Aladdin: Special Edition
Aladdin" continued Disney's hot streak of family friendly but witty animated classics that broke box office records. Unfortunately, the magic was to last for a couple more movies. No small part of the success of "Aladddin" can be attributed to the songwriting team of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman. Menken and Ashman (who also wrote the winning songs for "Beauty and The Beast" and "Little Shop of Horrors"). Also, the witty self assured direction, like that of "Beauty and The Beast", helped define a hip, new Disney that had something for everyone.
So what's the difference between the "Special Editon" and the "Special Edition Gift Set". Plenty but as to whether it's worth the extra cost depends on how much of a fan you are of the film. The "Special Edition" comes only with the DVDs (the featurettes and documentaries are discussed below). The "Special Edition Gift Set" comes with all that plus six original illustrations on heavy stock of characters from the film. You also get a deluxe book that's housed in a slipcase. It's very nice, indeed. Now, if I were Disney I also would have included the soundtrack and also made this edition a numbered, limited edition. While it might grow in value until the next generation of disc players come out and this is re-released yet again for Blu-Ray discs, it would have been better for fans to do a limited numbered edition. Oh, and I forgot the film frame from the original movie.
"Aladdin" looks great on DVD with sharp, clear images and bright, vivid colors. I didn't detect any analog or digital blemishes worth noting. The Disc looks even better than the laserdisc version issued nearly a decade ago and worlds better than the VHS with crisper, clearer sound and a much cleaner more vivid (and colorful)picture. The "Disney Enhanced" 5.1 soundtrack actually improves the dialogue and songs giving them better clarity and added presence.
The extras are a mixed bag but most of them are well worth having. There's deleted scenes presented in rough pencil animation, deleted songs highlighted by the terrific "Proud of Your Boy". Clay Aiken sings a version of the song for a music video. We also get "A Whole New World" performed by the dipsy duo of Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson. The two hour "A Diamond in the Rough" is a fascinating glimpse behind-the-scenes of this marvelous movie. We also get to see scenes from the deleted storyline for the film. Pop-up trivia facts can also be programmed to play on the DVD player as well. The two audio commentary tracks feature the directors and producer of the film while the second has some very funny commentary from the various character animators involved in the film.
"Aladdin's Magic Carpet Ride" is the best of the extras included here. It's actually not a game per se but a magic carpet ride that's best experienced on as big a TV as possible with the lights out. It's as close to a thrill ride ever presented on home video. "Inside the Genie's Lamb" is a mildly interesting and entertaining glimpse into the Genie's habitat. We also get "Genie World Tour". This bit of whimsy is fun and Disney directors actually entertained the notion of putting it on during the end credits at one time. It's clever and a witty short. "3 Wishes Game" might keep little ones entertained once or twice although some little ones will need help operating the DVD remote to play the game. Parents stay close by so the kids don't throw the remote at the TV in frustration. You can also select your favorite "A
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
I hope my daughter is more discerning than Jasmine...
Okay, I have to say I am a little disappointed by this one. While the animation, songs and celebrity voices are GREAT, I do not believe that the moral- TO BE YOURSELF- is presented in a way that is clearly discernable to children (especially the younger ones) without some help from a parent. Part of the reason for this is that Aladdin goes FAR BEYOND just pretending to be something he isn't- a wealthy prince, rather than a pauper- to impress princess Jasmine. He ends up LYING to her about every aspect of his life, multiple times throughout the film with virtually no consequences. In fact, there were so many lies that it made me wonder HOW Jasmine could still fall in love with him! I think I would like my own daughter to be a little more discerning! I am also somewhat bothered that Aladdin (and his monkey Abu) are portrayed as stealing food / thieves at the beginning of the movie, again without consequences. They reason that it is okay to steal the food because you "gotta eat to live, gotta steal to eat." There is even a song about it, as well as a very lively sequence in which they are running away from the "authorities" to avoid punishment. And of course, they do avoid punishment... I don't want my kids to think stealing is okay under ANY circumstances. Maybe Aladin should get a job... :)
Now I don't like overanalyzing Disney. But at the same time I try very hard to teach my children traditional, conservative values. I don't appreciate any film that undermines the basics- stealing and lying are not okay and there are consequences for these actions in the real world-- at least there are when you're 3...
4 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Aladdin Special Editon DVD
Aladdin is one of the best movies Disney put out. With breathtaking scenes and beautiful songs, it it such a classic. Like the Academy Award winning song "A Whole New World" you feel like you're in a new world. Plus...Robin Williams as the voice of the Genie...can you ask for more? From a street rat coming up as a prince is such a beautiful story. I highly recommend it! 5 stars!
Disney did it again! They topped their previous best
So many great things I could say here, but not enough time to do it justice. Disney really hit a home run on this one. I bought the 2 Disc Special Edition Aladdin DVD set here on Ebay because Aladdin is currently in the Disney Vault. My 4 year old daughter has watched nearly every Disney animated movie they have made.
In fact we own or have owned all of them at some point. The one absolute must have classic is Aladdin. Well, Mom and Dad hit a home run by acquiring Aladdin for her.
She will not stop watching it. She just loves it. I poked around a little with the bonus disc but have not yet had the time to really get into its contents. Anyway, you cant go wrong buying this DVD. Due to my kids being very harsh with DVDs I installed this one on our home media DVR. Its wireless so all 6 of my kids can watch it whenever they want. We have a total of 6 working often used Television sets in the house so being able to watch the Disney movies on demand is always a very nice thing. If you have a big family you should look into it.
Jason Nicholson Aloha Beaverton Hillsboro Cornelius Oregon
Another Timeless Movie
My children have loved Aladdin since the first time we rented it. It is truly another timeless movie, and helps to teach children about honesty. This is a movie with a touch of the magical, that helps expand imaginations. I love Robin Williams as the Genie, he is hilarious. With a magic carpet, and all of the colorful characters such as Abu the monkey, Raja the tiger, Jafar the evil sorcerer who wants to take over the World, this movie keeps you on the edge of your seat, and holds your attention. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend you do, especially if you have young children. My children are now teens, and they still enjoy it. I purchased it for them, and plan to keep it for my grandchildren if I ever have any. If not, I know I will take it out and watch it myself occasionally.