Western Animation: Shazzan
was a cartoon
created by Alex Toth
and produced by the Hanna-Barbera
company for CBS
back in 1967. It featured a giant genie named Shazzan who served two American kids, a boy named Chuck and his sister, Nancy, who had found a pair of magical rings in a cave and were transported to a Magic World
that resembled the one from the Arabian Nights
tales. Each of the kids had one of the rings that, when touched to each other (and the word "Shazzan!" is spoken) summons the genie to grant their wishes — anything except being sent home; they were required to find Shazzan's true owner first (with no clues provided, even by Shazzan himself). The genie also gifted them with an Invisibility Cloak
, a bag of dust that can create illusions, and a magic rope. The series followed the two (and their winged camel, Kaboobie) as they traveled this strange world, helping those in need along the way
The show was, as was typical for cartoons of the time, very formulaic
: Every episode, the kids would reach a new land, where some villain was up to no good; after being threatened, they finally put their rings together, after which Shazzan appeared and quickly disposed of the villains (while mocking them). Alex Toth, the series' creator, later said, "It was a conceptual problem. The genie had no weaknesses; once you summoned him, the episode was over."
Also as typical of the time, there was no "final episode", so we never got to see the resolution of the plot.
Not to be confused with Shazam
or even less with Kazaam
Tropes in Shazzan:
- Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese version has this.
- Animal Companion: Kaboobie the winged camel, who was there mostly to transport the kids and look funny.
- Benevolent Genie: Although kinda mischievous.
- He never stopped laughing, no matter how serious the situation. Maybe he just knew he was always going to win.
- Continuity Nod: The series is obviously based on the Arabian Nights tales, but one episode has Shazzan battle a dumb-witted genie and then grant him to... a boy named Aladdin. (Most of the stories were original however.)
- Crossover: With Space Ghost in the Space Ghost episode "The Council of Doom".
- Deadpan Snarker: Even the kids got snarked on by the genie on occasion.
- Ethnic Magician: Pretty much everybody in the show was Arabic (or its equivalent in this world) except the all-American kids.
- Gentle Giant: Despite towering above most other characters, Shazzan did not scare the kids.
- Invincible Hero/Curb-Stomp Battle: Shazzan himself was never hurt by anything, and always easily defeated his foes.
- No Ending: We never see the kids get home.
- Ring of Power: The kids' rings; each always carried one- which meant that if separated, they were in real trouble.
- Shout-Out: Shazzan's appearance suggests he may have been based on the genie in The Thief of Bagdad.
- Sibling Team: Chuck and Nancy. They occasionally annoyed each other, but otherwise were good siblings.
- Subverted Kids Show: The Saturday Night Live TV Funhouse parody Shazzang takes the concept of an all-powerful genie inflicting his will on "bad guys" Up to Eleven. After rescuing the kids from an evil wizard's trap, the genie subjects their opponent to a typical pinned to the wall by his own arrow/human juggling ball/used as a pushbroom Humiliation Conga. Then he forces him to swallow ammonia, pulls his tongue out of his mouth, and burns the skin off of his body with eye-beams. Then it gets kinda intense.
- Two Halves Make A Plot: Chuck and Nancy each wear half of a magic ring. When the two halves are reunited, it summons the mighty genie Shazzan.
- The Unreveal: Just who was Shazzan's "True Owner?"
- Wasn't he referred to as the "Wizard of the Seventh Mountain"? According to at least one episode guide, the kids are continually searching for the mountain and the wizard — and meeting his old enemies.
- And where was Shazzan when he wasn't summoned?
- In the rings? It would fit with the Aladdin theme; he had the "Genie of the Ring" as well as the Genie of the Lamp in some versions of the tale.
- Wild Mass Guessing: Maybe it was The KIDS all along; the whole thing being a test of sorts?
- Aladdin was the logical guess, but that got Jossed in one episode.
- Walking the Earth: Or rather a magical world.
- What the Hell, Hero?: In one episode, Chuck challenges a performing magician to a Wizard Duel (despite Nancy's protests) using Shazzan's magical gifts. When they are not enough, Chuck summons Shazzan. Shazzan defeats the magician, but then scolds Chuck for summoning him and using the gifts for something so trivial, as the magician was not an enemy until Chuck made him one with his need to show off.
- Wonder Twin Powers: The kids needed each other to summon Shazzan.
- Words Of Power: The rings won't summon Shazzan unless his name is also spoken.