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Western Animation / Scooby-Doo in Arabian Nights

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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 reimagining of Sinbad the Sailor featuring Magilla Gorilla.

This movie is noteworthy for being the final time Don Messick voiced Scooby-Doo and Boo Boo (he passed away in 1997). For all intents and purposes, it was also Casey Kasem's last time fully voicing Shaggy until What's New, Scooby-Doo? in 2002.note  It was also the final time Allan Melvin voiced Magilla Gorilla as well as the last time Greg Burson voiced Yogi Bearnote .

Followed by Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (Mystery Inc.'s 1997 guest appearance on Johnny Bravo notwithstanding), which effectively relaunched the franchise. Short films, guest appearances, and cameos aside, Yogi Bear's next substantial production was his 2010 live action movie, while Magilla Gorilla is best known since from appearances on Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law.

This show provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Aliyah-Din when she has to save her prince. She also shows how a rock can break shackles.
  • Anatomy Anomaly: The majority of human characters in this movie have only four fingers (if you include the thumb), obviously due to the Warner Bros. Animation influence seen in the film. 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.
  • "Arabian Nights" Days
  • 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.
  • Bedlah Babe: The harem girls in the Young Caliph's palace are examples of this. They seem to lounge about all day in the palace rather than do any actual dancing.
  • Belly Dancer: Haman, dressed as the Prince in disguise, enjoys a dancer's movements in the royal palace, all before Aliyah-Din interrupts the session in order to present herself for marriage.
  • Benevolent Genie: Yogi grants all of Aliyah-Din's requests, including the ones where she didn't say "I wish" and merely commented on the situation. This works in her favor; when Haman takes the lamp, Aliyah-Din is able to wish for everything to be back to normal.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Aliyah-Din is said to be selfless, Pure of Heart, and generous. She's also the one who overthrows Haman merely by using her wits to reclaim the lamp.
    • The prince in the meantime is shown to be a Nice Guy, who falls for a random girl from the marketplace. When he realizes that Haman tried to usurp him and poisoned his father, Haman gets furious when he regains consciousness and tosses the advisor into the dungeon.
  • Biblical Bad Guy: Haman is at least named for (and might be!) the villain from the Book of Esther.
  • Big "NO!": Haman, when storm clouds block the moon and close up the cave of treasures; and again when he is falling and fails to catch the lamp near the end of the story.
  • Blind Without 'Em: When the caliph breaks his glasses and doesn't even try to get them fixed or replaced. He just remains blind and squinting for the rest of the film.
  • Captain Ersatz: Haman, the villain of the Aliyah-Din story, borrows a lot from Jafar of Disney's Aladdin who himself is a Composite Character from the original story. Haman fills multiple roles as did Jafar.
  • Covers Always Lie: The video and DVD covers of this movie depict Shaggy and Scooby with a magic lamp which Yogi Bear the genie emerges from, and even the description on the case makes it sound like he's their genie (instead of Aliyah-Din's genie), and it does not mention that Shaggy tells the Aliyah-Din and Sinbad stories to the Caliph.
  • Crossover: Yogi Bear and Magilla Gorilla appearing in a Scooby-Doo movie.
  • Damsel out of Distress: Aliyah-Din is locked in the dungeon with her shackled Prince. She quickly frees him using a rock, and then slips out of the enlarged cells by squeezing between the bars. Cue her toppling the lamp from Haman's grip and saving everyone.
  • 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 strange-looking designs.
  • Deus ex Machina: In the "Sinbad" story, just as the high-class cyclops has Magilla and the captain cornered on a palm tree and starts to read a book, the geyser he's sitting on erupts and sends the cyclops flying.
    Magilla: "Amazing how things happen right on cue in a cartoon, isn't it?"
  • Disguised in Drag: The plots (such as it is) revolves around Shaggy being disguised as a harem girl.
  • Disneyesque: The film tries to be like this, especially during the "Aliyah-Din" segment.
  • Disney Princess: Aliyah-Din is a parody of this.
  • The Ditz: Magilla Gorilla.
  • Eat the Camera: Done with Scooby after the opening credits, when the Flying Carpet he and Scooby are riding on flies towards the camera.
  • Elevator Gag: The cyclops in the Sinbad segment has an elevator in a cliff.
  • Exact Words: Aliyah-Din never actually used any of her wishes in the cave; she just said what she would wish for (saving the Sultan from death and to become a princess), and Yogi complied without asking her to say "I wish". This means that when Haman steals the lamp, she's able to undo his wishes by asking for things to return to normal.
  • Fearless Fool: Magilla Gorilla as Sinbad the Sailor. When the Rukh attacks them with stones, he catches them and comments on how fun the game is.
  • Flying Carpet: Scooby and Shaggy arrive on one, with its' pilot acting like a taxi driver.
  • Framing Device: The plot involving Shaggy and Scooby as royal food tasters serves as this for the Aliyah-Din and Sinbad stories.
  • Gender Flip: Of the original Aladdin story, with the female Aliyah-Din.
  • The Glasses Gotta Go: After the Caliph accidentally falls over and breaks his eyeglasses, he doesn't bother with them anymore, but ends up suffering vision problems for the rest of the movie.
  • Got the Whole World in My Hand: Haman "literally" has the whole world in his hand subsequent to his second wish.
  • Honor Before Reason: Aliyah-Din offers the lamp to whom she thinks is the Prince, because he asked for it as a token of her dowry. Thing is it's a lamp of great power.
  • 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!"
  • Larynx Dissonance: Initially when Shaggy is seen disguised as a harem girl, he speaks in a very high and shrill (and not to mention poor) falsetto voice. But as the movie goes on, his disguised voice gets less feminine and closer to his normal voice.
  • 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 sloppy, even for 1994!
  • Love at First Sight: The prince lampshades this when he first meets Aliyah-Din...
    "How could my father expect me to marry some girl I just met? It's ridiculous!" (sees Aliyah-Din) "Except for you."
  • Mama Bear: The mother Rukh keeps chasing after the captain for the egg that he stole. As a final Brick Joke, the egg finally hatches and the mother and baby reunite.
  • Medium Awareness: "Amazing how things happen right on cue in a cartoon, isn't it?" Magilla Gorilla says when a geyser lifts the rich Cyclops up in the area, allowing Magilla and the Captain to escape from the palm tree they were sitting in to avoid said Cyclops.
  • Mickey Mousing: The music score to the film, complete with a full Warner Bros.-esque orchestra. It keeps stopping and starting constantly as a result, and instead often functions more like musical sound effects rather than a traditional underscore. It could be because an Animaniacs music composer scored the film.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Haman uses his second wish to become ruler of the universe, which enlarges the palace. It enables Aliyah-Din to leave the cell she and the Prince were locked in and eventually reclaim the lamp.
  • 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.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Aliyah-Din when she gets trapped in the cavern
    • Also Aliyah-Din when she gives the lamp as a token of her dowry to the "prince," only for him to turn into Haman, the vizier from earlier.
    • Haman when he realizes he's not holding the lamp.
  • One-Track-Minded Hunger: Yogi the Genie Bear.
  • 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 rukh egg, precious gems and a golden toothbrush in the Sinbad segment also go on for quite long.
  • Pure of Heart: This is why Aliyah-Din can enter the cavern with the lamp, because she is pure of heart. This is also shown when she just wants to use her wishes to serve her prince, not for self-gain.
  • Really Royalty Reveal: The Sultan won't allow his son to marry someone of low class. However, when the Sultan hears Aliyah-Din's name, he mentions that's the name of the missing Princess his son was supposed to marry.
  • Reset Button: After Haman is defeated, Aliyah-Din wishes for her genies to restore everything back to normal.
  • Road Runner vs. Coyote: Done earlier on when the two guards chase Shaggy and Scooby throughout the palace. One of the Road Runner's "zooming" Stock Sound Effects is used for Shaggy and Scooby as well.
  • Roundabout Shot: A brief one happens when Aliyah-Din and the Prince hold hands for the first time in the marketplace. But since it's a Hanna-Barbera TV movie, it's not animated very well (the two rotate on a Wraparound Background that does not have a three-dimensional "rotating" look to it.)
  • Running Gag:
    • Yogi's hungry and wants his master(s) to wish for food, but Haman keeps turning it down.
    • The evil captain's boat sinking followed by the cruise ship that Magilla was supposed to board sailing by during the Sinbad segment.
  • Running on the Spot: This classic Hanna-Barbera device is seen a few times during the Sinbad segment when Magilla and the Captain run from potential danger.
  • Scheherezade Gambit: How Shaggy tries to get out of marrying the Caliph.
  • Seen It All: Yogi is unphased when Haman asks for world power and immortality. He says that it happens every time a megalomaniac gets the lamp.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The captain in "Sinbad the Sailor" keeps getting sunk every time he tries to hunt for treasure.
  • Shapeshifting: Haman magically transforms himself so he looks like the prince in the "Aliyah-Din" story to take over the throne.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The high-class cyclops complains that Sinbad and the Captain's antics are going to make him miss seeing Cats.
    • The Stream of Precious Gems log ride is a loose parody of Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean dark ride, complete with animatronics (including a robot shark, octopus and hydra that torment the Captain.)
    • During the rukh egg sequence, the Captain falls from the very high rukh nest to the ground a couple of times very much like Wile E. Coyote would, complete with identical camera angle, distant puff of dust, and impact sound effect.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: After his attempts to get the lamp fail, Haman simply drugs the sultan and prince unconscious, locking the latter up in the dungeon so that he can impersonate the Prince. He lampshades it's the only one of his plans that worked.
  • Stock Sound Effects: The famous Hanna-Barbera sound effects are barely used in this movie; instead, many of the Looney Tunes sound effects are utilized, along with many of the same modern stock sounds most cartoons made during this era were using.
  • 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.)
  • Wasn't That Fun?: Sinbad reacts this way to every dangerous antic that the Captain makes him endure. The only justified one is when they go on a log ride.
  • Wheel o' Feet: Whenever anyone is running really fast.
  • Written Sound Effect: Occurs once, during the Sinbad segment.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: The Captain set off to steal a Rukh egg, precious gems and a golden toothbrush. By the end, the former hatches and flies off, the second is taken by Magilla as his prize and the latter gets reclaimed by the owner.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Shaggy and Scooby, not drawn in their usual style in this movie.
  • 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.


Video Example(s):


Arabian Nights Ship Gag

No, this is not an episode of "Animaniacs" you are watching.

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Example of:

Main / RunningGag

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