Aladdin is joining the ranks of Disney movies adapted to live action in 2019. I’ve got mixed feelings about the the trend of adapting beloved animated movies to live action. On one hand, it takes away from the story-book quality of the animated originals. And will it be too scary for children? But on the other, oh my goodness! The gorgeousness! (My first thought after writing that sentence is that “gorgeousness” must not be a word. But spell-check allowed it. Then thinking some more, of course it’s a word! But I probably didn’t use it in an entirely grammatically correct way. The editor in me isn’t really happy with that. But I’m going to leave that way.)
(For my updates after rewatching Disney’s 2019 Aladdin on Disney+ during the pandemic, see my update toward the end of my post. I give you specific scary scenes in Aladdin to watch out for.)
Just like with Frozen 2 (but for different reasons) I wasn’t terribly excited about viewing the trailer for Aladdin. I love the original Disney Aladdin so much that I hate to see them mess with it. And then, if by any chance it is a good movie, if I watch the trailer they might give away all the good parts.
But I’m glad I watched it. If I hadn’t, I might have missed seeing Aladdin in theaters. But now, I’m totally on board. I can’t wait to see it! And guess what? If you want, you can just read my reasons for seeing Aladdin on the big screen in a theater and leave the movie a complete surprise for yourself!
3 reasons to see Disney’s Aladdin in the theater May 24
- Oh, the gorgeousness! A peek at the splendor of the set for Aladdin blew me away. This movie is going to have it all. Sweeping desert vistas. The sparkle and pageantry of royalty. Live action excitement. I can’t wait to see the Cave of Wonders.
All things that will be enhanced on the big screen!
- One of the my favorite parts of the original Disney animated Aladdin is Robin Williams as the Genie. It’s a lot of live up to! But I’m a big fan of Will Smith, especially in a fun movie. (Hitch, is one of my daughter’s all time favorites.) Will’s a great comic. And Aladdin’s trailer shows that he will not disappoint. I mean, just check out that impish look on the poster even!
I can’t wait to see what he gets up to.
- The thrill of it! The trailer shows a lot of exciting fast action that will be intensified on the big screen.
And, because it’s Disney, we know it will be safe. Yes, I know that if you really swung on ropes like that your hands would be ripped to shreds and bloody with rope burns. Sand is dirty, blows everywhere, and gets in your eyes.
Sometimes I can handle action in a movie and actively work to turn off my empathy. And sometimes I just need to relax and have fun. A Disney movie will let me do that. Yes, you can tell from the trailer that there are going to be some intense and even creepy scenes. But you’re also going to have occasions to laugh and relieve the tension.
Will Disney’s Aladdin be okay for little kids?
If you’re asking that question, you probably have a sensitive child. With all things, a child’s parents are the best judge of what’s right for their kids. As of the release of the trailer, Disney’s Aladdin is not yet rated. But given Disney’s history, it’s likely to be a movie that it’s worthwhile to consider that it might be a safe movie for your child to see.
As a parent of kids who were sensitive when they were younger – as a very sensitive child myself – “safe” action movies can be an important learning experience for kids learning how to tolerate and manage their feelings. Because like it or not, as they grow up kids are going to see and read things that will be scary or emotional for them. Seeing movies like this together gives you an opportunity to help them through some of their first experiences.
Based on the trailer for Disney’s 2019 Aladdin version and based on the original animated movie, you know there are going to be some intense chase scenes. And Jafar has the potential to be really creepy. But even in the scenes with Jafar, the parrot, Iago, can provide some much needed comic relief! That’s what I love about Disney movies.
6 Tips to prepare a young child to see Disney’s 2019 Live Action Aladdin if you think it might be too scary
Here are some tips and suggestions if you’re wondering if Disney’s 2019 Aladdin will be too scary, or okay, for your sensitive child to see. Following them might save you from spending the entire movie with your child hiding at your feet. (Yes, that happened to us with The Polar Express, even though we thought we checked out the movie by asking other parents before we took our kids.)
1. Check family friendly content reviews for Disney’s Aladdin
I’ve found Common Sense Media very reliable to give you content to consider before you share a movie with your child. They’ll probably give you things to think about that wouldn’t even occur to you! The review might have some spoilers, but you’re doing this for your kid’s movie experience, not your own. Common Sense Media has a placeholder review for Disney’s live-action remake of Aladdin.
Dove.org also has family friendly movie reviews. Dove has both theatrical and video/DVD reviews, among others.
2. Read a book about Aladdin to your child.
You can pick an original version, or the Disney version, but Disney is known for taking classic tales and making them happier, so the Disney version is a pretty safe bet.
3. Show your child the original animated Disney Aladdin.
My kids were all sensitive to different degrees, and they all found animation easier to separate from real life than live action movies. If your kid can handle the action and thrill of the animated Aladdin, they’ll be more ready for the live action version. If you do this, be sure that your child understands that the live action version might have a slightly different story line.
4. Watch all the trailers for Disney’s live-action Aladdin with your child.
On a small screen and with a softer volume, a child can more safely experience the intense scenes. This will also give them a better idea of what to expect when they see the movie. I’ve posted links to all of the currently available Aladdin trailers below.
5. Go see Disney’s Aladdin yourself, before you go to take your child to see it.
If you have the time, go see Aladdin for yourself before you take your child. Sure, it’s a kids movie, but the sets are so amazing, even adults are sure to enjoy this movie. Especially if you aren’t having to worry about your kid getting scared. And, when you take your child, you’ll be able to whisper reassurances to your child at key moments.
6. Don’t see Disney’s Aladdin live-action movie in 3D or IMAX if you think it might be too scary for your kid
This should probably be obvious, but we made the mistake of going to see The Polar Express at the IMAX theater. (Where at least one of our children spent most of the movie cowering, in spite of our reassurance. We think the CGI, which was new for rendered people at the time, is what really creeped her out. The uncanny valley can be unsettling.) Based on what other parents were telling us, we really under-estimated how easily kids can sometimes be scared.
If you’re on the fence about whether or not Aladdin will be too scary for your kid, opt for a regular theatrical release. You can always go see it a second time in 3D or IMAX. Repetition of thrilling movies can also build resilience in your child’s ability to handle tense movies. Knowing that everything will be okay, they’ll be better able to enjoy Aladdin the second time around.
update: During the pandemic we got a subscription to Disney+ to watch the Mandalorian. Since I didn’t take notes the first time I watched the movie (I wanted to enjoy my theater ticket’s worth!) I didn’t take notes and never got around to updating this post after watching the live version of Aladdin. So I took the opportunity to rewatch it and take notes for you.
The parts of 2019 Aladdin that might be too scary for little kids
After seeing 2019 Disney Aladdin myself, I made these notes about parts that little kids might find scary.
- The first time you see Jafar he’s in a dungeon. A clean dungeon, as dungeons go, but it’s still a dark dungeon. There’s a death, but it’s an implied bloodless death.
- The cave with the lava is really scary in live action. The monkey, Abu, and the Magic Carpet do help relieve some of the tension, but this is a point where it would be good for a scared kids to have seen the animated version first.
- When the Genie first appears, he’s scary. But this only lasts about a minute before it gets more light hearted.
- Prince Ali/Aladdin is tied up and pushed off a balcony, it looks like he’s going to drown but the viewers do know ahead of time that Abu and the magic carpet are coming to the rescue.
- The story seems to not go as smoothly, but I can forgive them because they altered the story to give Jasmine an active roll in defeating Jafar and saving her people, even though they ultimately (and correctly) still let Aladdin be the hero of his own story.
- The parrot, Iago, turns mean. If your child has seen the animated version you might warm them by telling them ahead of time. I hate for kids to think someone they trusted before has turn untrustworthy. (I remember loving Iago in the animated version, but it’s been awhile.) So before seeing 2019 Aladdin I’d warn kids, who love Iago, that the parrot isn’t the same bird as in the animated version. It’s a totally different bird.
When will Disney’s live action Aladdin be in theaters?
Aladdin release date it May 24!
Official Trailers for Disney’s Aladdin Live-action Movie
Somehow the earlier released trailers show primarily the scary parts. That gives an over-all different feel to the movie. So if you’re trying to get a sensitive child ready to to watch the movie in theaters, start with the most recently released official trailer. I link to that one first.