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9 magical highlights from Disney's new Aladdin trailer

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The brand new trailer for Disney's Aladdin remake has swept online in a blitz of magical landscapes, magical lamps and A-list star power.

Sherlock Holmes film-maker Guy Ritchie helms this big-budget reworking of Disney's classic 1992 animation. Here are the trailer highlights, including the first proper look at Will Smith's Genie...

1. Aladdin meets Jasmine

The opening of the animated movie, set to the song 'One Step Ahead' as street urchin Aladdin evades the Agrabah guards, gets a revision. Ritchie's energetic and colourful film-making is on full display as he stages more elaborate crashes and hair-raising escapes in live-action.

And while we ponder how Ritchie will refresh the template, it looks like Aladdin (Mena Massoud) and Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott) are destined to meet earlier in this version. In the original movie, she met Aladdin about 10 minutes in after venturing beyond the palace walls into the market. This time around, she appears to catch a glimpse of him in the midst of his introductory escape antics.

Of course, this could all be down to trailer editing trickery – two different sequences may have been spliced together – but it would hasten the connection between the star-crossed lovers. Ritchie is a film-maker renowned for getting on with things, so maybe he's streamlined the story? It may also indicate a more emboldened Jasmine, one who wastes no time seeking permission to go where she wants.

Mena Massoud as Aladdin in Disney's Aladdin remake


2. Enter Jafar

Murder on the Orient Express actor Marwan Kenzari may be a relative unknown, but surely not for long now that he's playing a classic Disney villain. We only get brief glimpses of evil sorcerer Jafar in the trailer, as he covets the magical lamp and enlists Aladdin to get it for him. With his swirling cape and striking head gear (pleasingly loyal to Jafar's look in the original), he certainly cuts an imposing figure.

Marwan Kenzari as Jafar in Disney's Aladdin remake


3. Meet the Genie

Of course, the big talking point of the trailer, and indeed the movie as a whole, is Will Smith's debut as the Genie. The late Robin Williams defined the role in the animated version, and set new standards for A-listers voicing animated characters. This time around, the character looks to have been reverse-engineered around Smith's likeable, fast-talking persona, one that punctures any sense of self-seriousness.

Case in point: when Aladdin ventures into the Cave of Wonders, he rubs the lamp and unleashes the boomingly-voiced Genie for the first time – only for the latter to ditch the portentous act immediately. It's nothing less than Smith himself, only big and blue-skinned.

Will Smith as the Genie in Disney's Aladdin remake


4. 'Friend Like Me'

Smith has long been trailing a fresh (prince) version of Williams's signature number, 'Friend Like Me'. And we finally get to hear a fragment of it in the trailer. (He also performs Aladdin's victorious palace entry theme 'Prince Ali'.)

It's been quite a while since we've had a memorable Smith-related sing-along in a movie (his last self-penned number was 'Black Suits Comin' (Nod Ya Head)' from 2002's Men in Black II), so this should make the nostalgics happy. It looks like the sequence allows Ritchie to open the taps visually, with monkey sidekick Abu playing the trumpet and Aladdin being controlled, marionette-style, by the Genie's hand.

Will Smith performs Friend Like Me in Disney's Aladdin remake


5. Genie banter

Remember all the controversy about Will Smith's blue look as the Genie? We all got a bit confused when pre-release images teased him in both his magical form and his other form looking like... well, Will Smith. It seems the latter will dominate during the conversational scenes with Aladdin, no doubt an attempt to make this otherworldly character more human and relatable.

Plus, Smith's signature quick wit is on display during the amusing scene where Aladdin requests him to "make me a prince".

Will Smith as the Genie in human form in Disney's Aladdin remake


6. The Genie's message

One cannot have a fast-talking, funny Genie without a side-order of family-friendly Disney profundity. "You look like a prince on the outside, but I didn't change anything on the inside," he tells Aladdin, a nice reminder of the story's themes of nobility and inner-strength.

This is then undercut somewhat as Genie hastens a romantic meeting between Aladdin and Jasmine, but it gets the point across.

Will Smith as the Genie in Disney's Aladdin remake

7. A new princess

Power Rangers actress Naomi Scott has been open in addressing her interpretation of Jasmine. If the character's animated incarnation can be dismissed as something of a wall-flower, Scott describes this version as a "leader" with a "beautiful arc". (She also reportedly gets a brand new solo song, although we don't hear it in the trailer.)

"I thought a princess could go anywhere," Aladdin says to Jasmine. Her reply, "Not this princess," carries more than a note of defiance and spark, not to mention a degree of self-awareness that was perhaps played down in the original. Is this a Jasmine for the post #MeToo and #TimesUp movement? It certainly seems so.

Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine in Disney's Aladdin remake


8. 'A Whole New World'

Interestingly, this take on the classic Aladdin/Jasmine romantic ballad is performed by the actors themselves. (In the 1992 animation it was covered by Brad Kane and Lea Salonga.)

Nevertheless Massoud and Scott's efforts sound impressive, and Massoud himself describes the experience as "magical" – even while having to perform 30-feet above the ground while sitting on a magic carpet. And with the original movie's composer Alan Menken back to oversee both the songs and score, we're no doubt assured of stunning new arrangements of old classics.

Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott perform A Whole New World in Disney's Aladdin remake


9. Chased by Iago?

Most of the trailer looks faithful to the set-up and imagery laid down in the original Aladdin. But there are intriguing flashes of new content, including a final shot of Aladdin being chased by what looks like a giant parrot. Has Jafar cast magic on his loyal servant Iago?

We don't hear the feathered fiend talk in the trailer, although it's been confirmed that Dodgeball and Rogue One actor Alan Tudyk will be voicing Iago. Can we expect him to be more a villainous and monstrous presence in Ritchie's movie?

Iago in Disney's Aladdin remake

Aladdin is released on 24th May, so let us know @Cineworld what we missed in the trailer.