I've seen many silent films in the past; but not a one so amusingly adorable as Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp.
First thing you must know is that children portray the lead characters of the story. This is an artistic choice most famously found in Alan Parker's 1976 musical Bugsy Malone. But it seems that Chester and Sidney Franklin beat Parker to the punch almost 60 years prior. Sure it's silly a tad bit crude; however we are drawn to the delightfulness that is the child-acting of adult characters. This brings out a playful, innocent quality to the film that Bugsy Malone fails to capture.
Once again, the film is One-hundred years old and with age comes stress. This film is choppy, not only since editing wasn't even close to being perfected in 1917, but also because film preservation isn't exactly the easiest thing to accomplish. We should be thankful that a great film like this is even available to us. Many films from the same year are long lost or likely destroyed.
To my understanding, the film holds a much stronger resemblance to the original folk-tale than Disney's 1992 animated feature. I can appreciate both adaptations; though, I must weigh in favor of the Franklin bros. as my little way of raging against the machine (i.e. Disney) and since Aladdin is not one of Disney's strongest renaissance era films. I find that a lot of the blunders in Disney's Aladdin go unnoticed. And perhaps my claiming that the Franklin brothers' 1917 hidden gem is better than Disney's mainstream hit just might lure you into watching it yourself.
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