The Sioux City Symphony brings Ron Clements’ “Aladdin” to vibrant life, as reviewed.

A live performance of Disney’s “Aladdin,” written and directed by Ron Clements and nominated for an Academy Award, was given by the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra on Saturday night. Clements received a standing ovation.

Not only did he receive enthusiastic applause during the video, but he was also presented with a camera similar to the one he had used when he first started out at KCAU, and given the opportunity to share his own story.

Clements told Music Director Ryan Haskins that his childhood experience watching “Pinocchio” at the Orpheum Theatre sparked his interest in animation. His life came full circle on Saturday when he finally saw “Aladdin” performed with a live orchestra for the first time.

The audience and, most likely, he, were both enchanted by the performance. The excitement of watching the fast-paced film from 1992 still holds up today. Despite the fact that some of the characters he transformed into (William F. Buckley Jr., anyone?) might have been lost on the younger members of the audience, Robin Williams’ portrayal as the Genie was outstanding. Williams was like a one-man tour of Hollywood, contributing humour and locating the story’s emotional core. He had a close relationship with his unwitting owner, Aladdin, and stood by him when the villainous Jafar (Jonathan Freeman) sought to prevent the happy couple from getting married to Jasmine.

With the help of his faithful monkey Abu and a magic flying carpet, Aladdin was able to make the most of his situation, avoid wasting his wishes, and prove his dependability. The premise was quite simple, but the fantastic elements took it to a new level. The music (by Alan Menken, Tim Rice, and Howard Ashman) was fantastic, and the jokes by Williams hit home. Throughout the performance, there were several ovations.

There was good reason to be ecstatic; the band sounded like they were plucked straight from a studio recording.

When Clements’s name appeared on screen, as well as when he and fellow director John Musker appeared in the picture early on, the audience applauded enthusiastically.

Williams’s huge piece, “Friend Like Me,” received cheers, while “A Whole New World” praised the orchestra’s broad sound. The live performance highlighted the lushness of Menken’s soundtrack.

The level of “A Whole New World” increased significantly. Fans could sing along with the song in the film (which looked fantastic on the big screen) thanks to the inclusion of subtitles. It was easy to appreciate the intricate rhyming structures of some of those songs despite the rapid tempo of their lyrics, especially Williams’.

The influence of Clements was palpable. The plot twisted and turned better than an elephant’s trunk, and the movie went along at a breakneck pace.

“Aladdin” was an excellent stimulant for the younger viewers in the audience. It demonstrated how well-established artists and bands might thrive when given the chance to shine.

The concert performance of “Disney’s ‘Aladdin'” was also a landmark event in Sioux City‘s past. The community came together to honour one of their own and share in the fruits of his labour.