Will Smith's 'nightmare fuel' blue genie in 'Aladdin' splits critics

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Will Smith in Aladdin (Credit: Disney)

The first look at Will Smith’s blue genie in Aladdin was met with not a little mockery when it was revealed in February.

Then, when the full trailer for Guy Ritchie’s re-imagining of the classic Disney cartoon arrived, the prognosis improved slightly. Smith wasn’t blue throughout, and maybe everything was going to be OK.

Read more: The mockery of Will Smith’s blue genie is very real

But it could be that we’re back to where we started, after initial footage was shown to an audience at CinemaCon in Las Vegas.

Critics seem pretty split after the being treated to Smith’s interpretation of the classic Friend Like Me musical number, made famous by Robin Williams in the original, and where the genie and Aladdin first get acquainted.

Let’s just say it involves beat box…






That said, some appreciated the number’s energy, and noted how much better it now looks having been given some additional VFX work.



Unfortunately, the footage dropped on the same day as another iconic Disney remake, Jon Favreau’s retooled take on The Lion King, which appears to have dumbfounded all who bore witness to it.

In a good way.





Aladdin lands on May 22, with The Lion King arriving on July 19.