The Disney castle is an iconic image that has been a part of everyone's childhood, and that Disney theme music! Good Lord! I can literally hear it in my mind as I am writing this. Kids today even know what the Disney logo is, they probably see it in a slightly different way than I did as a kid, but the overall idea of it being a place of wonder and magic is still there for most kids to a certain degree I think.
For me now however, Disneyland as a holiday destination does not entice anymore. What I thought of as possibly 'The Happiest Place on Earth' as a kid, now seems like a money making hell pit as an adult. Am I just getting too old? Maybe, and I don't want to come across like the Grinch here, but the prices to get into Disneyland seem crazy to me. And from what well travelled people that have been there have told me, the lines for the rides are ridiculous, the staff are exhausted, grumpy and underpaid and the entire place is extremely un-environmentally friendly and wasteful. Also, it's apparently overtaken with Marvel and Pixar merchandise now because it is far more lucrative.
However, to be fair it may have always had these problems, but as a kid you really don't care about any of that stuff, it's an awesome theme park and it's full of fun rides, that's all that kids are worrying about. Kids don't notice the sweaty creeps, the tired staff, the ridiculous prices tags on the plush toys or the fact that the castle is ironically not even made out of real bricks; that stuff is only visible to adult eyes. And maybe if I took my own kids to Disneyland when they were small and they got all caught up in the magic of it all, then that stuff wouldn't matter to me either, but as an adult with two older children, Disneyland to me now is just not very alluring.
However, in saying that, I cannot deny that I too am a cog in the Disney machine because I have definitely poured quite a lot of my own money into their franchise over the years. I have seen so many Disney movies it's crazy, probably all of them if the truth be told. I can even recall seeing my first Disney blockbuster on the big screen. It was the 1959 version of Sleeping Beauty which was being rebooted when I was in Grade 2 at primary school. I was absolutely terrified of Maleficent, I literally had nightmares for days, and since then I have gone to the movies to see dozens of Disney films, and loved them entirely.
So, perhaps the lure of going to Disneyland may have ebbed for me as an adult, but the lure of a good Disney flick certainly has not, because I indulged in one again just last night. Ah, Disney...you've got some strong magic at work there haven't you? The lure is actually much stronger than any of us realises if the truth be told.
Release Date: 2019
Running Time: 128 Mins
This live-action musical fantasy directed by Guy Ritchie and based on Disney's 1992 animation of the same name, was surprisingly better than I had anticipated that it was going to be. The film still follows the original Middle-Eastern folktale from the One Thousand and One Nights, but there is something fresh and fun going here. I don't know if it was the Bollywood vibe, Guy Ritchie's unique style of direction, the creative use of characters or all of the above, but this is definitely another Disney success in my mind.
Aladdin, a street urchin (or as he is referred to in the story - street rat) falls in love with the beautiful, but clearly out of his league, Princess Jasmine. He comes into contact with a magic lamp that houses a magical Genie that offers Aladdin three wishes and a chance to change his station in life. However, Aladdin is not the only one that knows about the power of the lamp, and the conniving Royal Vizier Jafar has sinister ideas of his own to put into play.
The costumes and sets in this film are so inspired and gorgeous, they make the whole film feel lush. Will Smith, who had enormous shoes to fill following Robin Williams' epic efforts on the animated version, just shines as the Genie and delivers perfectly with lots of charisma and genuine flare. Mena Massoud is a very likeable Aladdin and Naomi Scott is simply stunning as Princess Jasmine. I really wasn't expecting to like this, but I really did and dare I say that I liked it far more than the original animated version as well.
FINAL SAY: A Whole New World
3 Chilli Peppers