Aladdin (1992) – 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Aladdin (1992)

It’s crazy to think that Disney animation rarely made any cartoonish-type films. In other words, films that are slapstick or comedy. Then again, people didn’t think a feature-length cartoon film would work. Luckily, Disney Animation decided to prove all critics wrong with Aladdin (1992).

Now, like with most slapstick animation, the storyline is simple, the villain’s intentions are stereotypical, and only the main character develops during the film. However, Aladdin is simply more than “just a cartoon”. The message of staying true to yourself despite having the world at your fingertips is what elevates the film despite the film’s cartoonish feel.

It also helps that the music by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, and Tim Rice are all instant classics. There are indeed pop and modern qualities to these songs. At the same time, the songs have an undeniable Disney feel to them. Needless to say, how many you would put “A Whole New World” on their Mount Rushmore of iconic Disney songs? A lot of you I would imagine.

Aladdin‘s characters are also people that you love and root for. Aladdin is kind and warm with a heart of gold—despite his lapse in judgment. Jasmine is a strong capable character that doesn’t live by the typical princess stereotype. Jafar is a memorable villain—despite his stereotypical villainous ambitions.

But the key factor in making this cartoonish film work is the incomparable and legendary voice work done by Robin Williams. His eccentricity and charm are what first draws people towards the character. But the Genie has a warmth and kindness to him that makes him such a loveable character. The film doesn’t work if you don’t love the Genie. Aladdin’s sacrificing of his last wish to free the Genie solidifies his selfless characteristics which, in turn, hammers home the film’s all-important message.

Overall, Aladdin (1992) is one of the best Disney films ever made. Even after twenty-seven years, the film is still beloved by all. It’s also a film that cemented Robin Williams in the great pantheon of all-time great comedians and actors. No one can unmatch his improvisational skills and he’s a man who is still sorely missed by all.

Movie Rating: 5/5 atoms


Aladdin (1992) - Robin Williams

Aladdin (1992) hits Ultra HD Blu-ray (see it on Amazon) with an HDR transfer and a 1.66:1 aspect ratio. For a film that’s as vibrant and colorful as Aladdin, the film doesn’t feature a lot of bright areas. Even the Sultan, whose beard and costume is white, has a tan hue to them. The black levels, however, are a deep black. Aladdin and Jasmine’s hair plus Jafar’s outfit is a deep solid black. Not to mention, there’s a wide range of shadows details in the background art too.

Thanks to the HDR, the high color range accentuates the shadowing in the character animations. Although the colors in the 2D characters aren’t as rich as you might think. The colors in the background art, on the other hand, are deep and bold. But the best part about this video transfer is the stellar detail clarity. The subtlest of line drawings can be seen from afar. You’re able to see all of the painstaking work that 2D animators go through in animating this film. However, there are some drawbacks to this high level of detail clarity. Due to the film’s early use of CGI, the detail clarity can highlight the dated CGI. Overall though, this is a pretty great video transfer.

Video Rating: 4.5/5 atoms


Aladdin (1992) - Linda Larkin and Scott Weinger

Aladdin (1992) hits Ultra HD Blu-ray with a Dolby Atmos and a core 7.1 Dolby TrueHD Master Audio track. This review will reflect Aladdin (1992)’s Dolby Atmos track. Although the audio mix isn’t as playful way like its live-action counterpart, the mix is still pretty fun. First of all, the mix moves the sound effects like a wave over the soundstage. Also, there’s a high use of voices and sound effects accurately placed among the soundstage. As a result, the film adds an extra level of immersion. Even though the overhead effects rarely use overhead flying effects, the overheads consistently cover you like a dome, fully enveloping you from all over.

Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of moments where atmospherics come into play. Usually, it’s the score that plays in the background. Speaking of music, you can slightly hear the layering of instruments across the soundstage. The use of the score as an atmospheric effect is subtle yet has high fidelity to it as well. Not to mention, the dialogue and singing are all crystal clear here. Sadly, the subwoofer isn’t used a lot. There a few instances, like Abu as an elephant, where you’ll hear the subwoofer at work. Overall, this is a great mix.

Audio Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Special Features

Aladdin (1992) - Robin Williams and Scott Weinger

Aladdin (1992)’s Ultra HD Blu-ray disc doesn’t have any special features on it. However, you can find the following special features on the Blu-ray disc:

  • Aladdin on Aladdin
  • Let’s Not Be Too Hasty: The Voice of Aladdin
  • Alternate Endings
  • Classic Bonus Preview
  • The Genie Outtakes
  • Aladdin: Creating Broadway Magic
  • Genie 101
  • Ron & John: You Ain’t Never Had a Friend Like Me
  • Song Selection
    • “Arabian Nights”
    • “One Jump Ahead”
    • “One Jump Ahead Reprise”
    • “Friend Like Me”
    • “Prince Ali”
    • “A Whole New World”
    • “Prince Ali Reprise”
  • Audio Commentaries
    • Commentary by Producers/Directors John Musket and Ron Clements & Co-Producer Amy Pell
    • Commentary by Supervising Animators Andreas Deja, Will Finn, Eric Goldberg, and Glen Keane

Animator’s audio commentary is great for animation geeks and hardcore fans of the film. There’s a lot of animation references that as thrown around during the film. Also, you’ll find out about the design choices of the character designs. Director and producer’s audio commentary is for anyone trying to learn about the complexity of directing animation. Everyone gives such in-depth and informative takes into the creation and thought-process behind the making of the film.

Alternate Endings is to confirm the long-held belief that the peddler at the beginning of the film is Genie. “Genie Outtakes” is an incredibly sad and warm feature which highlights the comedic genius of Robin Williams. It’s always fun seeing all of the impressions he’s done for the film.

“Aladdin on Aladdin” is a fantastic retrospective from Scott Weinger as he talks with almost every single person vital to the success of Aladdin. All the stories are engaging to listen to. You’ll also hear Scott Weinger’s singing “Proud of Your Boy”… Which is… Interesting to say the least. “Voices of Aladdin” isn’t a featurette per se but a behind-the-scenes montage of all the voice actors voicing their respective characters in the recording booth. It’s not entirely informative but it’s still fun seeing all of the classic footage.

“Creating Broadway Magic” is an incredibly in-depth featurette about the creation of the Broadway show. From its disastrous first year in Toronto to becoming a worldwide hit, you’ll learn everything about the history of the show from the people that lived it. “Genie 101” is a Disney Channel-style featurette which shows you who the Genie impersonating in the film. Some of the impressions are dated nowadays, so the feature is good for those that are of a younger generation.

“Ron & John” has Ron Clements and John Musker talking about their 40-year collaborative relationship. Their relationship is sweet but I might not be able to forgive them for “closing” the Bob’s Big Boy in Glendale. Lastly, Song Selection isn’t exactly a jukebox but a karaoke machine instead.

Special Features Rating: 4/5 atoms

Overall, Aladdin (1992) is a Disney classic that will forever stand the test of time. That’s why it’s still beloved for over 25 years now. The video transfer and audio mix are both great, and the special features are all delightful retrospectives.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Walt Disney Home Entertainment.

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