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Aladdin - A Blu Ray Review,
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This review is from: Aladdin [Blu-ray]  [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
The release of Aladdin on Blu ray is warmly welcomed by all fans of the film but it has to be said the merciless gaze of Hi-Def does the film few favours.
The simple storyline of poor thief turned prince by a helpful genie is given a fun re-telling with a more modern heroine in the stroppy princess Jasmine & the introduction of a an evil vizier. For me it's Jafar's disdainful and ruthless character that makes this as good as it is although I have to admit that where I once found Iago, his Parrot henchman, funny he is for the most part pretty irritating.
The biggest plaudits have always gone to Robin Williams rapid fire Genie. There are an awful lot of easily missed moments of comic brilliance but it's easily forgotten just how late into the film his character appears and how little screen time he actually gets.
The picture here is as crisp as you could hope for. The colours are best when a scene is lamp lit, particularly the cave of wonders which glistens with gold & purple. It has to be said though that there are one or two moments of pretty ropey animation, (the carpet ride escape from the cave is poor and seems a good excuse for a game tie-in). Colours are not always vibrant and it sometimes feels as if special effort was made for a few spectacular scenes but not everywhere. Certainly compared to Beauty & the beast this is not reference standard.
The sound is adequate but is limited by the original. The standout moment is the opening of the cave of wonders, the creature's rumbling and growling fills both front and rear speakers and adds a nice sense of danger to the scene.
Elsewhere the standout audio moments are the songs which are sharp and make following the lyrics easy. This is great because Robin Williams get's some mileage out of his tunes and in particular the `prince Ali' entrance is a real spectacle.
In all there is little for either the sub or rears to really get their teeth into. Speech is clear & well centred & music lively.
The extras are on the whole pretty poor and certainly nothing like the all singing & dancing interactive wonder that Blu Ray was 1st promised to deliver. No doubt there'll be another dip into fans pockets for a 2 disc effort in the future.
If you love `Aladdin' & it's a favourite then this gives one final polish to the lamp but if not then while there is definite improvement over the DVD it has to be said it is limited and compared to other Disney/ Pixar Blu Ray releases, ( Monster inc Toy story 3 beauty & the beast ), this is not a premier release.