RT Podcast

"Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong" About... Aladdin (2019)

Disney's live-action Aladdin overcame a whole blue world of worry about its digital take on the Genie to blow audience's minds: So why wasn't it everything critics wished for? We're diving in on our latest podcast.

by | May 27, 2021 | Comments


(Photo by © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection)

It seems like everyone remembers where they were when they first saw it: the first look at Will Smith as the blue genie in Disney’s live-action remake of Aladdin. There was something so seemingly “off” about the first images released of the superstar in his new, very digital, blue look that fans of the animated original balked and the Internet piled on. A Den of Geek headline read: “First look at Will Smith’s Genie Horrifies Just About Everyone.”

Listen Now: Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | TuneIn | Google Podcasts | Radio Public | Deezer | iHeart | Art19

When the movie itself was released, gaping jaws turned into wide-stretched grins: Not only was Will Smith’s genie actually kinda awesome – in motion and with effects actually completed – but Smith had done the seemingly impossible. If he didn’t quite match the iconic-ness of Robin Williams’ original animated crack at the character, he certainly made a strong impression and gave Aladdin’s wish-maker a lovable feel all his own.

Audiences ate it up, along with Guy Ritchie’s energetic direction, the lavish and bouncy musical numbers, and two star-making performances from Naomi Scott as Jasmine and Mena Massoud as Aladdin. The movie crushed at the global box office, raking in more than a billion dollars worldwide, and fans pushed its Audience Score here on Rotten Tomatoes to an epic 94%, surpassing even the super-popular Lion King “live-action” remake.

So why did critics slap 2019’s Aladdin with a Rotten 57% on the Tomatometer? And were they – and in turn we – wrong about this shining, shimmering, splendid stand-out among Disney’s crop of remakes?

That’s what we’re asking in the latest episode of Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong, where host Mark Ellis is joined by guest co-host Naz Perez, frontwoman for Rotten Tomatoes’ The Ketchup and person whose father regularly impersonated Jafar in her childhood home. (So, yes, she is kinda obsessed with the original animated film.) They’re also joined this week by Winston A. Marshall – a.k.a. host, comedian, and actor the “Swaggy Blerd” – an equally huge fan of the original movie.

Did the new film send them soaring, tumbling, and freewheeling? Or did it leave them hoping to never see a new live-action Disney flick for at least another 10,000 years – neck cricks be damned.

Check in every Thursday for a new episode of Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong (A Podcast From Rotten Tomatoes). Each week, hosts Jacqueline and Mark and guests go deep and settle the score on some of the most beloved – and despised – movies and TV shows ever made, directly taking on the statement we hear from so many fans: “Rotten Tomatoes is wrong.”

Check out some more episodes of Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong:

If you have a suggestion for a movie or show you think we should do an episode on, let us know in the comments, or email us at rtiswrong@rottentomatoes.com.

Meet the hosts

Jacqueline Coley is an editor at Rotten Tomatoes, with a focus on awards and indie coverage but with a passion for everything, from the MCU to musicals and period pieces. Coley is a regular moderator at conventions and other events, can be seen on Access Hollywood and other shows, and will not stand Constantine slander of any kind. Follow Jacqueline on Twitter: @THATjacqueline.

Mark Ellis is a comedian and contributing editor for Rotten Tomatoes. He currently hosts the Rotten Tomatoes series Versus, among others, and can be seen co-hosting the sports entertainment phenomenon Movie Trivia Schmoedown. His favorite Star Wars movie is Jedi (guess which one!), his favorite person is actually a dog (his beloved stepdaughter Mollie), and – thanks to this podcast – he’s about to watch Burlesque for the first time in his life. Follow Mark on Twitter: @markellislive.

On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.

Tag Cloud

satire ABC Signature ESPN Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Fox Searchlight rom-coms Apple TV+ talk show VICE Valentine's Day pirates of the caribbean YouTube Red 21st Century Fox FXX japanese San Diego Comic-Con tv talk TCM fast and furious french Photos social media CW Seed laika TNT Sundance Now 24 frames halloween tv breaking bad black Reality Competition franchise jurassic park TCA stoner godzilla 2017 Marvel video Sneak Peek 45 cinemax indie rotten television batman superman toronto Comedy Video Games casting ID DC streaming service superhero Family Anna Paquin strong female leads finale Tubi crime thriller disaster stop motion worst space joker Interview Nickelodeon Lifetime Christmas movies Turner SundanceTV Trivia razzies child's play mutant Red Carpet Broadway worst movies canceled TV shows DGA children's TV cancelled TV shows italian BBC America Epix Adult Swim The Witch 2019 Drama sequels BBC One dceu directors fresh The Arrangement NYCC Mystery political drama sequel saw Ghostbusters dark hispanic films Rom-Com Emmy Nominations live action Infographic The Academy streaming movies Best and Worst zombie blockbusters TCA Awards LGBT Fox News LGBTQ Crunchyroll true crime Shudder best target El Rey Awards Tour Television Academy GoT chucky cartoon Legendary BET Awards 4/20 A&E movies Set visit diversity Chernobyl reviews hist marvel cinematic universe Apple streaming Emmys crossover Character Guide APB robots international Paramount screen actors guild concert Superheroe The Walt Disney Company comic books monster movies Musicals Peacock 2015 ratings a nightmare on elm street Pop Tumblr Marvel Television Columbia Pictures sitcom nbcuniversal australia sports kong war CMT renewed TV shows Winter TV DirecTV Elton John Martial Arts Winners Academy Awards spider-man Stephen King Cosplay free movies serial killer MCU witnail TV movies movie Pacific Islander transformers aapi Western toy story Exclusive Video king kong anime new york Freeform GIFs teaser new zealand Classic Film Film venice unscripted medical drama Creative Arts Emmys Teen History Polls and Games heist movie Action romantic comedy based on movie CBS All Access festival Pop TV jamie lee curtis Crackle BET Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt book period drama boxing zombies adaptation Sony Pictures werewolf 93rd Oscars Writers Guild of America Superheroes Television Critics Association science fiction SDCC hidden camera Toys Horror Sci-Fi Extras ABC Family Mary Tyler Moore dc miniseries documentary singing competition know your critic The Purge Disney Channel remakes latino Sundance TV Mudbound south america Fantasy die hard Film Festival Oscars YA Song of Ice and Fire Watching Series versus Mary poppins Tarantino Podcast Brie Larson mockumentary ABC A24 Endgame new star wars movies CBS FOX X-Men Rocky all-time trailers RT History dogs Trailer TCA Winter 2020 See It Skip It technology cancelled television FX 71st Emmy Awards Ellie Kemper Grammys RT21 comic Mary Poppins Returns Certified Fresh Image Comics Holidays Dark Horse Comics aliens MSNBC Turner Classic Movies Rocketman doctor who Walt Disney Pictures Awards Black History Month emmy awards Funimation romance Marvel Studios New York Comic Con E3 thriller Paramount Network criterion Pirates series 2016 Esquire DC Universe Musical Hulu Ovation spanish festivals golden globes Amazon comiccon docuseries kaiju zero dark thirty TV crime Nominations comics HBO Go Vudu Countdown E! HBO game of thrones anthology Election justice league Alien football Christmas halloween archives dramedy discovery mission: impossible scorecard Warner Bros. asian-american rotten movies we love Netflix Christmas movies what to watch OneApp quibi spain ghosts harry potter universal monsters CNN Box Office adventure Mindy Kaling animated Netflix parents First Reviews FX on Hulu IFC Films binge VOD nature Amazon Prime Country WGN blaxploitation Quiz psychological thriller Arrowverse PlayStation psycho comedies OWN independent supernatural indiana jones Star Wars 007 National Geographic Biopics YouTube Premium cars Reality screenings biography TruTV Hallmark VH1 BAFTA Hear Us Out Starz TLC Nat Geo 72 Emmy Awards Showtime Masterpiece cancelled Schedule christmas movies green book BBC name the review Disney streaming service TBS Premiere Dates Lifetime richard e. Grant critics SXSW 99% USA Network game show dragons Spectrum Originals HBO Max elevated horror cops Thanksgiving video on demand Apple TV Plus award winner blockbuster Calendar deadpool spinoff ITV American Society of Cinematographers Logo Spike GLAAD PaleyFest YouTube scene in color Animation Acorn TV Food Network kids theme song Cartoon Network TV One golden globe awards james bond 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Pet Sematary cooking politics reboot classics USA Baby Yoda Travel Channel President stand-up comedy cats Disney canceled nfl TIFF Disney+ Disney Plus Super Bowl news Trophy Talk Avengers Lucasfilm Britbox book adaptation cults Spring TV Star Trek Rock popular 2020 TV renewals Disney Plus boxoffice Binge Guide Women's History Month spy thriller hollywood Holiday ViacomCBS Sundance First Look The CW spanish language twilight police drama slashers Comics on TV documentaries Amazon Prime Video Year in Review facebook The Walking Dead docudrama Amazon Studios scary movies DC Comics cancelled TV series foreign Captain marvel Paramount Plus historical drama Lionsgate women Pixar 2018 Tomatazos sag awards rt archives Comedy Central prank telelvision lord of the rings Kids & Family PBS WarnerMedia Syfy Discovery Channel 20th Century Fox Hallmark Christmas movies Bravo obituary Shondaland Fall TV revenge Pride Month crime drama Music Summer IFC vampires 2021 Comic Book Black Mirror Heroines high school AMC TCA 2017 Cannes natural history Opinion Marathons travel MTV Universal composers NBC TV Land