ALADDIN AND THE MAGIC LAMP (1970)
aka Aladin et la lampe merveilleuse
Directed by Jean Image
Voice cast unknown
What it is: Animated Arabian Nights tale
An evil magician from Egypt attempts to get his hands on an incredible magic lamp, and he uses an innocent young boy as his tool to get it. However, he leaves the boy trapped in a cave with the lamp. The boy figures out what makes the lamp magical...
If there's one thing you can count on, it's that if Disney decides to do an animated version of a famous story, budget video companies will scour the archives for any earlier animated versions of the story and put them out in the market, perhaps even hoping that it will be mistaken for the Disney version and purchased. I have no doubt that this French version of the Arabian Nights tale became generally available after the release of the Disney version. I didn't list a voice cast above despite the fact that IMDB does list one; however, the one they list is for the French version, and I'm pretty sure the English version featured a different set of voices, and one should bear in mind that my comments refer to the English version. This one is not impressive; the animation, though it isn't quite in the realm of limited animation, is not very smooth. The character design is rather dull, and the songs featured throughout will not linger in the memory. There are some interesting plot elements at play here; I don't know whether it's this way in the original story, but I found it interesting that the evil magician and the sultan's Grand Vizier are two distinctly different characters. And for those who've followed this series for a while, you may remember my rule about how talking birds are never funny; well, this movie gives us two of them, and they're both annoying. This one is for uncritical kiddies.