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Blu-ray Release: Aladdin

October 13, 2015

By John Corrado

Aladdin Blu-rayToday, Disney is releasing their 1992 classic Aladdin on Blu-ray, as part of their Diamond Edition series.  Aladdin (Scott Weinger) is a young street thief who falls in love with Jasmine (Linda Larkin), a lonely princess who is tired of being confined to the castle, but forced to marry royalty.  When Aladdin is granted three wishes by a Genie (Robin Williams), he uses them to pose as a prince, but must also defeat Jafar (Jonathan Freeman).

Arriving near the beginning of the Disney Renaissance, Aladdin remains one of their finest films, perfectly mixing vibrant humour and touching heart, in a visually stunning animated world.  The film was groundbreaking for the way it mixed computer generated elements with the traditional hand drawn animation, a technique that still provides scene after scene of gorgeously rendered images.

The colourful cast of characters is brought to life through pitch perfect voice work, buoyed by the comic genius of the late Robin Williams, whose legacy and mark on the film won’t soon be forgotten.  Even in animated form, the actor steals every scene, bringing both laughs and genuine heart to the Genie, and turning him into one of studio’s most beloved characters.  With Oscar-winning music by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, including some of Disney’s finest songs and musical numbers like “A Whole New World” and “Friend Like Me,” the soundtrack is also a memorable part of the experience.

Arriving fresh off the success of their previous collaboration The Little Mermaid, directors Ron Clements and John Musker took a risk with this film that paid off handsomely, delivering a clever and heartfelt piece of animated entertainment, that manages to be moving, funny, romantic and even genuinely exciting.  Providing deep undercurrents of nostalgia for those of us who grew up with it, Aladdin is a brightly shining classic from the House of Mouse, that has only gotten better with age.  The film has also never looked sharper than it does now on Blu-ray, and this new edition is highly recommended.

Along with the classic DVD bonus features, the Blu-ray also includes several new featurettes, the best of which is a compiling of some of the many outtakes that Robin Williams recorded from his infamous nine hours of material, set to storyboard animation and edited together with reflections from the filmmakers to provide an incredibly touching tribute to the actor.

Aladdin is 90 minutes and rated G.

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