You know you’re a 90s kid if… 

May 14th, 2019

You hate the Aladdin trailer? Combining the Fresh Prince of Bel Air and one of the most acclaimed Disney films of all time? No? Really?

Until the live-action adaptation of Aladdin hits theatres on May 24th this year, it’s hard to tell if Disney has succeeded or not. But its anticipation online is not putting the film in good stead.

With 106,000 dislikes on YouTube and the negative comments at aspect likes Will Smith’s Genie, fans have shown their disapproval quite heavily at this new Aladdin.

The original was released in 1992 as the highest-grossing film of that year and was the most successful animated film of all time before fellow Disney film The Lion King took its place.

Since its release, Aladdin has embedded itself into pop culture with its songs, sequels, tv-series and a successful Broadway musical. As a core part of the company’s renaissance era, it’s been cherished by those who grew up re-watching their VHS tapes on Saturday afternoons in Disney pyjamas eating cheestrings, penguin bars and sunny D.

“I love the original- it’s my all-time favourite. You know how people say they had that one film that gave them an epiphany for their whole life? For me, that was Aladdin” – cinema goer, Geoff Dubs

As a generation brought up with Robin Williams and 2D animation its understandable they have reservations about altering this sacred part of their childhood. “If Prince Ali isn’t amazing, heads will roll. And if there’s not a nod to Robin Williams, I’m walking out” says lifelong Disney fan Lauren Kidner.

Interestingly this is the first-time kids of the 90s are facing this kind of dilemma. While children of other eras have seen the likes of Transformers, Flintstones and Willy Wonka all re-imagined before their eyes not yet have 90s kids seen a franchise they embraced and made successful changed so heavily.

Australian YouTuber and Disney aficionado Dave Lee says “our generation didn’t have that connection to the Jungle Book or Alice in Wonderland. We grew up with them and we love them, but we don’t have that same nostalgia. We remember The Lion King being released, going into a Disney store seeing it filled with Simba and Pumba plushies. Just merchandise everywhere”.

With all this in consideration, there is one very similar franchise and that’s Star Wars. The most successful franchise of all time has seen three generations of fans grow up with three trilogies, all having faced backlash. The idea of George Lucas ruining childhoods was a frequent topic amongst fans and the children of the 70s and 80s.

Fans of the original Aladdin and other Disney remakes can now understand the backlash fans of the original Star Wars trilogy give to the prequels that ironically 90s kids grew up with.

YouTuber Dave Lee has not only faced backlash from fans himself in his own reviews, but the controversy surrounding the likes of the Phantom Menace and the Last Jedi inspired him to make his video “How Star Wars fans killed Star Wars”. One of Dave Lee’s most popular and viewed videos, it’s a stark reminder of what a barrage of fan backlash can do.

 

“When I hear people say it destroyed the original and their childhood, I think that’s not only silly but a bit disrespectful. It shouldn’t erase everything you love about it, if you don’t like it just don’t see it. You still have the old film to go back to” says Dave Lee.

“These films are for the younger generation, they may be marketed towards us but it’s because we’re buying the tickets, it’s for the kids and that’s totally fine.”

With the toxicity of the Last Jedi fresh in our minds and the likes of Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and the Lion King yet to be released, only time will tell how Aladdin will turn out.

David Osgar

@DavidOsgar