Cast & Crew
In Arabia, Abdul Azziz Magoo, a myopic lamp dealer, is concerned that his nephew and ward, Aladdin, lacks a sense of responsibility and so counsels the young man to wed. When Magoo summons the three unmarried daughters of an old friend and tells Aladdin to choose one as his bride, Aladdin runs away. Magoo's neighbor, Omar the Rug Maker, is weaving a magic carpet for the Wicked Wazir, but is having a hard time completing it because the magic yarn is smitten with Magoo and keeps following him. One day, the Wazir confers with his mentor, the evil flame, who advises him to marry the Princess Yasminda in his quest to obtain absolute power. Yasminda is the daughter of the Sultan, whom the Wazir serves as treasurer. The Wazir has been pilfering money from the royal treasury, and as a result, the kingdom is teetering on bankruptcy. To save her father's empire, Yasminda must marry the richest man in the land, who happens to be the Wazir. With no other choice, the princess agrees to marry the Wazir, who sets the wedding for the next day. That afternoon, as the princess' procession winds through town, Aladdin spots Yasminda and falls in love. Later, the flame tells the Wazir that to consolidate his power, he must obtain a magic lamp locked in a cave, but warns that Aladdin is the only person capable of unlocking the door to the cave. To procure the lamp, the Wazir must put Aladdin under his spell and eliminate the overly protective Magoo. While spying on Aladdin, the Wazir realizes that the boy has fallen in love and decides to put the knowledge to use. Posing as Magoo's long-lost brother Ben, the Wazir promises to make Aladdin rich, asserting that once he has money, he can attain the princess. On the dawn of his wedding day, the Wazir, impatient to gain possession of the lamp, hustles Aladdin into the desert where the cave is located. Once Aladdin opens the door, the Wazir shoves him into the cave, which is laden with treasure. Pulling Aladdin up from the depths of the cave with a rope, the Wazir snatches the lamp from him, then pitches him back into the cave. At that moment, Magoo, concerned about his ward, arrives and trips the Wazir, sending the lamp flying into the cave. With his wedding time approaching, the Wazir hurries back to the palace. Inside the cave, a voice booms from the lamp, asking Aladdin to let him out. After Aladdin rubs the lamp, a giant green Jinni appears and proclaims that Aladdin is his new master. When Aladdin wishes to return to his uncle's shop, the Jinni transports him there. After telling Magoo that his brother Ben is evil, Aladdin asks his uncle to deliver a chest of jewels to the Sultan and ask for Yasminda's hand in marriage. Upon learning of Magoo's presence in the palace, the Wazir hides behind a portrait of the Sultan and pretends to be the potentate. The nearsighted Magoo, thinking that he is speaking with the Sultan, follows the Wazir's instructions to bring Aladdin and the lamp to the palace. The Wazir then orders his henchman to seize the lamp, but the dimwitted henchman becomes confused and instead takes the rose that Aladdin is carrying. As the wedding commences, Aladdin peers over the palace wall and calls upon the Jinni to stop the ceremony. After creating a palace for Aladdin, the Jinni huffs a gust of air which topples the Wazir. Aladdin then beckons to Yasminda and her fortune-hunting father, who eagerly approves of Aladdin's newly-minted riches. After the Sultan orders the Wazir to leave, Aladdin gives Magoo the lamp. To recover the lamp, the Wazir poses as a lamp salesman and tricks Magoo into trading his old lamp for a bag of shiny new ones. After snatching the lamp, the Wazir summons the Jinni and orders him to make Aladdin's wealth disappear. When this happens, the Sultan is furious at Aladdin's deception and orders the boy's execution. When Magoo learns that Yasminda is missing, he volunteers to find her and sails off on the magic carpet. As Magoo nears the palace by the sea in which the Wazir has imprisoned Yasminda, the Wazir commands the Jinni to eliminate Magoo. The Jinni conjures up a storm to drive Magoo into the sea, but Magoo escapes on his carpet and sails into the palace, where he regains possession of the lamp, making him the Jinni's new master. When the Wazir tries to kill Magoo, the Jinni sends him plunging into the sea to be devoured by some hungry sharks. Told by the Jinni to make a wish, Magoo wishes to find Yasminda and to have Aladdin's life spared. They are all then reunited at the Sultan's palace, where the Sultan marries Yasminda to Aladdin. After Omar gives Aladdin the carpet as a wedding present, the newlyweds fly off with Magoo in tow.
Robert C. Brown
J. Dan Miller
The working title of this film was Magoo's Arabian Nights. In onscreen credits, the film's title is rendered in lowercase as 1001 arabian nights. Before the title card, the phrase "The Nearsighted Mister Magoo" appears onscreen. This is followed by the entrance of "Mr. Magoo," who pulls down the two "oo's" from his name and swings them around to form the number "1001". According to publicity materials contained in the film's production file at the AMPAS Library, production designer Bob Dranko prepared more than 300 individual backgrounds for the film, all of which were then hand-painted by the studio's color staff, headed by Jules Engel. The film's action was charted on more than 250,000 drawings, and over 100 artists were involved in the project. Jack Kinney, the director of 1001 arabian nights, previously worked at the Disney Studios.
1001 arabian nights marked the first feature length cartoon produced by UPA Pictures, Inc. UPA introduced the character of Magoo on September 8, 1949 with the one-reel short Ragtime Bear. Actor Jim Backus was the voice of the character. In 1952, Magoo became a comic book figure, and from 1960-1961, UPA produced a television series based on the character. 1001 arabian nights marked Magoo's feature film debut.
Hollywood Reporter news items noted that the studio was considering producing two other Magoo films. Although those were never made, UPA did release the 1970 Mr. Magoo's Holiday Festival (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70), which was a compilation of two made-for-television, holiday-themed Mr. Magoo cartoons. There were also several other television shows featuring the myopic character, as well as the 1997 film Mr. Magoo, directed by Stanley Tong and starring Leslie Nielsen with Greg Burson as the voice of Magoo. For other information regarding the tales of the Arabian nights and films based on the legend, please see entry for the 1942 Universal film Arabian Nights in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50.
Released in United States Winter January 1, 1959
Released in United States Winter January 1, 1959