Is Disney’s Do-Over On Aladdin Any Less Orientalist?
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FEATURING STEPHANIE ABRAHAM – Disney’s feature-film reboot of its 1992 animated film Aladdin has hit theaters and critics are oohing and aahing over the stunning visuals, resplendent costumes, and state-of-the-art CGI effects. But while the mega production company may be forgiven for engaging in orientalist fantasy nearly 30 years ago, does a similar-looking reprise make sense in 2019?
One main difference is that the cast of the 2019 live-action film is markedly more diverse than the voice-over actors of the 1992 animated film. Whether or not that protects Disney from accusations of peddling in stereotypes is up to critics.
Stephanie Abraham is the Pop Culture Correspondent and Film Critic for Rising Up With Sonali. She’s a writer and media critic, she helped found the feminist magazine make/shift and was the founding editor of the feminist magazine LOUDmouth. Her works have been published in McSweeney’s, Al Jazeera, Mizna and Bitch Magazine.