In the land of Argrabah, comes a story of wonder. It has a street smart kid, a princess, a wizard, a sultan, a monkey and a genie. The young street-rat kid is named Aladdin and he is needed by the evil grand vizier, Jafar, to steal a magic lamp from an enchanted cave. At the palace, the sultan wants to marry off his daughter, Princess Jasmine, to a proper suitor. She feels like every prince she meets is too stuck up for her to want to be with. Tired of the palace life, she sneaks out to the market and meets Aladdin by chance. She gets into some trouble and Aladdin with his monkey Abu rescue her. Unfortunately, the trio gets caught by the palace guards and it’s revealed that she is the princess. Instead of being put to death, Jafar gets Aladdin out to the Cave of Wonder where they find the magic lamp with the genie inside. Tempted by the treasure, Abu causes the cave to close on them. He rubs the lamps and out comes the genie and Aladdin tricks him into getting them all out. This is where Aladdin’s life changes.
Aladdin was the third Disney film from the early 90s to really spark the interest of a widespread audience. Before it, Disney animated films had fallen out of the spotlight with a string of movies that many didn’t know they were even released. It’s directed by the Disney veterans Ron Clements and John Musker. They were also the pair that directed The Little Mermaid. This was a game changer for Disney because it’s the first animated film that the princess isn’t Caucasian but an Arabian girl.
For me, this is the Disney that I grew up with. It is one of the big production animated movies that have award winning songs and incredible art. It was also at the birth of CGI going infusing in to the movie industry and in this; the CGI is lightly used but particularly in the magic carpet. It’s probably the only way that that they could get a successfully wrap around a moving object with the technology at the time.
Directors and Cast
-Scott Weinger as Aladdin
-Robin Williams as The Genie and the Merchant
-Linda Larkin as Princess Jasmine
-Jonathan Freeman as Jafar
-Gilbert Gottfried as Iago
-Douglas Seale as The Sultan
The new transfer has brought life to the film. It’s a 1080p AVC and it looks spectacular. Aladdin has always been a very colorful film to begin with but with the enhancements of Blu-ray, the film is even more vibrant than ever before. Another mark in the plus column is the details that have been brought out from the film. One of the notable scenes is at the very beginning in the desert night with the sparkling sand everywhere. The lines are clean and the sand has visible individual grains. The other scene is in the cave of wonders with the mounds of treasure everywhere. The details are able to be seen with little effort. This gives the frames a lot of depth that gives it an almost 3D effect. However, there are various sections in the film where the color is a little too intense at times. Also there’s intermittent softness that drops the details out but it’s not frequent enough to be a major complaint. Overall, the release is a success.
The incredible DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix is beautifully done. It’s a powerful score that utilizes every channel and roars in the home theater. The score soundtrack plays a big part in the transfer but also the ambient sounds never let the speakers rest. For example, during the scenes in the palace menagerie there are many different animal sounds along with the water fountain. These sounds are clear, constant, and separate that creates an immersive experience. This is easily one of Disney’s best mixes to date.
The bonus features for the release are good and definitely go in depth about the production of the movie. My only gripe is there really aren’t any new features for this release. Everything is mostly from the DVD release some years ago but maybe when the US release hit stores, we will get a definitive edition.
-Filmmakers’ Audio Commentary: This film commentary features director’s John Musker and Ron Clements with co-producer Amy Pell. Also some of the other producers and writers of the film made it on the commentary.
-Sing Along With the Movie: A subtitle feature for the musical numbers for audiences to sing along with.
-Deleted Scenes: There are a few scenes along with musical numbers that didn’t make it into the film. Scenes- Aladdin and Jasmine’s First Meeting Aladdin in the Lap of Luxury
-Deleted Music: There are intros giving the reasons why they didn’t make it into the movie.
-Music Videos: These are some of the famous songs performed by musical artists. A Whole New World performed by Regina Belle and Peabo Bryson A Whole New World performed by Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson Proud of Your Boy performed by Clay Aiken A Diamond in the Rough – The Making of Aladdin: This entertaining and multi-part documentary goes in to deep detail about making the movie.
1 Blu-ray disc
1080p MPEG-4 AVC
English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
Czech Dolby Digital 5.1
Greek Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps)
Polish Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps)
Russian Dolby Digital 5.1
French DTS-HD HR 5.1
Dutch DTS 5.1
Ukrainian Dolby Digital 2.0
I’ve always been a fan of this Disney classic and this Blu-ray is just another reason why. I’m sure that the final product is exactly what the studio was trying to accomplish. Even though the film isn’t all that old, the quality has improved the beauty from such a richly colorful movie. For the Disney fans around the world, importing this release from Germany is well worth it. I highly recommend adding this film to your collection without any hesitation.