Ron Clements ‘Aladdin’ comes alive in Sioux City Symphony’s rendition 2023
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Ron Clements ‘Aladdin’ comes alive in Sioux City Symphony’s rendition 2023

Disney writer/director Ron Clements was honored Saturday night when the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra performed his Oscar-winning picture “Aladdin” with a live score.

He was applauded during the film and given a camera like the one he used at KCAU to talk about his career.

In a brief conversation with Music Director Ryan Haskins, Clements claimed he saw “Pinocchio” at the Orpheum Theatre as a boy and wanted to be an animator. Saturday was his first time seeing “Aladdin” with a full orchestra.

The audience and he were enchanted. The 1992 fast-paced film was still fun. Even though some of the personalities he evolved into (William F. Buckley Jr., anyone?) may have confused younger viewers, Robin Williams’ Genie performance was outstanding. Williams brought humor and humanity to the story. He supported Aladdin when Jafar (Jonathan Freeman) tried to prevent him from marrying Jasmine.

Ron Clements 'Aladdin' comes alive in Sioux City Symphony's rendition 2023 3

Aladdin used his monkey Abu and a flying carpet to make the proper choices, not waste his wishes, and prove his reliability. The tale was simple, but the fantasies elevated it. Williams’ quips hit, Freeman’s evil resonated, and Menken, Rice, and Ashman’s music soars. The concert received several applauses.

The musicians’ soundtrack-like sound justified the excitement.

When his name appeared on screen and when he and colleague director John Musker made early cameos, Clements received ovations.

“Friend Like Me” and “A Whole New World” also received acclaim. Menken’s composition sounded beautiful live.

“A Whole New World” advanced. Subtitles allowed audiences to sing along with the film, which looked great on the large screen. Some of those songs—particularly Williams’—had fast-paced lyrics that made sophisticated rhyming systems enjoyable.

Clements’ touch showed. The plot twisted like an elephant’s trunk and moved like a fast carpet.

“Aladdin” inspired younger viewers. It demonstrated how talented musicians and artists might shine.

“Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ in Concert” was another Sioux City highlight. It illustrated how the community could honor a member and enjoy his work.

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