a stroll?
NC: (as Jasmine) Don't raise your voice at me!
(Aladdin, Jasmine and Abu run through the city trying to get away from the guards as Aladdin sings "One Jump Ahead")
Aladdin: (singing) Gotta keep one jump ahead of the bread line...
NC (vo): Watching the "One Jump Ahead" song, now including Jasmine this time, there's two major problems I can't help but compare it to the original.
NC: One is, it's not funny.
(Footage of the "One Jump Ahead" sequence from both the original and the remake is shown)
NC (vo): So much slapstick and clever wordplay was utilized in the original, but here, there's not that many laughs.
NC: And that might be because of #2: The film has the disadvantage of not being animated. (Beat) Yes. I said disadvantage.
NC (vo): Both live-action and animation have their pros and cons, and you can definitely see the pros of animation and the cons of live-action here.
(Footage of the animated "One Jump Ahead" is shown)
NC (vo): In the original, there's constant movement, constant momentum, and even constant character. Not only can you fit in a lot more funny moments because you have more control, but you get across Aladdin's persona much more because he can have the perfect expression for literally every frame. Look at him. He's bursting with personality and energy in every moment, and on top of that, it's timed perfectly to the music. So much likeability is gotten across here that we're taking for granted.
(Footage of the live-action "One Jump Ahead" is shown)
NC (vo): Now look here. Sometimes, there's a cool stunt, but the rest of the time, it's just kind of meandering. They'll awkwardly move with slow-down and sped-up footage, I guess, to simulate energy, similar to a Bollywood movie, but we'll get to that in a bit. Regardless, it always feels unnatural and off.
NC: It doesn't even focus on the right things. Remember this crazy lady?
(A clip of the animated "One Jump Ahead" is shown, with Aladdin being met by a crazy fat lady)
Lady: (singing) Still I think he's rather tasty!
NC (vo): Of course you do. She's terrifying! You can't forget her! In this one, she's not even in half the frame.
(A clip of the live-action "One Jump Ahead" is shown, showing a fat lady aiding Aladdin and Jasmine in their escape by blocking the way of the pursuing guards as the camera rises up to Aladdin)
Lady: (singing) Still I think he's rather tasty!
NC: Imagine if the other one trailed off during her line. It wouldn't make any sense!
(The animated version of the scene is shown again, but with other shots of the sequence edited in and cutting away from the moment)
Lady: (singing) Still I think he's rather tasty!
NC (vo): But that's the thing. The film assumes you've seen the original, so it doesn't have to try as hard to make an impact.
NC: The first one didn't have that luxury.
(Two versions of the scene where Aladdin gives some food to some poor kids is shown)
NC (vo): Tell me what you remember more. These random kids he tosses dates to like it's barely even a moment, or these big-eyed starving puppy dogs that just guaranteed you're going to give to five charities this week?
(An image of this video's Charity Shout-Out, CAC Advocates, is shown with the caption, "Good one at the end of this video")
NC: Everything is magnified in animation, which means focusing on the right thing will make it all the more memorable.
(We are shown two versions of the scene where Aladdin is confronted and mocked by a rich prince Achmed)
NC (vo): The remake is taking advantage of the original's focus so they don't have to try as hard. Look at how much these words really impact Aladdin's core.
Achmed (Original): You were born a street rat, you will die a street rat. And only your fleas will mourn you!
(Angry at that remark, Aladdin attempts to run towards Achmed, but the palace doors close before he can do so)
NC (vo): You see it all over his face, the emotion is just oozing out of him. Now, watch it here.
Achmed: You will die worthless, and only your fleas will mourn you.
(He walks away as Aladdin watches, slightly taken aback at that statement)
NC (vo; as Aladdin): Oh, that sucks. Good to know my fleas care about me.
NC: (annoyed) BAD!
(We are shown footage of Jasmine going back to living her normal life at the palace)
NC (vo): The one thing more explored and arguably improved on is Jasmine's character, who is already fine in the original, but it's nice to see some add-ons. She's given more responsibility outside of just saying she hates being royalty, her father is more competent and interesting, and they even do actual ruling stuff like talking about foreign policy...kind of to a fault.
NC: Yeah, weirdly, the concern of the original was the main characters and where they lived. (Beat) Odd, right?
NC (vo): In this one, there's a lot of focus on a place called Shirabad, where Jasmine's mother was from. It's a land we've never seen, know nothing about, yet for some reason, it's the most important thing in this movie!
(A montage of scenes is shown)
Jafar: Shirabad continues to amass.
Sultan: Shirabad is our ally.
Jafar: March an army to invade Shirabad.
Jasmine: Invade Shirabad?
Sultan: ...invade Shirabad. / Shirabad!
Sultan: (hypnotized) Shirabad.
NC: I haven't been this invested since talks of taxation in The Phantom Menace! (The shot of the scrawl from this movie appears) What are we doing?!
(Footage focusing on Jafar, portrayed by Marwan Kenzari, is shown)
NC (vo): And then there's Jafar, the aging, sinister, booming voice...
Jafar: He's been pretending the entire time, an imposter. Ensure your agonizing death...
NC: (stunned) ...Daily Show correspondent in a Halloween costume!
NC (vo): Okay, this actor's gotten a lot of flak for how miscast he was. Even people that liked the movie usually don't like him, so let's just say...does he look like him? (The caption "Nope" appears with a buzzer sound) Sound like him? (The caption "Nope" appears again) Had any qualities better than him? (A green arrow with the caption "Nice Feather" points to Jafar's feather on his hat with a ding sound)
NC: It is a nice feather. I'll give you that.
(In the night, Aladdin sneaks into the palace to see Jasmine and return her bracelet to her, not realizing yet that she is the princess)
NC (vo): I'll also give the movie credit that they do try to give more time to Aladdin and Jasmine's romance, with him sneaking into the palace trying to talk to her more.
(Jasmine's maid and friend, Dalia, suddenly comes in and sees Aladdin and Jasmine together, and Jasmine attempts to pass Dalia off as the princess)
NC (vo): But don't worry, some unfunny will fix that up. Jasmine's servant Dalia, played by Nasim Pedrad, pretends to be the princess while Jasmine pretends to be her handmaiden.
Dalia: (attempting to act royal) It is good to be me, with all my palaces and...wagons of gold things.
NC: Well, it's not (poster of...) 2 Broke Girls, but few things are. (The caption "Thank God!" appears in front of the poster)
(Jafar and Iago notice Aladdin sneaking around the palace, and Jafar believes that Aladdin could be the "diamond in the rough", so he and a pair of guards catch Aladdin and take him to a desert spot)
NC (vo): Jafar sees Aladdin up to his street rat tricks of stealing effects from bad Prince of Persia games, and he captures him. He takes him to the Cave of Wonders, assuming he's the diamond in the rough...yeah, the whole "magic ring telling him" stuff was cut out, so...
NC: Just made a lucky guess!
NC (vo): ...as we're given his one good line in the entire movie.
Jafar: Steal an apple, and you're a thief. Steal a kingdom, and you're a statesman.
NC: That is literally the only question you have to answer in order to be a politician. (The photo of a clipboard reading "Stealing a Kingdom Makes You a: Thief, Statesman" appears)
(As the night falls, Jafar escorts Aladdin to the Cave of Wonders, and he's allowed to enter there)
NC (vo): Jafar says if he can get him the lamp, he can reunite him with Jasmine, so he takes him to the cave where he's told not to touch anything but the lamp. Here's a count of all the things they touch.
(While several clips of the scene of Aladdin and Abu wandering around the cave and jumping over gold coins and treasures on the way to a lamp are going, a count starts up like a stopwatch and goes up to 477)
NC: Guess the Cave of Wonders was drunk when it was on gold security.
NC (vo; as the Cave of Wonders): Oh, my head. Hey, you ain't touching anything, right? Ah, who cares? I'm gonna lose it all in the divorce.
(Aladdin meets with the friendly living magic carpet and frees him from being crushed by a rock)
NC (vo): Like in the original, he comes across the magic carpet.
(The Carpet flies out and hugs Aladdin)
Aladdin: Oh, hey. Don't mention it.
NC (vo; as Aladdin): Eh, I shouldn't bring you with. You may turn in a better performance than me.
NC: Actually... (sighs) I know this is gonna sound crazy, but...even the rug isn't as good an actor!
(Footage of the Carpet's introductory scene in the animated film is shown)
NC (vo): Look how much emotion this thing has in the original. Somehow, you know what it's feeling and what its personality is like. He's happy, but he's sensitive. He can get hurt, but he wants to help out.
(Back to the remake)
NC (vo): This one's happy when he's free from a rock, but aside from that, he just vanishes until the plot says, "Need you for a sec! Okay, fuck off."
NC: You couldn't even get a rug right! What are you doing to my rug?!
(Cut to a clip from The Big Lebowski)
Walter Sobchak: They peed on your fucking rug.
(Just as Aladdin climbs on the top of the tallest boulder in the cave, Abu sees a shining ruby and takes it for himself, thus angering the cave and making it crumble under lava. Fortunately, the Carpet helps Aladdin and Abu to get to the cave's exit above, right before Jafar)
NC (vo): As you'd expect, Aladdin finds the lamp, but Abu touches the 90th thing in the cave, which was just one too many.
Aladdin: (clinging from a cliff) Could you give me a hand?
Jafar: First, the lamp.
(Aladdin hands the lamp over to Jafar)
NC (vo): He gets to Jafar, who says he'll give him a hand if he gives the lamp.
Aladdin: Now, your hand!
Jafar: How about my foot? (prepares to throw Aladdin off)
NC: (chuckles) Boy. If only that creepy read was in the original.
(Cut to an animated clip of Jafar, disgusted as an old man, grasping Aladdin's hand on his way out from the crumbling cave)
Aladdin: What are you doing?
Jafar: (audio from the remake) How about my foot?
NC: Okay, that was more of an awkward creep. (shifts eyes) Awk-creep.
(The cave closes, trapping Aladdin and Abu. The latter reveals that he managed to snatch the lamp from Jafar's hands. Aladdin rubs it, and blue smoke comes out of it)
NC (vo): Like before, Abu steals the lamp before getting trapped in the cave, leading to...
(The smoke reveals a magical and supernatural being known as the Genie, played by Will Smith. Here, however, it's just his face on a CGI blue body)
Genie: Excuse me, boy. Where's your boss?
NC: (throws hands in exhaustion and disappointment) ...me getting booze! I'm sorry, I'm way too sober for this. (gets up to leave) SAVE ME, GIN!
(We go to a commercial. When we come back, we see NC drinking a bottle of blue Bombay gin)
NC: (sighs in relief) You're the blue wish-granter that actually makes me feel good. (Beat) I believe you're actually there!
(We are shown dozens of footage of the Genie's first appearance in the film)
NC (vo): So, okay, let's talk about Will Smith as the Genie. First of all, I get it. (Footage of the animated Genie is shown) We're never gonna top Robin Williams or the brilliant team of animators that brought him to life. It's entirely pointless to try... (Back to the remake) ...so let's try!
(A quick montage of clips of Will Smith's Genie plays)
Genie: (makes a ringing sound and transforms into a mummy) ...bring anybody back from the dead. / Step 2... (Another head pops out and speaks alongside Genie) ...say what you want. / Downward dog. / (Acting as an airport vendor) Thank you for choosing Carpets, Camels and Caravans. Please don't forget to tip your genie on the way out. (Three Genie clones appear and smile)
NC: (rubbing his head) Again, this is a big disadvantage with live-action. In animation, it's all the same realm.
(Footage of the Genie in the animated film is briefly shown)
NC (vo): They're all drawn lines against painted backgrounds, so it all blends together. (Back to the Genie in the remake) This looks like Casper's uncle got plastered and is trying to embarrass him in front of his girlfriend. I never once believed they were actually looking at each other.
Genie: (attempting to sing "Friend Like Me" as Abu only plays a pair of cymbals and no music is heard) Well, Ali Baba, he had them 40 thieves, Scheherazade had a thousand tales.
NC (vo): It's awkward enough they're trying to do the same high energy visuals that just don't transfer in the slower world.
Genie: That's your personal business, but we're gonna need to talk about that monkey later.
NC: God, it feels like he's bombing at an SNL audition.
Genie: Whoo! (A brief shot of an SNL producer Lorne Michaels frowning is shown) I'm the best.
NC (vo): But Smith's head always looks like it's about to fall off his body. It's like someone made a bobble head doll, where the size of the body matches the head, yet the head still wiggles for some reason.
Genie: I don't know. Who cares?
NC: Now, surprisingly, it's followed up by a really good rendition of "Friend Like Me".
(We are shown the "Friend Like Me" song sequence)
NC (vo): Like "Arabian Night", it mixes up the song a bit, but also has visuals that support it in a pretty grand way.
Genie: (singing) ...friend...like...me!
NC (vo): It's like, "Damn! We're actually in a good Aladdin remake for a minute here!"
(We are shown clips of Aladdin and the Genie in the desert, having escaped after Aladdin tricked the Genie into doing so without wishing. From there, the Genie takes on a human disguise; this form is physically portrayed by Smith)
NC (vo): I'll also give credit that Smith actually isn't that bad when he's not covered in Na'vi splooge. When he's allowed to chill and turn on his laidback charm, he's actually alright.
Genie: Who's the girl?
Aladdin: She's a princess.
Genie: Aren't they all? Treat your woman like a queen, I always say.
(When Aladdin makes a wish for the Genie to turn him into a prince, the Genie turns back to his blue form and prepares to fulfill the wish)
NC (vo): We do get that half the time, but the other half...the other half...
(The Genie uses his magic to dress Aladdin in several prince clothes, before finally settling in on white-colored clothing)
Genie: Bold and gold! / The Genie! The Genie's on fire...! (Speeds off into the distance, leaving a trail of fire behind him, then immediately appears in front of the camera, speaking on a megaphone) The Genie's on fire, folks!
Aladdin: Don't hurt him, Genie!
NC: (stunned) I just wanna make sure...this isn't funny, right? I mean, people have science to prove that this isn't funny, correct?
NC (vo): It's just awkward, weird, and doesn't match Will Smith's style. The irony of both versions is that they emphasized to be yourself, which is a lesson this performance really could've learned from. Put simply, he's a much better Will Smith than he is a Robin Williams.
NC: And that would be fine if the movie reinforced that.
(Footage of the "Prince Ali" sequence from the original is shown)
NC (vo): Take the "Prince Ali" song. The original focused on Williams' zany voices that translated beautifully into animation, turning it into an explosive number.
(Footage of the "Portebello Road" sequence from Bedknobs and Broomsticks is shown)
NC (vo): Since this isn't Williams or animation, though, it would make sense if they did something like the old Disney musicals, make the focus be the amazing stunts, dances, and variety of movement.
(Back to the film, showing Aladdin entering Agrabah as Prince Ali of Ababwa, arriving in an extravagant spectacle, led by the Genie, who sings "Prince Ali". The sequence mostly focuses on the Genie singing and Aladdin smiling and acting as a prince)
NC (vo): Well, they get all of that set up and...ah, let's just focus on two guys standing around while they can't sing.
Genie: (singing) Show some respect, boy, genuflect, down on one knee.
NC: What is wrong with you?! This is like a spectacle waiting to happen, a giant Bollywood musical at your feet, and you're...
NC (vo): ...treating it like a Disney parade of standbys! Even the editing is like, "Ooh, this looks cool! Nah, needs more people barely moving. Don't worry. We'll balance it out with this nightmare fuel!"
(At one point, just like in the original, the Genie, dressed as a lady, watches the parade along with a group of dancing ladies)
Genie: (singing) Prince Ali, handsome as he, Ali Ababwa!
NC: (deadpan) Link pulled it off better.
(After the song ends, Aladdin and the Genie, who is acting as Prince Ali's loyal servant while in his human disguise, meet the Sultan and Jasmine in the palace while attempting to make their first presentation, including an assortment of gifts and gems)
NC (vo): I think most people have pointed out, a good chunk of the film becomes Hitch with Smith trying to give Aladdin dating advice.
NC: What they fail to bring up is the epic "Jam" dialogue.
Aladdin: We have jams!
Aladdin: Yes, jams. Yam jams, fig jams...
Dalia: (to Jasmine) Yam jams!
Aladdin: ...and date jams.
NC: I really hope you like humor about jams. Next to Shirabad, it's the most mentioned word in the entire movie!
(Several scenes of several characters saying "Jams" are shown)
Aladdin: Exotic jams.
Dalia: For the jams?
Aladdin: ...the jams.
Genie: Jams... / Jams. / Move away from the jams.
(That night, Aladdin and the Genie attend a palace party)
NC (vo): That night, they're invited to a get-together, where Aladdin tries again to win her over.
Genie: (to Aladdin) I made you look like a prince on the outside. But I didn't change anything on the inside.
NC: (as Genie) You're still the same boring, dull cloud you always were.
NC (vo): Jasmine invites him to dance, but it appears he doesn't know how. Because a thief who can climb walls and jump buildings certainly has no footwork... (A brief shot of "Friend Like Me", showing Aladdin dancing with the Genie, is shown) HE'S DANCING RIGHT HERE!! ISN'T THIS THE SAME DAY?!
(Genie uses his powers to make Aladdin dance with Jasmine in a group dance)
NC (vo): Genie controls his movements, though, in a scene that, hey, actually focuses on the dancing.
NC: Aw! Can't we focus on Genie's hat some more? That's where the real wow is.
(Aladdin's controlled dancing soon causes him to dance an extravagant solo as everyone watches)
NC: You know, I did have a few jokes about this scene. (Three captions are shown. They are in order, "Needs more jams", "His feet are better actors", and "No, seriously, how did he forget how to dance?") But his dancing is just so damn awesome, I...I'll give him a break. (Pushes the jokes away)
(After the party, the Genie, carrying some flowers, meets Dalia in the palace, but has some difficulty trying to speak with her)
NC (vo): Later, we see Genie hitting on the handmaiden, and...he's apparently awkward, too. Oh, it's funny, because it doesn't make sense to his personality at all.
Dalia: How did you get past the guards?
Genie: I snuck past.
Dalia: All 48 of them? Even the ones that eat fire?
NC: (stunned and confused) Your guards are weird.
Genie: Would you like to take an evening stroll?
Dalia: I've never done this before. How does it work? (Takes the Genie's hand and walks out the door with him) Do you like sheep cheese?
NC: (chuckles) Well, it's no "jam" line, but...
(Meanwhile, Aladdin sneaks into Jasmine's room to again speak with her)
NC (vo): He takes her on a date, as Aladdin sneaks in to talk to Jasmine.
Aladdin: Sometimes, you just have to take a risk. (Jumps off the building)
NC (vo; as Aladdin): Try this at home, kids!
(Aladdin rises back up, standing on Carpet)
Jasmine: Is this...?
Aladdin: A magic carpet.
(Aladdin and Jasmine begin to bond as they take a flight on Carpet to see the world)
NC (vo): They sing "A Whole New World", with absolutely nothing new except an angry phone call to a voice coach.
Aladdin: (singing) Now when did you last let your heart decide?
NC: Oh, Russell Crowe and Emma Watson are high-fiving each other right now, as they're no longer the big musical punchlines. (An image of two people high-fiving each other is shown with Photoshopped heads of Emma Watson and Russell Crowe)
Aladdin: (singing) A whole new world...
NC (vo; as Aladdin): Oh, thank God for orchestras! My notes are as flat as the carpet I'm riding.
Jasmine: (singing) A whole new world...
Aladdin: (singing) Don't you dare close your eyes.
Jasmine: (singing) A hundred thousand things to see.
Aladdin: (singing) Hold your breath, it gets better.
NC: This scene is so empty, it feels like the music video for the original Aladdin.
(The "A Whole New World" sequence is shown with a music video caption which states the director is Spike Jonze, before we are shown footage of the animated version of the sequence)
NC (vo): Like, "Isn't that cute? We kind of look like the real couple that had real chemistry from the real movie. iTunes link down bellow."
(After the song, Jasmine discovers Aladdin's true identity, but he convinces her that he is actually a prince and only dressed like a peasant to meet the citizens of Agrabah beforehand)
NC (vo): Like in the last one, she discovers who he is, but makes up even more lies.
(Jasmine is shown in bed, speaking with Dalia. At the same time, Aladdin is shown speaking with the Genie)
Jasmine: He told me he was only pretending to be a thief to see the city, but he's actually a prince.
Aladdin: I really was a prince.
Dalia: And you believed him?
NC (vo; as a male singing chorus): Tell me more, tell me more, did she make your heart swoon? (As a female singing chorus) Tell me more, tell me more, was his voice auto-tuned?
(The next day, Jafar discovers Aladdin's identity, and confronts him along with the guards)
NC (vo): Once again, the guards capture Aladdin, as Jafar figures out who he is as well.
Jafar: Goodbye, Aladdin. (Uses his staff to push a tied-up Aladdin off the building)
(Aladdin falls straight into the sea before the scene fades to black. The film's end credits start rolling)
NC: Hey, at this point, it'd be the same runtime as the original.
(Carpet and Abu rush to Aladdin's aid by dropping the lamp into the water where an unconscious Aladdin is lying)
NC (vo): But Carpet and Abu rush to his aid and save him from drowning...or they toss him the lamp. Carpets...obviously melt in water.
(The Genie bursts out of the lamp and uses his second wish to rescue Aladdin from drowning. Meanwhile, Jasmine is met by Jafar and the Sultan)
NC (vo): You know the drill. The Genie comes out, uses a wish to save him, and Jafar tries to say he left.
Jasmine: You heard him say this, Jafar, and you saw him leave?
NC: (as Jafar) Just ask him yourself...aaah!
(Aladdin and the Genie come in to confront Jafar, exposing his scheme)
Aladdin: Your Majesty.
(Jafar is captured and imprisoned in a cell, though Iago helps Jafar break free. Meanwhile, the Sultan offers Aladdin a position as heir to the throne. Both eager and unsure about this new responsibility, Aladdin tells Genie he's breaking his promise to free him as his third wish)
NC (vo): Jafar is arrested, but Iago breaks him out, as Aladdin realizes he can't use his last wish to set Genie free.
Aladdin: People see what they want to see. Aladdin is gone.
NC: (snorts) No arguments here.
NC (vo): It's weird, 'cause Aladdin actually seems a lot douchier in this version, making us like him even less. (A shot of Aladdin and the Genie's falling out scene in the original is briefly shown) In the first one, he's legit broken up about it. He can't set his friend free. (Back to the remake) In this one, though, it's almost like he's boasting about it.
Aladdin: It's not a lie. People can change. (The Genie scoffs) That's a bad thing? I thought you'd be happy for me.
NC: (as Aladdin) I know you'll be a slave the rest of your life, but look at the bright side. I won't.
Genie: (disappointed) And for what? You are breaking my heart here, kid.
NC: Man, that's some die-hard Padme heartbreaking acting right there. (The shot of the disappointed Genie is shown with an image of Padme in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith) No Disney movie should have this many callbacks to the prequels! (The poster for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is shown) Take note!
(Disappointed in Aladdin for not being true to his own self, the Genie retreats into the lamp)
Aladdin: Genie, no. Hey, come on!
Will (from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air; audio): How come he don't want me, man?
(Jafar manages to steal the lamp from Aladdin, becoming the Genie's new master, and uses his first wish to become Sultan, while taking Jasmine and the Sultan hostage)
NC (vo): Jafar steals the lamp, though, and uses his first wish to become Sultan.
Jafar: You obey the Sultan. (Speaks to a conflicted guard, Hakim) Hakim, marshal an army to invade Shirabad.
NC: NOBODY CARES ABOUT SHIRABAD!!
NC (vo): Invade Florida! It has all our grandparents! We'll care a little!
Jafar: Remove her!
NC (vo): Jasmine is arrested, as she sings a brand-new song about not being speechless.
(As the guards take Jasmine away, Jasmine sings "Speechless")
Jasmine: (singing) I cannot start to crumble...
NC (vo): It's a decent song, despite it not matching the feel of the others at all.
NC: But it does go...a little weird.
(While singing, Jasmine suddenly breaks free of the guards' grip and begins walking back to the palace. From behind her, the guards vanish in her imagination)
Jasmine: (singing) I won't be silent...
NC: Oh, my God! She was the Genie all along! Now that's a twist this movie needs!
(While walking back to the palace, Jasmine imagines all the guards in front of her vanishing also)
NC (vo): No, this is actually a symbolic fight she's having right now. Ooh! (as Jasmine) Face the wrath of my furious anger as I wish you away in my head! (Speaks normally) Okay, I get the idea. She uses diplomacy and not force to convince the guards to do the right thing...technically making this a completely wasted wish.
NC: What, does becoming Sultan just get you a new hat?
NC (vo): But, man, how cool would it be if she was grabbing a sword and fighting in slow-motion while singing "Let It Go 2.0.", and then she does the diplomatic scene? She could be telling her friend, the head of the guards, "Thank you for teaching me swordfighting since I was a kid", so it explains how she can do all that cool stuff, and that would tug at his heartstrings even more! It would make so much sense! But, nope. It's the literal thought that counts, as she sings about how she refuses to be silent...moments before she's completely silenced.
(Despite Jasmine's determination, Jafar remains unwilling to lose and uses his second wish to become a powerful sorcerer, and threatens to kill the Sultan with his staff, forcing Jasmine to reluctantly submit)
Jasmine: I will do as you wish!
NC: So, yeah! This scene could have been completely cut, and no one would miss a thing! But, you know...henchwomen. (A clip from Kim Possible (2019) is shown)
(Jafar exposes Aladdin's identity to Jasmine and the Sultan and exiles him to a frozen wasteland)
NC (vo): So, okay. Aladdin comes in and is revealed as a street rat, just before saving the day...what? Wait, what? We're doing the ice thing again?
NC: (shocked, looking briefly at the right side) Why?! He's right there!
(Footage of Jafar's takeover in the animated film is shown)
NC (vo): In the original, everything goes to shit at once, and he discovers the errors of his ways at this point. (Back to the remake) Here, he learned it when he saw Jafar with the lamp, and we had Jasmine learning her lesson because she was the main character for a minute, so this just drags things out. W-what does it do? Allow Jafar to show off more of his "You just..." basic acting?
Jafar: You're insignificant, an irritation I no longer need to tolerate once I banish you to the ends of the Earth.
NC: (as Jafar, speaking monotone) You're not even worth any effort from my performance. Sorry, that was so loud.
Jafar: (to Jasmine) No, the most suitable punishment would be to make you watch while I take what you love most.
NC: (as Jafar, speaking monotone) While I make kissy faces at you the whole time. Do you like that? Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah.
(Aladdin escapes from the wasteland with the help of Carpet and saves Jasmine from Jafar)
NC (vo): Like in the original, Aladdin uses the carpet to fly back to Agrabah and save everybody. (The scene in the original of Aladdin fighting Jafar as a cobra is shown) And like before, he has to confront a giant terrible hellbeast... (Jafar transforms Iago into a giant roc to give chase) ...a parrot. Yep. They replace the giant snake with a giant parrot. My God! Are you trying to piss us off?!
(As NC speaks, the climatic sequences shown in both versions are shown)
NC: If you saw these...
NC (vo): ...two movies on at the same time, why the hell would you pick this pathetic idiot sauce...
NC: ...when you could watch...
NC (vo): ...something kick-ass like this? Seriously, who in the Christ requested that?
NC: (as an eager writer) You know what would be cooler than a giant snake? A giant parrot!
(A second NC, acting as a boss, puts on a frozen smile before slowly pressing a button, causing the caption "Fired" to fall onto the first NC as the writer. Back to the film, showing Iago eventually capturing Aladdin and Jasmine and being taken back to Jafar again)
NC (vo): So after the epic giant parrot chase...literally, every episode of the cartoon had a better climax than that...they work their way back, where Jafar captures them again.
NC: This movie is really good at going absolutely nowhere, isn't it?
Aladdin: You can't find what you're looking for in that lamp, Jafar.
Jafar: I am the greatest sorcerer the world has ever seen!
NC: (as Jafar) I turned a small parrot into a big parrot. Crazy!
Aladdin: But you'll never have more power than the Genie.
NC (vo; as Jasmine): I will not be silent...eh, whatever. Girl power or some shit.
(Aladdin tricks Jafar into using his last wish to become the most powerful genie in the world, and the Genie, realizing what Aladdin is doing and knowing the vagueness of the wish, eagerly grants it. Jafar is turned into a genie, but discovers, to his horror, he has no free will, and he ends up sucked into a new lamp, dragging Iago along with him. Aladdin decides to live up to his original promise and uses his third wish to free the Genie, thus turning him human permanently and allowing him to be with Dalia)
NC (vo): As before, Aladdin tricks Jafar into wishing himself into a genie for even more power, and he gets trapped in his own lamp. Aladdin then uses his last wish to set Genie free, so he can go after some Handmaid's Tale.
Dalia: I want children.
Genie: Yes. Two of them.
(The Genie and Dalia's children from the opening scene are shown briefly)
Dalia: Lian and Omar, three years apart. You will entertain them with stories and songs.
NC: This is really specific. All involved should be afraid.
(The Sultan declares that Jasmine will be the next ruler and tells her that Aladdin is a good person, outlines how worthy he is and tells her as Sultan, she can overturn the law that requires her to marry a prince. Thus, she chooses Aladdin, and he and Jasmine prepare to spend their new life together)
NC (vo): The Sultan then hands over his crown to Jasmine...which is weird. Will Smith is still telling the story even after he revealed he was the story? I kind of feel like it should end there. She, of course, chooses to marry Aladdin, and we get, in my opinion, one of the biggest insults of the movie: the credits.
NC: Oh, don't get me wrong. I'm usually happy as hell when they arrive in a movie like this! But look at how they do it.
(The first part of the credits is shown with all the characters dancing to "Friend Like Me" in a Bollywood-style dance number)
NC: Yeah! They're spectacular!
NC (vo): It's like a full-on Bollywood musical, with no CG genies, no awkward editing, just really good dancing and people actually looking like they're having a good time, mixing both Hollywood and Bollywood-style techniques.
NC: Why...wasn't this...the entire...movie?!
NC (vo): How friggin' amazing would this film have been if it actually told Aladdin like a crazy Bollywood musical? It would've been something new while still keeping true to the story of Aladdin. The possibilities are endless!
NC: But instead, it's the end credits. Like they're teasing us, like, "We know we could've done this, but, eh, we're just gonna put it at the end, at the part where people usually walk out."
NC (vo): So, I guess I was wrong in that regard. This movie made me realize it wasn’t dead on arrival...
NC: ...it was a friggin' missed opportunity! Trust me, for me, that's a big thing to say with a Disney remake!
(Footage of the remake plays as NC gives his final thought. Some clips from the original play at one point as well)
NC (vo): I’ll say this. Upon watching it again, I did see a few things that I did find impressive. Jasmine and her father had more depth, the songs were orchestrated nice, and once in a while, there was an impressive visual when you were allowed to enjoy it. But seriously, half of it relies on you seeing the original in order to even follow it. It’s got way too many dead silent moments, awkward acting, and lack of focus on what their priorities should be. I guess, compared to some of the other remakes, it had a few things that stood out, which is more than I can say for many of the others. But I can’t just give a positive shrug because it’s less bad than the others. There’s an incredibly unique and imaginative classic that fixes the majority of this film’s problems before they even existed. And it did so by being new and innovative, as opposed to copying what’s new and innovative, and even then, only doing so because it was proven to have worked in the past. If you enjoy it, cool. You’re entitled to your opinion. But for me, this is an Arabian Night I’m not gonna be checking out anytime again soon.
NC: I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. (Gets up and leaves)
Channel Awesome Tagline: Aladdin: We have jams.
(The credits roll)