Aladdin - Blu-ray Review - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 2 Old 10-12-15, 03:31 AM Thread Starter
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Aladdin - Blu-ray Review

Title: Aladdin: Diamond Edition


HTS Overall Score:96

“10,000 years will give you such a crick in the neck”! Yes, it’s been 8 years and some time in coming, but Disney has finally stopped teasing us and released the last animated classic, and by far, the BEST of the Disney animated films to date. I know some people might say that “Beauty and the Beast” holds that distinction, but no, just no, I will stick to my guns till the day I die. I grew up watching “Aladdin” every other weekend and wore out more than one VHS copy. Then I had to have EVERY iteration of the DVDs released and have been chewing and chomping at the bit ever since the Blu-ray format was introduced for this film in full HD. “Aladdin” will always hold that special place in my heart, as the acting is fantastic, Robin Williams is on top of his game, and pretty much everything from the story to the special effects just WORKS.

The land is Agrabah, and Grand Vizier Jafar (Jonathon Freeman) is up to some devilish plan. He’s found the cave of wonders in the desert of Agrabah, and desperately wants access to find a lamp hidden within. The only problem is that only a worthy person may enter, and you guessed it, he’s not worthy. Enter in Aladdin (Scott Weinger), a street rat who’s just trying to survive one day at a time. He’s a liar, a thief, and charmer, but he’s also got a heart of gold. When the Princess Jasmine of Agrabah, steals off into the city to get away from her doofus of a Sultan father (Douglas Seale), the two run into each and sparks immediately fly. Realizing that Aladdin may be his golden ticket, Jafar steals the young boy away and sends him down into the cave of wonders. As fortune may have it, Aladdin finds the lamp and ALMOST makes it out of there in one piece, if it wasn’t for his naughty monkey pal, Abu (Frank Welker), who is too enamored with the riches of the cave to head the warning that NOTHING must be touched inside BUT the lamp.

Trapped inside the cave with nowhere to go, Aladdin accidentally unleashes the Genie within the lamp (Robin Williams), who just so happens to grant him three wishes. Getting out of the cave is now a piece of cake, but head over heels in love with Jasmine, Aladdin uses up his first couple wishes turning himself into a prince so that he can court the young princess. All SHOULD have gone well, but the liar/thief just can’t help himself and continues to keep up the charade with Jasmine about his princeliness. With his head stuck so far into the sand he doesn’t see the threat of Jafar coming until it’s too late. The Grand Vizier steals the lamp before Aladdin can use his 3rd wish and transforms the loveable Genie into monster of unspeakable power, aiding him in his quest to become the despotic ruler that he’s always wanted to be.

I get chills every time I watch “Aladdin”. The movie is just so ridiculously fun and you can tell that the cast had a great time watching it. Even in the special features, the directors mention that the film was specifically written with Robin Williams in mind, but they were fearful that they wouldn’t be able to get such a high profile actor for the role. Jasmine and Aladdin make up the main character roster, but Robin Williams is the pull for kids and adults alike. The blatant grandstanding and improve work that he’s famous for shines through in every little scene he’s in, making you giggle hysterically with sheer mirth. Gilbert Gottfried, as Iago the parrot, is a close second. Gilbert’s unique voice and comedic acting style has endeared him to fans over the years and his portrayal as the bumbling but still evil parrot is spot on perfect.

One of the reasons that “Aladdin” works so well is the lessons of truth and consequences. We certainly have the good old Disney “too easy” clichés where the boy meets the girl and love is instantaneous. Add in a mix of the dumby father (the Sultan) and you have the major two tropes in any Disney movie. HOWEVER, the darker nature of the original “Aladdin” story lends itself towards some more serious themes. Specifically here we have an issue where Aladdin has lied to so many people for so long, that he really can’t seem to give it up. Even if he wants people to accept him for who he is, he has lied to himself for so long that he can’t see hope if it bit him on the foot. I will say this. “Aladdin” may not be as POLISHED as “Beauty and the Beast”, but its songs are infectious, and the overall “Arabian Nights” theme has always been a huge allure. Still my favorite Disney movie.


Rated G for General Audiences

Mmmmmmmmm, it’s been so long since I’ve seen Aladdin in Hi-Def, I forgot how dazzling the movie is. Colors abound in all variations of the rainbow. Bright splashes of primary colors sparkle and gleam from the razzle dazzle of the genie powers, intermingled with the golden sands of Agrabah. Saturation is rich and vivid, with no signs of faded colors or jaggies to mar the beautiful animation. Contrast is fantastic with amazing color tones for the animated characters. Blacks are deep and inky, with wonderful depth and dimenionsionality, with no sign of crush in site. I DID notice a bit of aliasing here and there, but I’m more inclined to think it’s the source after comparing to the all the DVD iterations I have in my collection (yes I’m a Disney nut). Detail is stunning from beginning to end, showcasing the fantastic hand drawn animation mixed with some early 90s CGI (think the cave of wonders). There’s a few tiny flaws like the aliasing to keep this from being a full 5/5, but it’s not by much. Simply wonderful transfer.

Disney’s 7.1 DTS-HD MA audio track is no slouch either. Unlike the international version of Aladdin released a couple of years ago which had only a 5.1 track, this version’s 7.1 experience is ever so slightly more encompassing, with a little more detail in the rear tracks thanks to the 2 extra channels. The dialog is clean and well defined, with wonderful channels separation in the front end. LFE is powerful and throbbing, with every magic spell the genie casts you can hear the sonic bombardment. The footsteps of Jafar, the roaring of his maelstrom spells and every crashing rock. Surround activity is varied and VERY active, allowing for a nicely immersive experience. The songs, the ambient noises, the whole whirlwind of destruction all come through with very warm surround activity, bringing the viewer directly into the center of the action. I have to give this a 100%, any less would just be insulting. Well done Disney.


Extras New to the Diamond Edition
• Audio Commentaries
• The Genie Outtakes
• Aladdin: Creating Broadway Magic
• Unboxing Aladdin
• Genie 101
• Ron & Jon: You Ain't Never Had a Friend Like Me

Classic Bonus Features
• A Diamond in the Rough: The Making of Aladdin
• Alan Menken: Musical Renaissance Man
• The Art of Aladdin: Art Review with Filmmakers' Commentary
• Deleted Songs
• Deleted Scenes
• Music Video: "Proud of Your Boy"
• Proud of Your Boy Original Story Reel
• Behind the Scenes of "Proud of Your Boy"
• Music Video: "A Whole New World"
• Behind the Scenes of "A Whole New World"
• Music Video: "A Whole New World"
• Disney Song Selection with Optional On-Screen Lyrics
• Inside the Genie's Lamp: Guided Tour
• The Genie World Tour
• Publicity: Trailers


It’s FINALLY here! The last of the great animated classics (yes we have a few older ones to do, but “Aladdin” is the last of their major blockbusters) has finally hit Blu-ray. After years of waiting it’s hear and I could not be more pleased with the results. The wait was excruciating, but now that’s it’s here we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief. The songs, the magic, the characters, the ever so slightly cheesy Disney oversimplification of things. It’s all here and in a fantastic Diamond Edition package. Audio and video are off the charts, extras are MORE than substantia and I cannot recommend this one any higher. BUY IT!

Additional Information:

Starring: Robin Williams, Linda Larkin, Scott Weinger
Directed by: Ron Clements, John Musker
Written by: Ron Clements, John Musker
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 AVC
Audio: ENGLISH: DTS-HD MA 7.1, French, Spanish DD 5.1
Studio: Disney/Buena Vista
Rated: G
Runtime: 91 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: October 13th 2015

Buy Aladdin: Diamond Edition Blu-ray on Amazon

Recommendation: Must Buy

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post #2 of 2 Old 10-12-15, 08:22 AM
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Re: Aladdin - Blu-ray Review

Thanks for the review. I believe I have this on DVD so it is a must buy for me as well for the blu ray version. Happy to read the video and audio quality are top quality.

Samsung UN75F8000 LED TV, NAD T-777 (7.2 Receiver), Oppo 103 Blu Ray Player, Sony PS4 Gaming Console, Wii U Gaming Console, Panamax MR-5100 Surge Protection, 7 Paradigm Reference series 8" in ceiling speakers (AMS-150R) - 30 degree tilting speakers, 2 Paradigm SE Sub

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