Aladdin was released at a very good time for Disney animation. After about three decades of animated flops, Disney released movies like Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, and Aladdin. While one might wonder how this movie holds up after the explosion of Pixar movies, don’t worry. It is as great as ever. This review isn’t really about Aladdin, since everyone should know if they want this Blu-ray edition of the movie (they should) or not, and is based on whether or not the extras make it worth double dipping.
We start off with an audio commentary track that features the co-directors of the movie (John Musker and Ron Clements) and producer Amy Pell. This is a nice listen to get a good idea of the history and the making of the movie. There is a second audio commentary track as well that is much more fun and is really great if you love animation. The second one has Jafar animator Andreas Deja, Iago animator Will Finn, Genie animator Eric Goldberg, and Aladdin animator Glean Keane.
The biggest feature on the Aladdin Blu-ray is a feature length documentary which is actually longer than the movie itself. Checking in at 110 minutes, A Diamond in the Rough: The Making of Aladdin takes fans through the entire making of the movie with historian Leonard Maltin as the host. The doc is broke up into easy to digest segments so a person can take their time working through it if they want or just sit down and enjoy it all at once.
For fans of the songs, there is 14 minutes worth of deleted songs (“You Can Count on Me” by Aladdin, “Humiliate the Boy” by Jafar, “Why Me” by Jafar, and “Proud of Your Boy” sung by Aladdin). These are separate from the six minutes of deleted scenes. There is also six minutes of music videos from the movie, featuring “A Whole New World” by Regina Belle and Peabo Bryson, “A Whole New World” by Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson, and “Proud of Your Boy” by Clay Aiken.
Moving on, if you are wondering if you should get the DVD or Blu-ray, here is a look at what the Blu-ray has that the basic edition does not.
There are nine minutes of Genie outtakes, which is huge fun for the fans of the late Robin Williams, and for little kids who just loved the antics of the Genie. There is also a four-minute look at explaining the Genie’s puns, which many kids today won’t get. That is a throw-away feature, but I thought it was fun.
There is a 19 minute feature called Aladdin: Creating Broadway Magic, which sees Darren Criss (Glee) take fans on a backstage look at the Broadway adaptation.
Finally, there is a five minute look at the movie’s Easter eggs and a six minute special feature with the directors looking back on making the movie.
With all that said, the Blu-ray version of Aladdin is what you want. Even if you don’t care about the special features on the Blu-ray. The look and sound makes it just a huge upgrade over the original release. The effects look amazing and Aladdin has never looked better. Even bigger than that, the sound is just masterful, at DTS 7.1 sound scape and that alone makes this version one that anyone with half a decent stereo system would want as an upgrade.
At the end of the day, Aladdin is just as fun and great as you remember it being and this new edition is worth the double-dip for any fan of the movie.by