#174 : Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp

Don’t judge an old dirty lamp by it’s appearance alone. A quick rub on the metal, ceramic, or whatever material you choose (I vote for lapis luzali) can bestow to it’s owner quite the unexpected surprise of abundant wishes. What do you wish for? All I want is an anime adaptation of Aladdin. After all Japan has animated everything it seems and there must be an alternative to the Disney version. Nothing against the Disney version, I just want to include an adaptation of this classic tale from the classic One Thousand and One Nights here at CAM. I may not have a lamp, but I did get my wish granted via a 1982 Toei production, Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp.

Aladdin_1Our story is a familiar one… a street punk who wants to do more with his life gets the chance of a lifetime to go search for a hidden treasure aided by a mysterious and perhaps villainous character who bestows a ring to the young man in case he comes into danger. Our hero finds this lost treasure, a lamp, but is soon trapped. Talk about being double crossed! With the magic of the ring and eventually the lamp our young man finds his way home and bestows a great luxurious meal once returned. Soon our young man meets a young lady, a princess in fact, who has run away from the palace to avoid selecting a suitor for an arranged marriage. Our young man has an idea and uses the lamp to grant his wish to become a prince himself so he could marry the princess. All is well… until the lamp and the princess are taken like a thief in the night. Our hero must now recapture both his prized lamp and his true love.

Aladdin_2Sounds like Aladdin, but this also reminded me of the previously mentioned The Wonderful World of Puss n’ Boots due to the fact that a common young man tries to pass himself off as royalty to impress a princess. A common story theme, but now my question to propose is did Disney see this version? The evil wizards, Grand Wazir and Jafar are similar looking. The genie is green instead of blue in the Toei version. Also no Robin Williams. The name of princess is Boudour and not Jasmine, much closer to the original Badroulbadour. Aladdin does get a ring in the original story, another point for the Toei version. Much like The Little Mermaid, Toei created a more faithful interpretation to the original source material. And even without the mega budget and musical numbers that the Disney version is noted for, the Toei version was released a solid decade before Disney’s version. Was the 1982 Toei version watched as source material? Your guess is as good as mine.

Aladdin_3For many years, Toei adapted fairy tales, or folk tale classics into full length animated features. Many of which would find release during the VHS era in the west with appropriate dubs. Aladdin was one I was not aware of, yet Swan Lake and The Little Mermaid I had known since childhood. Plus, there was The Wonderful World of Puss n’ Boots and The Wild Swans as well. Now I can include Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp amongst all these other stories as official anime! The Disney version is great as well, but now we have an alternate to bring into the fold. Funny how Teoi as a company wanted to be the Japanese equivalent to Disney way back in the company’s inception.

Aladdin_4This debate is almost like the SNES vs Genesis Aladdin games as both are different, but fun and entertaining as well. Take your pick! The same story told from a very different perspective. For me I will side with the Toei version because I always cheer for team anime, but I do like Disney’s version as well. Fun and adventure in a far off time and place that seems almost surreal, yet very familiar. And to add another feather into the team anime hat, Toei’s Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp is only an hour long, shorter yet I prefer compact and just the right size, but with no added filler. A nice simple tidy package. The perfect gift, or should I say film…  or better yet… the perfect wish.

Author: Josh

I love anime, particularly the the titles of the 1980s. I grew up with a small handful of these titles, but I have always wanted to know more of what was available. I currently live in the Midwest of the U.S. and also have passions for astrology, transcending gender, music and being outside… often barefoot!

6 thoughts on “#174 : Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp”

  1. I think I might have seen this version when I was a kid and never realized it. That was a good review. Funny enough, Ashley from The Review Heap and I talked about what anime could work as alternate universe takes on Disney movies if they have the same stories or whatever.

    A few I can think of would be:
    The Jungle Book (anime version)
    A Tree of Palme=Pinocchio
    Snow Queen=Frozen

    If we could count anime Disney stole from, then you can easily put Nadia: Secret of Blue Water and Kimba the White Lion!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Little Mermaid too, Toei’s version makes me cry everytime.

      Wait… there’s a Jungle Book made in Japan? I found the Wikipedia on it and it was made in 1989, so I could review it here… have to find it now… and behold it is on YouTube (YES!!!). I also like Chuck Jones’ version from the 1970s

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I see. I’ve heard of that version, but I never saw it. Even as a kid, I was never a fan of the Disney version, so I think this could be a good alternative.

        Yes, there is. I haven’t seen it, but I know it exists. Maybe you should give it a review!

        Like

  2. Do you have any idea why I cannot share this wonderful post on Facebook? Facebook said this violates its “community standards.” Weird.

    Like

    1. I tried to set up a Facebook a while back and I was getting similar issues saying that I was spam, or against community standards. I don’t like Facebook that much. I also have Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest as well if you can link through those. Let me know.

      Like

    2. I think I may have fixed the Facebook sharing issue. I contacted them in regards to the community standards issues and it looks like the site may now have “passed their test”. Let me know if it works for sharing and thank you for pointing out this issue,

      Like

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