These Disney live-action remakes are very hit or miss right now. The Cinderella and The Jungle Book remakes were both very well done but Beauty and the Beast and Dumbo have been more misses than hits so far. What happens with the other two remakes later this year is very much up in the air. The first one they previewed is for Aladdin.
We appear to be seeing a slightly edited version of the Cave of Wonders scene. We see Aladdin and Abu making their way through the cave and toward the lamp. We see Abu reach for the giant red ruby and the cave collapse in on itself. The collapse, it should be noted, it a lot more terrifying looking in this version. Aladdin rubs the lamp and we see the Genie emerge for the first time. He starts out with a big booming voice declaring wishes and masters but that doesn't last long. Now it's time for a song and we jump into "Never Had a Friend Like Me".
Will Smith is not quite singing here but he isn't raping either. It's more of a combination of the two. The tempo is different and it's a little different to hear his voice with this character. However, the scene is bright and cheerful and very much feels like something we would see in classic Disney. We then cut to an extended trailer which shows off some more new footage including what looks like a giant monster version of Iago. We never hear Iago speak though.
Much like these other remakes, it's less than someone is bad for the role as we the audience need to accept that someone else is playing it. As the clip went on you almost settle into hearing Smith singing a song we are used to hearing from the late Robin Williams. Aladdin will be released on May 24th.
This also rings true for The Lion King. The clip opens with a young Simba running out to the end of Pride Rock at dawn and trying to wake his parents. Sarabi says "your son is awake" to a sleeping Mufasa who replies "before sunrise he's your son." We then get to see Mufasa explain to Simba in the "everything the light touches is our kingdom" and the "circle of life" speech. It's a little different hearing the lines from Simba because they sound so different but the animation is truly stunning. We get a great look at Zazu and get to hear a little voice work from John Oliver who honestly could not be more perfect for this role. This movie truly looks stunning and seems like it's going to be really cute. The Lion King will be released on July 19th.
Finally, Disney showed off a little bit of footage and a behind-the-scenes featurette for Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. At the moment we don't know anything about this movie and this featurette explains a lot. We hear Queen Ingrith in the background talking and asks Maleficent if King Stefan "died or was killed?" to which she replies, "both". In this movie, Aurora gets engaged to Phillip and that is what kicks off the plot Maleficent doesn't trust humans that much and is a mother figure to Aurora. Now we have Queen Ingrith played by Michelle Pfeiffer who knows just which of Maleficent's buttons to push.
Aurora, meanwhile, is straining against the idea of having to act like a regular royal. Jolie poses the question in her interview: "In this film, we pose the question: is Maleficent good enough to be Aurora's mother?" The inciting incident appears to be when Ingrith says to Maleficent's face that she wants to give Aurora a "real family" and "make her one of my own". Maleficent explodes with power and things are likely going to go downhill from there. We should see more from this movie sooner rather than later. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil will be released on October 18th.