Weekend Watch – History & Behind-the-Scenes of Aladdin

Welcome to Weekend Watch, a recurring feature where we highlight some of the best geek-related videos around the web. Whether it’s short films, behind-the-scenes clips, video essays, or top 10 countdowns, the only requirement is that they are about our favorite geeky topics!

(Warning: This post contains mild spoilers for 2019’s Aladdin. You can find our spoiler-free review here. However, if you’re familiar with the story, you should be fine until the end.)

In this edition of Weekend Watch, we’re digging into the origins of Aladdin before going behind the scenes of the 2019 remake. First up, we have an honest trailer for the 1992 film as a nice palate cleanser. Next, we have a cool video on the history of the folklore on which the movies are based. After that, we have a feature-length documentary on the making of the original animated classic.

Following this, we have a video essay that explores the larger ramifications Aladdin had on animated films as a whole. After that, we’ll dive into a duo of videos that go behind the scenes of the new remake. Finally, we’ll close things out with a video that details the best and worst changes in 2019’s Aladdin.

Aladdin (1992) Honest Trailer

First up, we have the Honest Trailer for Aladdin, which of course comes from Screen Junkies. Although this video is a few years old, it’s a nice hilarious refresher on the animated Disney film.

The True Story of Aladdin

Next, we have a video from Inside Edition that takes a look at the true history behind the story of Aladdin. Based on the often told tale that is One Thousand and One Nights (aka The Arabian Nights), Disney’s version is only part of the rich history behind the folklore. Using a cultural historian Arafat Razzaque as a guide, the video gives us a quick breakdown of how it became popularized. While this video only touches on Aladdin mythology, it’s important for context moving forward.

The Making Of Aladdin (1992) – A Diamond in the Rough & A Whole New World

Now that we know more about where the story came from, it’s a good time to look at a nice documentary about making 1992’s Aladdin. Courtesy of Sean Dudley, this is a studio-approved, feature-length documentary titled A Diamond in the Rough. It chronicles every aspect of the original film’s production; from it’s troubled beginnings to its rise as a modern animated classic.

How Aladdin Changed Animation (By Screwing Over Robin Williams)

Now that we have some context on the original film, this video from Lindsay Ellis expands upon Aladdin’s animation influence. Although the original film was heavily marketed using Robin Williams’ star power, he didn’t want that to be the case. Despite an agreement that his likeness wouldn’t be used to sell merchandise, Disney did just it regardless of his wishes. This led to a rift between Williams and the Mouse House, one that would ultimately change the face of animation forever. Overall, this brilliant video essay perfectly encapsulates why most animated movies are a dime a dozen in the modern age.

Aladdin (2019) Behind The Scenes

Transitioning to the live-action remake of Aladdin, we have a behind-the-scenes featurette thanks to Hollywoodstreams. In the video, Will Smith, Naomi Scott, and Mena Massoud discuss the difficulties of adapting the film into live-action. This featurette offers insight into their interpretation of the characters. More importantly, Smith also addresses the elephant in the room – his approach to stepping into a role made famous by Williams. Additionally, the video also covers Scott’s performance of a new song called “Speechless.”

Aladdin (2019) B-Roll

Next, we have a video with over eleven minutes of B-roll footage that comes via FilmIsNow. This gives a fly-on-the-wall look at the making of Guy Ritchie’s 2019 remake. Starting off in Jordan’s famous Wadi Rum Desert, the video showcases with Aladdin’s stunning location photography. After this, we’re privy to some of the impressive practical sets, stunts and choreography, as well as the outstanding production design & costuming. Despite what you might think about the validity or effectiveness of the movie itself, the technical elements are worth watching this for alone.

10 Best and Worst Changes In Disney’s Live-Action Aladdin

Finally, our last video from Flicks and the City delves into light spoiler territory. With that said, the video covers Smith’s alternate take on Genie, the chemistry between the actors, and Scott’s performance as highlights. The contentious changes to Jafar are also heavily covered here. The video makes some good points, but Jafar is clearly a far weaker character in the remake.

What are your thoughts on Aladdin and it’s 2019 live-action remake? Make sure to let us know in the comment section below!