Aladdin is a lovable street urchin who meets Princess Jasmine, the beautiful daughter of the sultan of Agrabah. While visiting her exotic palace, Aladdin stumbles upon a magic oil lamp that unleashes a powerful, wisecracking, larger-than-life genie. As Aladdin and the genie start to become friends, they must soon embark on a dangerous mission to stop the evil sorcerer Jafar from overthrowing young Jasmine’s kingdom.
Plot: A kind-hearted street urchin and a power-hungry Grand Vizier vie for a magic lamp that has the power to make their deepest wishes come true.
Director: Guy Ritchie
Aspect Ratio: 2.39.1
Runtime: 128 min
Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: Aladdin retells its classic source material’s story with sufficient spectacle and skill, even if it never approaches the dazzling splendor of the animated original.
“Prompted nostalgia for adults and a new wonder for children.”
This movie was shot with Arri Alexa Mini & SXT cameras and shot in 2.8 & 3.4k with a final of a 2k Digital Intermediate. As per the norm with UHD releases, it was also given a HDR color grade for your viewing pleasure in HDR10. When it comes to the grain levels, there’s a light layer present from time to time — but mostly, you will have a clean digital image throughout.
I feel like I tend to repeat myself time and time again when it comes to Disney’s 4K home entertainment releases. Once again you have a jump in all aspects over the Blu-ray, but not by any leaps and bounds. You will see more sharpness and fine detail with most character close-ups, not only in the facial detail — which boasts pores and imperfections (or lack thereof), but in textural upgrades on the elaborate wardrobe’s seen inside the palace. This rolls all the way down to the little things being more apparent like the shimmer of jewelry or the presence of dust and dirt.
The 4K disc will also add deeper colors through the use of HDR. You will see this in the various blues on Genie to start with — alias, the difference between dim-cave lighting and out in the warm sun in the middle of the desert. You will notice the depth and contrast when the sun hits a scene perfectly, or again (like mentioned above) on the elaborate wardrobe’s seen inside the palace, especially on Princess Jasmine.
This is a pretty solid 4K UHD disc, but it’s nothing to marvel about.
I only jotted down two highlights and that was Chapter 7’s “You Ain’t Never Had a Friend Like Me” sequence and again near the end of the movie in Chapter 15. The musical sequence has great color and contrast against the darkness of the cave with noticeable HDR enhancements to the lighting + detail and sharpness. The final scene in the movie has great natural lighting from the sun rising on the courtyard. Here the highlight is HDR again with natural colors looking great on everything the sunrise touches.
Like I mentioned in my review of Dumbo: “I grew up in the 90’s, so I was bred on Disney. It’s crazy to me that they are taking all the classic films and making them into modern movies… they’re just getting started with this phase of them too.” Aladdin, for me is higher on the list than Dumbo both in the animated and the new take in 2019. They did a good job adding new context while still holding true to the original film. The movie is honestly better than I thought it was going to be.
Overall, I enjoyed this film and I think you will too if you took the time to read this. The 4K UHD disc is the best way to watch this even though the improvements aren’t shattering. I’m still waiting for Disney to drop a reference grade presentation — they certainly have the money to do it.
More Disney reviews are on the way! October lineup includes both Toy Story 4 & The Lion King set to release in 4K, so tune back in for more on that next month. On another note all the Pixar movies just dropped in 4K + Maleficent to come at the end of September and Frozen in October.
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