James Corden Pouts Through ‘Aladdin’ Crosswalk Musical with Will Smith
Disney’s latest live-action remake, a less racist version of Aladdin, took the Memorial Day box office by surprise last week. To celebrate the new release, James Corden decided to translate the film into a Late Late Show Crosswalk Musical sketch. It featured members of the actual cast and an uninvited guest that threw Corden’s emotions into a tailspin.
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If you’re unfamiliar with James Corden’s Crosswalk Musicals, the basic premise is that Corden, his theater troupe, and a few occasional celebrities, race out into a crosswalk with the walk sign. They then perform musical numbers from stage plays and movies to the captive audience. The actors always end up racing out of the crosswalk, props in tow, in time for the light to turn green and the cars to drive away.
This segment starts with Corden dressed as the movie’s iconic Genie, blue body paint and all. He announces to the company that Naomi Scott and Mena Massoud, who play Jasmine and Aladdin in the actual film, will join them. Just as rehearsal is about to begin, Will Smith runs up and apologizes for being late.
The problem? Smith is the real actor behind the CGI Genie in Disney’s latest blockbuster. Of course, he wants to play his own role like Massoud and Scott. Things don’t get much better when the cast suggests that Corden can play Abu, Aladdin’s monkey sidekick, instead.
The actual musical performed in the crosswalk goes off pretty well, with Will Smith, Mena Massoud, and Naomi Scott performing as well as could be expected while baking in the LA heat and running across the pavement. In a real bit of design genius, the magic carpet was realized in the crosswalk by rigging a platform on a forklift (driven by a bored employe), allowing it to fly above the pavement for the “Whole New World” duet.
Behind the scenes, things were a bit more fraught, with James Corden sulking about his reduced role (and his cast’s love for Will Smith over him). He even runs away from the group at one point. However, he manages to pull it together in the end for a rousing finale after Will Smith gives him an enthusiastic pep talk.
Check out Aladdin performed in the streets of LA for yourself below. If you like the preview, consider checking out the real story as Disney meant for you to see it – in a movie theater near you.