Top positive review
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Fans, our wishes have been granted.
on October 13, 2015
Watching now as I type, I saw Aladdin as a kid in the theater, and it has been one of my favorite Disney movies since. I can safely say, this new Blu-ray doesn't disappoint.
Aladdin looks great in HD! The standard definition DVD looked good, but suffered from some noticeable compression artifacts when viewed on a 1080p TV, especially in the opening sequence. These issues are thankfully gone, allowing the colors to breathe with vibrancy and less of a "digital" appearance. Detail and sharpness are greatly improved; this is easily the best the film has ever looked.
The audio has been upgraded to DTS-HD 7.1. Again, an improvement from the original 5.1 (even if purists may frown upon the fact that the original track is not included). The remix brings a very immersive, organic experience from things like crowd noise in the marketplace to the quiet moments when the music takes precedence. The biggest highlight of course is when the Genie debuts; his powers are a sonic hurricane. There's a reason this film was nominated for Best Sound and Sound Effects Editing at the '93 Academy Awards.
Along with the "classic extras" ported over from the first DVD release, we get some welcome new additions that emphasize paying tribute to Robin Williams and the new Broadway musical: There's "Aladdin: Creating Broadway Magic"; an 18-minute featurette on the creation of the musical production. "Unboxing Aladdin" is an overview of some 'Easter eggs' included in the film, and "Genie 101" is an explanation of the pop-culture references. Both of these last two are targeted to appeal to children, but to be honest, I enjoyed them. I was born in the 80s, so the Ed Sullivan and Peter Lorre impersonations flew over my head back when the film came out.
The big highlight of this Blu-ray are the "Genie Outtakes" - 9 more minutes of Robin Williams improvisations that are pretty funny; we get to see more character impersonations and gags accompanied by animated storyboards. I won't spoil it, but there's an alternate take of Genie after he rescues Aladdin, after he used his second wish that had me laughing hysterically! I presume it was dropped for not being very "G-rated."
The results do not disappoint, and I think Disney both fulfilled and exceeded expectations with this highly-anticipated Blu-ray release!