So, this is the second set of these posts for Heap, where I highlight reviews (or posts) that ended up being the most popular across a certain span of time, and today I’m aiming for the one that covers the second 6 months of The Review Heap in action.
I’m actually a little early,and I’ve actually doubled up on November BUT, Nov – April is 6 months at least, and I want a bit of space between this post and a future, similar one due in June 😀
Below, you can see a list of the ones that got the most traffic – though I may or may not have done the best job in expressing myself in them.
Disney has seemingly always lumbered along plundering fairy and folk tales, sometimes egregiously and other times in a more transformative, artistic manner, and they’ve been a giant in the animation world for probably more than 70 years* now.
Ups and downs coloured that dominance of course and Aladdin landed during one of those ‘ups’ – during a mighty resurgence in popularity after the hit-and-miss period that was most of the 1980s.
Aladdin is noteworthy in Disney history for several reasons that I’m sure everyone is pretty much aware of – featuring Disney’s first non-European Princess, home to some killer songs and the knock-out performance of Robin Williams too, and also good enough in the eyes of the bean counters to get a remake this year.
Aside from those things, it’s a great story that seems equal parts One Thousand and One Nights and Roman Holiday.There’s memorable characters (not in the least being Jafar), a fantastic fictional desert setting, top notch use of vivid colour, animation and fascinating early CGI in some parts. (I know Pixar’s Toy Story gets a lot of attention as early innovators with CGI and obviously the technology pre-dates both films but that carpet ride was a big thrill in the cinema as a kid – looking back now I can almost see the theme-park ride tie-in :D).
For me, this Disney film has a great balance between comical sidekicks, music, romance, actual heroics, sacrifice and villainy, though if you’ve never seen Aladdin you won’t find any curveballs re: the overall story nor the tone, but it just feels like every aspect hits spot on. And following the success of The Little Mermaid audiences were no doubt more than willing to give it a chance (the monster-performance at the Box Office played that out too).
But, to jump back to that magic carpet ride before I finish, I think it’s a really perfectly-executed escape scene, from the pacing to the direction, the dramatic lighting and even the little break in tension for a spot of humour when Abu is clinging to Aladdin’s face, everything works for me:
And a final note, Robin Williams reportedly improvised heaps of material, allowing the team to pick and choose the bits they liked best, but here’s a classic song from Genie instead 😀
*And a studio for longer, just with smaller beginnings when compared to say, the big hit that was Sleeping Beauty.