"Prince Ali" Clip
As the premiere date for Disney's new Aladdin draws closer, we're getting more sneak peeks at what the updated film entails. Obviously, nothing can ever compare to the 1992 animated classic, but the live-action adaptation has definitely been growing on us! Then, IGN debuted an exclusive clip of Will Smith's rendition of "Prince Ali" on Tuesday, and some concerns were raised.
I'm definitely not expecting Smith to try to emulate the original Genie, played by Robin Williams, in any part of his performance. In fact, I've appreciated the bits I've seen where Smith has added his personal touch to the classic character — especially how he switched up "Friend Like Me" to be more of a rap. But Smith's performance in "Prince Ali" is so lackluster! I know he can do better than basically speaking the entire song. I'm sure it isn't his fault, but I wish Disney would go all in with their ethos of switching things up and letting Smith play to his strengths. This is only a minute-long segment of the song, and maybe it works better in the full film, but it doesn't inspire much confidence in the whole project, to be blunt.
Visually, the clip is stunning, but it also manages to underwhelm. Again, that's not their fault: it's hard to compete with an animated version where the Genie is able to teleport around and morph into various beings while singing. I'll take the brilliant use of colors, costumes, and confetti, because your girl loves a pretty picture.
On top of all that, for some reason they have Smith sing the line "When it comes to exotic-type mammals," while he's riding on a pair of ostriches. Not to nitpick or anything, but ostriches are definitely birds and not mammals. We can't ignore that when there's a whole crowd of them! I need them to do better, I really do.
Check out the video above and, for your comparative purposes, watch the original "Prince Ali" from the animated version of Aladdin ahead, with Williams's voice performance as Genie!