A Thousand & One Nights is a 1969 erotic animated film by none other than Osamu Tezuka, which loosely adapts the story of the Arabian Nights. It was the first of the Animerama, a trilogy of loosely related adult animated films started by Mushi Productions which included Cleopatra and Belladonna of Sadness. It chronicles the story of Aladdin, a simple traveling water seller who goes on to have many adventures when he falls in love with a Beautiful Slave Girl named Miriam.
Aladdin (often called Aldin due to a poor translation), a carefree poor Middle Eastern water-seller (design based on then super-sexy French actor Jean-Paul Belmondo), wanders into mighty Baghdad to sell his water. Coming to a slave auction one day, he razzes the slave dealer for selling only ugly women, until the slave dealer unveils the beautiful and demure Miriam. Aladdin instantly falls in love with her, but he is dirt poor and cannot prevent Havaslakum, the spoiled son of Baghdad's police chief, from buying her. Before Havaslakum can take her home, Baghdad is hit by a blinding sandstorm. Aladdin steals Miriam in the confusion and takes her to an apparently-empty mansion, where he tells her that she is free. She falls in love with him, and they have sex together. They are watched by the mansions owner, Suleiman, a rich pervert who imprisons them and orders them to continue making love while he watches. But they are quickly found by Havaslakum and the police. The chief orders Badli, his corrupt assistant, to get Kamhakin and his Forty Thieves to loot Suleimans mansion, murder Suleiman, and blame Aladdin for the crime. (A Thousand and One Nights uses gingili, an alternate name for sesame popular in the Orient, as the magic word to open their cave.) Aladdin is thrown into a dungeon and tortured for months. Miriam is taken away by Havaslakum, who overdoses on aphrodisiacs and dies. Badli takes her for himself.
When Aladdin is finally freed months later, he rushes to find Miriam and is heartbroken to learn that she has just died in childbirth. He finds Badli in the desert and tries to kill him, until Badli reveals that Aladdin was the real father of Miriams child, so he is responsible for her death in childbirth. Badli lets Aladdin believe that the child also died. (There was a rumored scene where Badli boasts of having sex with a crocodile to fulfill a prophecy to gain ultimate power, but no existing print of the movie has this scene. Possibly it was considered but never filmed as too objectionable.) Aladdin laughs hysterically and lets Badli live.
Aladdin sees the Forty Thieves led by Kamhakim, and sneaks after them to their hidden cave. He uses the gingili word and gets into their cave while they are all asleep, and starts to steal their treasure. Madhya, Kamhakims toyboyish daughter, awakens and threatens to kill him. Aladdin persuades her to escape with him and see the world, and the two fly away on a magic wooden unicorn. Over the ocean, a net of hair pulls them down. They swim to a nearby island ruled by beautiful and lusty amazons with prehensile hair. Aladdin enthusiastically joins an orgy while Madhya, disgusted, leaves on the flying unicorn. Aladdin soon notices that the amazons sneak off to a house in the forest every night. They will not tell him why, so he follows them one night and sees them all change into giant white snakes. The snakes drive him into the ocean for discovering their secret, but he is rescued by a merchant ship before he can drown. The ship is carried by a roc to another island, where a giant eats the crew. (The giant is not a Cyclops; he has three eyes.) The roc and the giant kill each other, and Aladdin escapes from the island.
Aladdin finds a magic talking wishing ship that will take him anywhere and give him whatever he wants. Aladdin disguises himself as Sinbad, a rich merchant, and orders the ship to take him to see the world.
Fifteen years pass.
New characters are introduced: two jinni on a flying carpet, green Gin and pink Ginny. They have been married for 500 years, and keep from being bored by having sex every night in the form of different animals. But they are running out of animals. When they see Aslan, an incredibly handsome shepherd, for their amusement they transport the most beautiful girl they can find (Yahliz) to his side, let them fall in love, then separate them again. In Baghdad, Badli wants Yahliz to marry the king, but she is now in love with Aslan and declines. Meanwhile Kamhakim is trying to marry Madhya to Badli. He keeps stalling, but he and the police chief feel that the Forty Thieves have become a dangerous embarrassment.
Sinbad comes to Baghdad as a rich merchant. The chief and Badli decide that they dont need the Forty Thieves any longer, so they order them to rob Sinbad; then they kill them while pretending to rescue Sinbad. Only Madhya escapes, vowing to kill them for betraying her father.
Sinbad tells Badli that he is tired of being just a rich commoner and now wants to buy a country. The police chief and Badli persuade the fabulously wealthy king of Baghdad to hold a contest with Sinbad: whoever is richest will become the king of Baghdad and get all the others wealth. Madhya assassinates the police chief during the contest. The king wins the contest, but Sinbad tricks him into going aboard the magic ship with his ministers, and ordering the ship to sail to the other side of the world.
Sinbad is now king of Baghdad, with Badli as his Grand Vizier. Sinbad turns out to be a foolishly arrogant ruler, increasing taxes and ordering the people of Baghdad to build a tower to heaven to show his greatness. (Tezuka is mixing in the Tower of Babel here.) Badli supports this because he knows it will make Sinbad unpopular. Sinbad falls in love with Yahliz, who looks just like Miriam, not realizing that she is Badlis adopted daughter and really Miriams and his own daughter. Badli, who recognizes Sinbad as Aladdin, encourages him and Yahliz to wed, thinking that when he reveals that Aladdin is committing incest, the people will kill him and make Badli the new king. Yahliz, who is in love with Aslan, refuses. Badli has Aslan thrown into prison to get him out of the way. Aslan escapes but is recaptured, and sentenced to be staked out in the desert to be eaten by hungry lions. Ginny saves him by transforming into a lioness in heat and distracting the lions.
Sinbad orders Yahliz to marry him, but Aslan returns on their wedding night to save her. Sinbad, realizing that he is old enough to be Yahlizs father, is disgusted with himself. Badli publicly reveals that Sinbad is Aladdin and has committed incest. Aladdin is horrified to realize that he almost forced himself on his own daughter. Aslan and Yahliz save him from the incest charge, and Madhya returns to murder Badli. However, the people of Baghdad have still had enough of Aladdin-Sinbad and sentence him to be beheaded. A providential new sandstorm brings the Tower crashing down, and Aladdin escapes in the confusion. Aladdin realizes that he was a fool and miserable as a king and a rich man, so he sneaks away to leave Yahliz and Aslan to marry each other. The movie ends with Aladdin leaving Baghdad as he had arrived twenty years earlier, alone and poor but happy and carefree.
The film itself premiered in June of 1969. There was also an English dub made for it's cut down American release (which cut out about 20 minutes), where it bombed and is now lost. Third Window Films is releasing the film along side Cleopatra for the first time in the UK on June 18th, 2018
This film includes examples of:
- Bestiality Is Depraved: Gin and Ginny the djinni keep their 5-centuries-old marriage alight by regularly making love in animalistic forms. Also, Ginny disguises herself as a lioness in heat to seduce the lions out to eat Aslan, so that she can then escape with him.
- Death by Childbirth: Miriam dies giving birth to Yahliz.
- Dirty Cop: Havahslakum and Badli.
- Dirty Old Man: Suleiman, whose response to finding Aldin and Miriam making love in his mansion is to trap them and demand they keep screwing so that he can watch them!
- Funny Background Event: Given the context, more a case of nightmarish Black Comedy, but when the serpent-amazons watch Aldin flee into the ocean, the cannibalistic one still has half her victim hanging out of her mouth!
- The Ingenue: Yahliz and (possibly) Aslan
- Miriam was (most likely) this before her untimely death.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Aldin is often quite a horny jerkass, but he does have standards, notably when he realises he's far too old for Yahliz and is so disgusted with himself for all he's done to try and force her to marry him that he immediately sets her and her lover free.
- Literal Man Eater: Possibly, the serpent-amazons; they seem mostly trying to keep cuddling Aldin when he starts to flee from them, but when two of them trip whilst trying to grab him — with one showing off a mouthful of fangs in the process — one of the serpents starts swallowing the other whole.
- The Lost Lenore: Miriam. When Aldin finds out Miriam died in childbirth, he is completely devastated. Later in the film, he wants to marry a woman exactly like Miriam.
- Shapeshifting Lover: An entire island of female snakes who shapeshift into human form to mate with men appears about halfway through the film.
- Surprise Incest: Luckily avoided before consummation. Aldin doesn't realize at first that Yahliz is his daughter all grown up, and is disgusted when he realises how close he came to forcing her to be his bride.
- Swallowed Whole: A goat ends up this way, as does one of the serpent-amazons herself. Aldin flees for fear that he might be next on the menu.
- Tempting Apple: When Aldin is exhausted from tending to the various serpent-amazons, an apple "conveniently" drops next to him; when he eats it, he's filled with vitality. A shot then reveals a grinning serpent-amazon in her true form hanging amongst them.
- To Serve Man: The giant whose island Aldin lands on when he's "rescued" by slavers after fleeing the island of the serpent-amazons.
- Where Da White Women At?: Aldin's lovers in general are paler-skinned than he is, but the serpent-amazons he's most attracted to have milky white skin.