Disney’s live-action Aladdin gives soundtrack makeovers to many of the classic songs — including a DJ Khaled overlay on Will Smith’s credits rap — but the only new musical number in the movie is Jasmine’s song “Speechless.” On Friday, Disney released the full scene, which involves Jasmine (Naomi Scott) powerfully belting her ambitions while reducing the palace guards to dust.
“Speechless” is penned by Benj Pasek and Justin Paulare, the team behind La La Land and Dear Evan Hansen, who this week were revealed to be writing songs for Disney’s upcoming live-action Snow White. With belty high notes we’ve come to associate with Broadway Disney princesses, “Speechless” gives Jasmine her own female empowerment song. She fits right in with Elsa and Moana now.
Technically, the released scene is a reprise of “Speechless”; in the first version, Jasmine laments the crushing weight of Agrabah’s patriarchal political system. The song signifies the greater arc given to Jasmine in the live-action movie, one that doesn’t feel tossed on like in previous live-action remakes of Disney classics. This is a weighty character development journey that feels earned. Jasmine wants to be a leader for her people, and this inspirational reprise means she’s finally standing up for herself!
In context of the movie, she doesn’t actually sing the song, but instead imagines herself singing it before she rallies herself up for a big rousing speech. She’s not singing about how she’s speechless, but how she won’t be speechless anymore. That means dusting all the guards, Thanos-style, apparently.
“It’s a fantasy within a mind, which is an illustrated speech, and that speech is significant in terms of illustrating or demonstrating her ability to lead,” director Guy Ritchie told Polygon of the scene.
Aladdin is out in theaters now.