From the moment the blue Will Smith appeared in the first look at Guy Ritchie's live-action remake of Disney's Aladdin, fans have been dubious.
In later clips, it emerged he is always blue, and people were a bit happier about the whole thing, but then word came that the first footage show at CinemaCon last month was... not great.
One critic called it ‘nightmare fuel’.
It featured Smith performing the classic 'Friend Like Me' song, penned by the legendary Alan Menken and peformed by the iconic Robin Williams.
Smith's number involved beatbox, and it gave some cause for concern.
And while Smith has taken it all very well – he's said he finds the internet memes 'funny' – there's now more divisive material emanating from the Mouse House.
A clip of the 'Prince Ali' song has been unleashed via IGN, and it's left many wondering why Smith isn't really.... doing anything.
— IGN (@IGN) May 14, 2019
Sure, he throws his arms around a bit, but compared with Robin Williams' frenetic (and yes, animated, but there's CGI these days) style, it feels a tad flat.
I hate how little Will Smith Genie does in the scene. In the original, Genie is constantly shifting from place to place, morphing into kids and men and women to hype up Prince Ali. Was it so difficult to use some of your cg budget into making Will smith actually use his powers?
— Vincent Xerez (@StarMech_V) May 14, 2019
"🎵Now try your best to stay calm🎵" YEAH NOT A LOOMING ISSUE BRO GOT THAT COVERED
— Glen Weldon (@ghweldon) May 14, 2019
it's not like it's impossible for this to be done live-action??? the Broadway version got it right and they can literally only use a small theater stage.https://t.co/F4AKy6GdgD
— 頴娃ガールズ応援団長あり吉ԅ( ˘ω˘ԅ) (@nanairomiso) May 14, 2019
Aladdin doesnt look great 😔 prince ali looks SO boring & slow & autotuned & i dont know how it can fail this hard when its an incredible broadway show (for live action reference)
— kate (@katedriver) May 14, 2019
Seeing that clip of will smith singing Prince Ali made me feel like this: pic.twitter.com/uWHO77eLFy
— Scarlett (@ScarlettKingdom) May 14, 2019
That said, some fans have rallied behind a specific change in the song's lyrics.
Ok I just realized the new #Aladdin movie changed the lyric from "Brush up your Sunday Salaam" to "Brush up your Friday Salaam" because Muslims' holy day is Friday and this detail means I now have to go out and support this movie https://t.co/rDPejjiZVS
— Meha Ahmad (@Meha) May 14, 2019
Not going to lie, I'm happy to see some representation. Familiar looking surroundings and clothing to my culture. Also, very happy that they changed the Sunday Salaam to Friday Salaam! https://t.co/YnUQ85aE0Q
— Dr. Zara (@_copperpoet) May 14, 2019
But it seems that whatever it does, Ritchie's Aladdin will not be able to please everyone, so it faces something of an impossible task ahead.
We'll find out how it stands up to the original on May 22.