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  • Reader argues that the new Disney remakes are worth the hype. 

If you grew up in the 1990’s or early 2000s, chances are your childhood movie list consisted of many Disney movies, which were iconic and decade-defining.

It’s quite pleasant to see how these movies were watched by households all over the world, irrespective of region, race or other differences and how it still resonates with a whole generation of people, without losing its initial charm.

The Disney formula combined with their catchy musical numbers ensured fun for the whole family. Their legacy has lasted over the years. Whether you were looking for a heartwarming story like the Toy Story movie franchise, or movies that tackled deeper issues like Mulan and Lion King, there is something for every kind of audience.

Disney took a big step in 2009 by debuting Princess Tiana as the first African-American Disney princess and it’s safe to say that they had taken a step in the right direction. Their decision to include a black princess made their movies more inclusive and opened doors to directing movies about other cultures and themes. In Coco; one of Disney’s recent soon-to-be classics, we can see cultural diversity.

Disney has begun reviving their classics by releasing live-action reboots of the classic films. However, are these just mere attempts to capitalise on our nostalgia or do these re-releases have a purpose?

The live-action adaptation of Aladdin, which is still currently running in the theatres in the UAE and around the world, has grossed over $700 million (Dh 2,791,603,151), but how different is it really from the original, and what factors have contributed to the success apart from the role of A-List star Will Smith as the Genie?

Firstly, Aladdin’s timeless tale of love and betrayal set in the fictional Middle Eastern kingdom of Agrabah was one of the perfect choices for a live-action adaptation due to the potential it had to capture the visual beauty of this story. Secondly, one of the biggest criticisms against the original was the misrepresentation of Arab culture and the white cast, which was chosen to voice the iconic characters. In this movie, the producers changed that.

The cast of the reboot cast includes Egyptian-Canadian actor Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Tunisian-Dutch actor Marwan Kenzari as Jafar, Indian-English actress Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine, Iranian-American actor Navid Negahban as Sultan and Iranian-American actress Nasim Pedrad as Dalia.

With more reboots such as The Lion King coming up later this year, we, as the audience, must support Disney in their attempt to right their previous mistakes and showcase their magic once again to a new generation.

- The reader is a student based in Dubai