Fun Facts Behind Disney's Aladdin Live Action Remake

By 5/22/2019 02:39:00 PM

This week it's all about Disney's Aladdin, since this live action remake flies into theaters nationwide on May 24, 2019! I attended a screening and wanted to highlight a few fun facts about bringing the animated classic into a modern live setting. Because Walt Disney Studios really did an amazing visual job with Disney's Aladdin.

Note: I was invited as media to the movie screening. However any personal views expressed are always 100% my own.

Bringing World of Disney's Aladdin Alive

  • Set decoration for Agrabah included fabrics, textiles and carvings similar to those found in Marrakesh, lots of colorful woods, metals, fruits and vegetables and a 1,000-year-old olive tree.
  • The “Prince Ali” musical sequence is the biggest production number in the film with 250 dancers and 200 extras. Costume designer Michael Wilkinson and his team created more than 200 costumes from scratch just for the extras.
  • Production designer Gemma Jackson, who won an Emmy Award® for her production design work on “Game of Thrones,” was tasked with bringing Agrabah to life. She envisioned the city as a gateway to the Eastern world with a vibrant array of colors, cultures and sounds. Her inspirations came primarily from Moroccan, Persian and Turkish architecture and featured elements of Arab, Indian and South Asian cultures, since Agrabah is an Arab country on the Silk Road where cultural influences from other cultures in the regions could be found.

Behind Disney's Aladdin Film Set Design

  • The bed in Jasmine’s bedroom was doubled in size to accommodate both the princess and her tiger Rajah. The accompanying bedspread was hand-embroidered in Pakistan to honor Jasmine’s late mother’s kingdom of Shehrabad, which is based in South Asia.
  • Aladdin’s sidekick Abu, while entirely digital, was based on a Capuchin monkey
  • The 30-foot yellow flower camel on which Prince Ali arrives at the palace was made from 37,000 flower heads and took 15 model makers three weeks to build.

Behind Disney's Aladdin Visual Effects

  • The Cave of Wonders was created via a combination of practical sets and VFX work. The cavernous interiors were built on soundstages at Longcross Studios and included an enormous lion’s head at the cave’s entrance and artificial rock formations covered with jewels and miscellaneous treasures. Set decorator Tina Jones sourced jewels from across the region as they are quite colorful, sparkling and bright. Some were recast in rubber and placed on the floor of the cave so the cast and crew could walk comfortably.
  • Almost every type of VFX work was utilized on “Aladdin,” including character animation, performance capture, set extensions, digital environments and FX simulations.
  • Visual effects supervisor Chas Jarrett built a 6-axis hydraulic platform for use in the flying carpet sequence in “A Whole New World.” The rig on which Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott sat was controlled by a hand-operated input device which moved hundreds of metallic pins up and down and from side to side against a blue screen with pre-filmed backgrounds.


A thrilling and vibrant live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic, “Aladdin” is the exciting tale of the charming street rat Aladdin, the courageous and self-determined Princess Jasmine and the Genie who may be the key to their future.

The film stars Will Smith as the Genie; Mena Massoud as Aladdin; Naomi Scott as Jasmine; Marwan Kenzari as Jafar; Navid Negahban as the Sultan; Nasim Pedrad as Dalia and Billy Magnussen as Prince Anders.

Directed by Guy Ritchie, who brings his singular flair for fast-paced, visceral action to the fictitious port city of Agrabah, “Aladdin” is written by John August and Ritchie based on Disney’s “Aladdin.”

Disney's Aladdin Official Trailer

“Aladdin” is produced by Dan Lin, p.g.a., and Jonathan Eirich, p.g.a., with Kevin De La Noy and Marc Platt serving as executive producers.

Eight-time Academy Award®-winning composer Alan Menken provides the score, which includes new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Oscar®-winning lyricists Howard Ashman and Tim Rice and includes two new songs written by Menken and lyrics by Oscar and Tony Award®-winning songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.

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