Disney’s live-action remake of Aladdin has still yet to hit theaters, but many fans of the original are already incredibly disappointed with Will Smith‘s turn as the Genie.
This week, Disney released a preview clip from the movie, which premieres on May 24. In it, the Genie sings the popular song ‘Prince Ali’ while Aladdin himself, disguised as a prince, is ushered through town in the middle of a parade.
But whereas the musical number was an exciting comedic high point of the original animated film, many fans are saying this version falls flat and is lacking energy.
A whole new… movie! Disney released a new preview clip from the upcoming Aladdin movie, which premieres May 24
Fabulous he! Will Smith, as the Genie, performs Prince Ali during a parade
Genuflect, show some respect! The moment includes a big musical number and the introduction of Aladdin as Prince Ali
Now, try your best to stay calm! Unfortunately, not everyone is impressed by Will’s take on the song and the scene as a whole
Disney has been dribbling hints and sneak peaks at the upcoming film leading up to its release next week — and while many people are excited for it to hit theaters, some are doubtful that Will Smith will live up to the very high bar set by Robin Williams, who originally voiced the role.
And the new preview clip has only fanned the flames of discontent.
The one-minute video shows just the beginning of the musical number, as the Genie begins singing at the beginning of Prince Ali’s parade.
Yet from that short clip, social media critics have found a lot lacking, calling it ‘boring,’ ‘underwhelming,’ and even ‘horrendous.’
‘Wow! It’s like the original but way more boring and lacking in energy or exaggeration? Who would’ve thought that getting rid of animation would get rid of the creativity too?’ tweeted one.
‘Have they ever seen Aladdin? This song is one of the hype but the scene is shot so slowly wheres the hype wheres the /life/ why is this a thing cmon now,’ complained another.
Mighty is he! Critics are calling it ‘boring,’ ‘underwhelming,’ and even ‘horrendous’
Lousy with loyalty! Many are saying the new scene doesn’t compare to the one in the original
‘This has the same energy of a chili’s staff ‘happy birthday’ song,’ quipped one user.
Some said that much as they like Will Smith, they weren’t impressed. One tweeted: ‘I like Will Smith, and have fond childhood memories of Aladdin, but this just doesn’t work.’
And others said it’s not entirely his fault, since no one could live up to Robin Williams’ performance.
‘Will Smith’s singing is passable, but Robin Williams’ singing is still the gold standard. Also, the way this song is shot is bland as hell. Just compare the animated version with the live action version and you’ll see the difference,’ wrote one.
‘Wow, you can really see that without Robin Williams this song lands flat,’ wrote another.
‘They released the live action Prince Ali from Aladdin. I had low expectations but I didn’t expect to get all teary eyed and spend it missing Robin Williams so much. This just reminds me of what an astounding talent Robin was. I think they should have made this a rap song instead,’ tweeted one more.
What will your pleasure be? Others just said it’s lacking in excitement and humor
Of course, not everyone is totally hating on the clip, and some have rushed to its defense.
‘I don’t know why people are complaining so much. This doesn’t look THAT bad and it could be a lot worse,’ wrote one. ‘What people forget is these remakes aren’t supposed to mirror their predecessor to a tee, but rather build off the foundation set by the original to make something new.’
And another: ‘As someone whose favorite Disney animated movie is Aladdin, I actually really like this lol.’
Unfortunately, though, this isn’t the first bit of internet backlash that Disney and Will Smith have faced since promotional material for the movie was first released.
In December, the first promotional photos hit the internet via Entertainment Weekly — and some vocal fans were furious that the character wasn’t blue.
Chill out! But some have come to Will Smith’s defense, saying it looks good
Flashback: Robin Williams voiced the Genie in the original animated film
Against it from the get-go: Fans rebelled when the first images were released and show the Genie without blue skin
Can’t win: But when the trailer showed a blue-skinned genie, fans weren’t happy, either
The outcry was so loud that Will responded on social media, writing: ‘(and yes, I’m gonna be BLUE! 🙂 This is how the Genie is in Human / Disguise Form. My character will be CGI most of the movie.’
But then in February, when the first trailer was released, other fans were disappointed with how a blue Will Smith looked on screen.
The internet was flooded with memes comparing him to the Infinty Stones-empowered Marvel Comics supervillain Thanos and the 10ft-tall human-Na’vi hybrids in James Cameron’s 2009 sci-fi flick Avatar.
For his part, Will called the memes funny and said, ‘Everything is under such critical scrutiny. I came up in an era where there was no Internet. It’s a new thing that I’m trying to get a handle on.’