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Disney Bets on Live Action Again with ‘Aladdin’ Release

Stars of ‘Aladdin’ Will Smith, Naomi Scott and Mena Massoud attend a screening of the new film.

Stars of ‘Aladdin’ Will Smith, Naomi Scott and Mena Massoud attend a screening of the new film.

Photographer: Ian Gavan/Getty Images Europe
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Los Angeles (AP) -- In 1992, Disney transported audiences to the mythical land of Agrabah, where they met a street rat with a heart of gold, a flying carpet, a headstrong princess and a magical genie with some oddly current pop culture references. With the music and lyrics of Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, "Aladdin" would go on to win the hearts of millions and become the highest-grossing picture of the year.

It was an ambitious animation project that paid off and generated decades of fan goodwill, not to mention the two Oscars and a future Broadway musical. Now, following in the lucrative footsteps of "Beauty and the Beast" and others, the studio is taking another shot at "Aladdin," this time in live-action. The film, from director Guy Ritchie, opens nationwide Friday.