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Western Animation: Scooby-Doo in Arabian Nights

Scooby-Doo in Arabian Nights, also simply known as Arabian Nights, is a 1994 animated telefilm produced by Hanna-Barbera, yet unrecognizable as one of their own productions. Despite the film often being billed as a Scooby-Doo movie, the titular Great Dane and his human friend Shaggy scarcely appear in the movie!

The story consists of Scooby-Doo and Shaggy traveling to Arabia to be royal food tasters for a caliph. However, when they eat the caliph's entire lunch, they chicken out and hide in the Royal Harem, where Shaggy disguises himself as a young maiden and, to avoid certain doom, tells the caliph two very long stories. The first story features a knock-off of Disney's Aladdin, but with a gender reversal to the plot and featuring Yogi Bear and his sidekick Boo Boo as genies, and the second is a remix of Sinbad the Sailor featuring Magilla Gorilla.

This show provides examples of:

  • Anatomy Anomaly: The majority of human characters in this movie have only four fingers (if you include the thumb). However, Shaggy and the Chef both have five-fingered hands, which makes for a rather distracting error. Even Aliyah-Din manages to switch between four and five fingers in some shots.
  • Arranged Marriage: The Prince in the gender-flipped version of Aladdin was supposed to marry the Princess of Serendibe but she disappeared back when she was a little girl.
  • Ate the Spoon: The Vizier's potion does this.
  • Blind Without 'Em: When the caliph breaks his glasses and doesn't even try to get them fixed or replaced. He just remains blind for the rest of the film.
  • Captain Ersatz: Haman, the villain of the Aliyah-Din story, is obviously very similar to Jafar of Disney's Aladdin.
  • Crossover: Yogi Bear and Magilla Gorilla appearing in a Scooby-Doo movie.
  • Depending on the Artist: This movie was drawn by a different team of animators from the standard Hanna-Barbera fare (due to the resurgence of creator-driven cartoons by this time), thus resulting in off-model characters and crude designs.
  • Disguised in Drag: The plots (such as it is) revolves around Shaggy being disguised as a harem girl.
  • Disney Princess: Aliyah-Din is a parody of this.
  • The Ditz: Magilla Gorilla.
  • Elevator Gag: The cyclops in the Sinbad segment has an elevator in a cliff.
  • Flying Carpet: Scobby and Shaggy arrive on one.
  • Full Body Disguise: Haman magically transforms himself so he looks like the prince in the story to take over the throne.
  • Gender Flip: Of the original Aladdin story, with the female Aliyah-Din.
  • Hello, Nurse!: Aliyah-Din, once she becomes a princess.
  • Insult Backfire: When Shaggy and Scooby apply for the royal food taster job, the guard calls them suckers. Shaggy's reaction? "Did you hear that, Scoob? Suckers for dessert!"
  • Lighter and Softer: More politically correct and "easy to understand" than the original "Arabian Nights" stories.
  • Limited Animation: The animation in this film, while trying to pass off as full WB-esque animation, is very limited, even for 1994!
  • Love at First Sight: Subverted a bit by the prince in the Aliyah-Din segment. "How could my father expect me to instantly fall in love? It's impossible!" *sees Aliyah-Din* "Except for you."
  • Mickey Mousing: The music score to the film, complete with a full orchestra. It keeps stopping and starting constantly as a result. It could be because an Animaniacs music composer scored the film.
  • Negative Continuity: The film doesn't fit into the canon with the other cartoons in the Scooby-Doo franchise.
  • No Fourth Wall: "Amazing how things happen right on cue in a cartoon, isn't it?" Magilla Gorilla says at one part.
  • Nonstandard Character Design: Shaggy and Scooby had to be slightly modified to fit with the designs of the other characters in the cartoon. Needless to say, it still looks rather awkward.
  • Off Like a Shot: Done quite a bit during the opening scene when the guards are chasing Scooby-Doo and Shaggy.
  • Off Model: Just about every existing Hanna-Barbera character in the movie.
  • Overly-Long Gag: Quite a bit of this is present throughout the movie. One bit in the Aladdin parody includes Yogi Bear constantly hoping Aliyah-Din or Haman will make a food-related wish. The attempts to steal a rhuk egg, precious gems and a golden toothbrush in the Sinbad segment also go on for quite long.
  • Road Runner vs. Coyote: Done earlier on when the two guards chase Shaggy and Scooby throughout the palace.
  • Running Gag: The evil captain's boat constantly sinking followed by the cruise ship that Magilla was supposed to board sailing by during the Sinbad segment.
  • Running on the Spot: No Hanna-Barbera cartoon would be complete without this gag, subverted a few times during the Sinbad segment.
  • Scheherezade Gambit: How Shaggy tries to get out of marrying the Caliph.
  • Stock Sound Effects: The famous Hanna-Barbera sound FX are very rarely used in this movie; instead most of the old Looney Tunes sound effects are utilized.
  • Suddenly Suitable Suitor: When the Prince introduced Aliyah-Din to his Dad, she was told she couldn't marry the Prince because of her lower class. However, when the Prince mentioned her name, the Sultan said that was the name of the Princess of Serendibe.
  • Trouser Space: Magilla Gorilla pulls an enormous telescope out of his very tight trousers. (Insert your own joke about having a phallic shaped object that expands in your pants here.)
  • Wheel o' Feet: Whenever anyone is running really fast.
  • Written Sound Effect: Occurs once, during the Sinbad segment.
  • You Must Be This Tall To Ride: The Sinbad the Sailor segment has the captain (who is depicted as a dwarf not unlike Mr. Spacely or Mr. Peebles) being too short for a log ride filled with the treasure he's after. He reacts by destroying the measurement sign and gets on the ride anyway.

The Secret of NIMHThe Renaissance Age of AnimationScooby-Doo on Zombie Island
Scooby-DooWestern Animation of the 1990sScooby-Doo Direct-to-Video Film Series
Scooby-Doo! and the Reluctant WerewolfFranchise/Scooby-DooScooby-Doo
Lupin III Dragon Of DoomTelevision Movie IndexAnnie: A Royal Adventure!
Scooby-DooFilms of the 1990sScooby-Doo on Zombie Island

alternative title(s): Scooby Doo In Arabian Nights
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