Live-action 'Aladdin' remake to hit China

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, May 17, 2019
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The Walt Disney Grand Theater at Shanghai Disney Resort plays host to the Chinese premiere of Aladdin on May 14, 2019. [Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Studios]

The remake of Disney's classic animated feature "Aladdin" premiered at Shanghai Disney Resort on Tuesday. 

The film, directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Will Smith, Naomi Scott, and Mena Massoud, received rave reviews from fans and critics alike after the screening. wrote in its movie review that it is "the most magnificent Disney film to be released this year. The movie touches people's hearts, yet there are plenty of hilarious moments."

"Aladdin," adapted from the 31st Disney animated feature film (1992), is based on one of the tales from the book called One Thousand and One Nights. The tale follows a kindhearted street urchin and a power-hungry Grand Vizier as they vie for a magic lamp that has the power to make their deepest wishes come true. For Aladdin, his dream is to become a prince so he can marry Princess Jasmine of Agrabah.

Over 2,000 actors and actresses auditioned for the roles of Aladdin and Jasmine; Naomi Scott and Mena Massoud came out on top in the end. Will Smith, who plays the iconic Genie, replaced Robin Williams from the 1992 animation.  

The original animated feature was the highest-grossing film of 1992 earning more than US$504 million in worldwide box office revenue and garnered two Academy Awards for Best Original Score and Best Original Song for "A Whole New World." The film's theme song is the first and the only number from a Disney feature to earn a Grammy Award for Song of the Year. Zayn Malik and Zhavia Ward recorded a version of "A Whole New World" for the 2019 soundtrack.

In March, Walt Disney Picture released a live-action remake of "Dumbo." The film performed moderately at China's box office, grossing 147 million yuan (US$21.29 million). Nevertheless "Aladdin" and the upcoming "Lion King" remakes could do much better in the Chinese market as more viewers resonate with the two movies. 

"Aladdin" will open in Chinese theaters on May 24. 

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