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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Aladdin (1992)



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With Aladdin, Disney took their animated feature films in a new direction. With the previous year's Beauty and the Beast, Disney had given a well-known story reverend treatment with Disney's unique, magical twist. Disney's Aladdin, however, is not a serious retelling of the famous Arabian Nights tale, but severely updated for the nineties, punched up with Robin Williams' comic personality let loose. While it would be a terrible thing if Disney had decided to produce all of their future animated films this way, Aladdin is nevertheless sheer delight. Robin Williams voices the Genie, improvising much of the part, and topical and in-jokes, and references to other Disney features, abound. The many and varied allusions to contemporary culture will date it badly; one day, it may not be looked upon with the fondness that, say, Beauty and the Beast and The Hunchback of Notre Dame are bound to be. Yet, at present at least, Aladdin is prime entertainment, with all the magical elements that make most Disney animated films work so well.

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