ALADDIN Press Junket!
ALADDIN arrives in theatres everywhere on May 24th!
Thank you Disney for inviting us to pre-screening and press-junket of ALADDIN. ALADDIN is bold, bright and full of life just like the cast. On hand we had Will Smith (“Genie”), Mena Massoud (“Aladdin”), Naomi Scott (“Jasmine”), Nasim Pedrad (“Dalia”), Navid Negahban (“Sultan”), Director Guy Ritchie, Composer Alan Menken and Production Designer Gemma Jackson.
Before the junket kicked off we had the privilege of Composer Alan Menken perform a melody of his music and it was glorious. I cried the entire time, took me back to when I was little and Disney tales were read to me. It’s amazing how music is such a big part of our lives, every song I heard took me back to moment, take a look HERE and I hope you enjoy the performance as much as I did.
Here are a few highlights from the press junket that moved me, most importantly Disney inclusiveness! Allow me to explain why these snippets are important, ALADDIN represents a culture that is poorly presented by others and Disney captured the very core of Middle Eastern culture, it’s about faith, love and traditions. Most importantly, finding your voice, stand up to injustice, if you stay quite you are compliant, if you speak up you’ll make a difference. Always speak the truth, no matter how difficult, be the voice for the voiceless.
MODERATOR DANI FERNANDEZ:
Mena, you stepping into the role of Aladdin, what are you excited for for people to see as far as this film?
You know, I’m especially proud of the representation and the ethnically diverse casting that was put together for this. It’s not often you can go to a movie theater and see all people of color represented like this. It’s certainly something that I was missing in my childhood. So I’m proud of the cast and the casting that Guy and Disney put together. So I’m excited for little boys and girls to go see people that look like them on screen, man. That’s what I’m proud of.
MODERATOR DANI FERNANDEZ:
And Naomi, Jasmine was our first Disney princess of color. She also has a new song and speech list. What was it like doing that scene and also how do you feel that song resonates today?
Alan Menken is an incredible writer. So the fact that they wrote a song and I get to sing it, first of all, I was like wow. That’s already surreal. But also then when I heard it and just the words and the lyrics and how timely it was, the message behind the song and the idea of not going speechless, that everyone has a voice, doesn’t matter who you are, doesn’t matter what you look like, doesn’t matter what your gender, your voice matters. And speaking out against injustice matters. Not just standing by and being a spectator.
When I say Disney Magic is real, it's very real! It’s a warm sensation that takes over every bit of you, it's euphoric, you feel alive, giddy, and all of a sudden your a child again, believing the impossible. Will Smith has discovered Disney magic and he's blown away, he briefly spoke about.
I was saying Disney Magic is real. This is my first Disney movie. And there’s something that Walt Disney did in the design of these stories that at the core of these stories is something that shocks the inner child within you and forces it to come alive and smile and appreciate the moment. So for me, coming into this, first starting with fear, it definitely started with fear, what Robin Williams did with his character was, he just didn’t leave a lot of room to add to the genie. So I started off fearful. But then when I got with the music, it just started waking up that fun childlike silly part of me. And like Guy was saying. This was the most joyful experience of my career.
ALADDIN arrives in theatres everywhere on May 24th! Get your tickets NOW, I promise you, you'll thank me. Friday I'll have my review up, can't wait to share more with you, especially the music, OMG, the music.