Scooby-Doo in Arabian Nights (1994)

Don Messick, Casey Kasem, Greg Burson, Allan Melvin,
Scooby and Shaggy tell an Arabic Caliph two stories, the first about Aliyah-din, a young girl aided by two genies played Yogi and Boo-Boo and the second about Sinbad the Sailor played by Magilla Gorilla.
  • 5.4 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2022-09-19 Added:
  • Gordon Kent, Glenn Leopold, Writer:
  • Jun Falkenstein, Joanna Romersa, Director:
  • Producer:
2 / 10

The worst Scooby Doo movie ever? Probably

I am really sorry guys, but I didn't like this film at all. I love Hanna Barbera and I love Scooby Doo, but this movie was not great at all. In fact a vast majority was awful in my opinion, which is a real shame as I genuinely wanted to like this movie. You see it had so much promise, Shaggy, Scooby, Yogi Bear, these are all great characters, the concept was good, the voice cast is of high calibre and the trailer actually looked as though it was going to be a half-decent movie.

So were there any redeeming qualities? The music score was very energetic and rousing and did have a sense of authenticity, almost like a Carl Stalling score in those great Looney Tunes cartoons. Plus it was a delight to see all those characters.

However, these characters deserved much better. Shaggy and Scooby are both woefully underused and Yogi is saddled with very lacklustre material. And the other characters? The girl who the prince falls in love with is poorly drawn while the villain is little more than a stereotype and a blatant rip-off of Jafar with a bit of Dick Dastardly in his design too.

That's not all that's wrong with this film. The animation is shoddy, with wonkily drawn characters, rushed backgrounds, flat colouring and all-over-the place editing. The dialogue is unfunny and forced, the sight gags are unoriginal, the pacing is both rushed and pedestrian, the sound effects are misplaced and the story is just a gender-reversed tale of Aladdin except one that starts off on the wrong foot and never recovers while the segments about pirates and Shaggy disguising himself as a princess are pretty lacking in originality or entertainment too and the parts telling Caliph telling the stories isn't exactly unfamiliar territory, see 1001 Rabbit Tales, it's not perfect but the links and the stories told are much more amusing(in my opinion that is). Plus I am afraid to say the voice work was poor, even with Casey Kasem and Don Messick who were given little worthwhile to work with.

So overall, hugely disappointing and a failure of what happened to be a good idea. 2/10 Bethany Cox

7 / 10

One of Hanna-Barbera's biggest failures ever

This is a re-write of my short, unhelpful review on this movie, as written in August 2010.

Now, Hanna-Barbera was known for clever cartoons that made up for its limited animation by featuring funny characterizations and sight gags, witty stories, catchy background music, zany sound effects and excellent voice work. During the early-to-mid 1990s, however, they began to struggle before they began producing original material for Cartoon Network, having fallen behind by its new competition (Disney and WB's TV animation studios, as well as the Nicktoons). Some of their 1990s stuff was good ("Tom & Jerry Kids," "The Halloween Tree"), and some of it was bad. This movie is, unfortunately, one of their worst productions ever.

I had high hopes for this movie. It had a pretty good-looking voice cast (with Casey Kasem and Don Messick voicing Shaggy and Scooby, and also featuring many other talented voice actors like Rob Paulsen, Maurice LaMarche, Tony Jay, Jennifer Hale, Kath Soucie, Frank Welker. etc.), and the video cover artwork made the plot look interesting, but I turned out to be deceived. The plot was very weak; Shaggy and Scooby-Doo were only in 15 minutes out of the film's 70-minute running time. Shaggy just tells stories to the nerdy Caliph (a precursor to Mandark of "Dexter's Lab"), and there is virtually no indication that these are stories he is telling. So it pretty much segues into another cartoon. The "Aliyah-Din" story is pretty much a no-brainer parody of Disney's "Aladdin" with the genders reversed to make it less obvious, and many of the characterizations and gags are unoriginal and seemed ripped off of other cartoons (especially anything made by Disney or WB); for example, Haman is an obvious rip- off of Jafar (with a bit of Dick Dastardly thrown into his design too). Yogi's running gag where he keeps hoping for food gets annoying after ten minutes, too. The soundtrack is also poor. Regarding the music, while I am usually a fan of the Carl Stalling-esquire style (as composed by "Animaniacs" composer Steve Bernstein), just doesn't work with this movie; it's always stopping and starting, moving with every knee jerk or double take, etc. I don't mind hearing this on a "Tiny Toon Adventures" or "Animaniacs" segment (great shows BTW), but here it just sounds out of place. The sound effects are also pretty much out of place, as the cartoon does not use Hanna-Barbera's famous sound FX that often, instead mostly opting for the old Treg Brown/Looney Tunes sound effects. And just as bad is the animation. It is actually very poor, even for 1994 standards! Character designs are rather wonky-looking, the backgrounds are over-stylized, even Shaggy and Scooby look strangely off-model! And the movements are pretty jerky and remind me of some of the worst early "Tiny Toons" animation (but without the crappy computer system used here), and there are a lot of cheap-looking digital pan and zooms that could make you nauseous.

Overall, this was one of Hanna-Barbera's worst cartoons ever from one of their worst periods ever, period. This was pretty much their equivalent to "Titanic: The Animated Musical." Even my YouTube Poop of this movie is better than the real thing! (Check it out if you get the chance to, it will save you the trouble from watching the real thing!)

1 / 10

Unwatchable Aladdin Rip-off

There are a lot of excellent Scooby movies, but this is a plagiarized Disney Aladdin film blended with Bugs Bunny 1001 Rabbit Tales and Hanna Barbera characters sprinkled in. No mystery machine, no gang, no mystery to be solved. Steaming pile hot mess, I couldn't watch it all because I'd seen it before. Unimaginative waste of a half hour.

3 / 10

Different than your average Scooby-Doo! adventure...

I had never seen nor heard of the 1994 animated movie "Scooby-Doo In Arabian Nights". So as I stumbled upon it by random chance here in 2022, of course I opted to sit down and watch it. And I did so with my 12 year old son, as we both enjoy the "Scooby-Doo!" adventures.

Writers Gordon Kent and Glenn Leopold didn't deliver the archetypical "Scooby-Doo!" adventure here with this 1994 animated movie. Nay, instead we are treated to an animated telling of "Aladdin" and "Sinbad" that stars Yogi Bear and Boo Boo in the "Aladdin" tale and Magilla Gorilla in the "Sinbad" tale. And Scooby-Doo and Shaggy are only parts of the narrative in between the two tales.

So it was a somewhat disappointing movie experience, especially if you expect it to be a full-blown "Scooby-Doo!" adventure. But hey, at least my son seemed to enjoy this.

The art and animation in "Scooby-Doo In Arabian Nights" is good, and of that archetypical and recognizable Hanna-Barbera style that we all know and love from the "Scooby-Doo!" adventures. So there was at least that sense of familiarity and comfort to this.

The voice acting in "Scooby-Doo In Arabian Nights" was good.

My rating of "Scooby-Doo In Arabian Nights" lands on a three out of ten stars, as this was definitely not what I was expecting.