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Anime / A Thousand & One Nights

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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.

The film itself premiered in June of 1969. There was also an English dub made for its cut down American release (which cut out about 20 minutes), where it bombed and for a while, was lost until it was found in 2020. Third Window Films is releasing the film alongside Cleopatra for the first time in the UK on June 18th, 2018.

On May 3rd, 2020, Discotek Media announced that they licensed the movie for Blu-Ray and managed to find the long lost English dub. Both the original Japanese version and the English dub would be released on Blu-Ray on November 20, 2020.

A Thousand & One Nights 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, who are supposed to be Baghdad police officials, but are corrupt and cruel, including being willing to frame innocent people of crimes for their own advantage.
  • 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!
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Aldin is often quite a horny jerkass, but he does have standards, notably when he realizes 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 the 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, to say he is utterly devastated is an understatement. Later in the film, he wants to marry a woman exactly like Miriam.
  • Prehensile Hair: When the serpent-amazons reveal their true form, they also gain the ability to use their hair as a set of limbs to try and entangle and ensnare Aldin.
  • Shapeshifting Lover: An entire island of female snakes who shapeshift into human form to mate with men appears about halfway through the film.
  • Snake People: The serpent-amazons, who are a race of exclusively female giant snakes (with body-length manes of hair!) that can transform partially or wholly into human form.
  • 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 realizes 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 the fruit. Fittingly, given the kind of film this is, these apples look like either upside-down love-hearts or stylized sets of women's buttocks, depending on how you look at 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 is a voracious eater of human flesh who devours most of the slaver crew.
  • Visual Innuendo: One of the most explicit examples ever can be seen on the island of the serpent-amazons, where pretty much every piece of terrain looks either partially or wholly like a naked woman, often in an erotic pose to boot.
  • 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.