|This article does not cite any references or sources. (April 2008)|
Shazzan title card
|Genre||Animated television series|
|Created by||Alex Toth|
|Voices of||Jerry Dexter, Janet Waldo, Barney Phillips, Don Messick|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||36|
|Running time||30 mins|
|Original run||1967 – 1969|
Shazzan is an American animated television series, created by Alex Toth and produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions in 1967 for CBS. The series follows the adventures of two teenage siblings, Chuck and Nancy, traveling around a mystical Arabian world, mounted on Kaboobie the flying camel. During their journey they face several dangers, but they are always helped by Shazzan, a genie with magical powers out of this world.
The introduction to the cartoons and the first episode give this plot description:
- "Inside a cave off the coast of Maine, Chuck and Nancy find a mysterious chest containing the halves of a strange ring.
- When joined, the ring forms the word "Shazzan!" and with this magical command, they are transported back to the fabled land of the Arabian Nights.
- Here they meet their Genie, Shazzan.
- Shazzan presents them with Kaboobie, a magical flying camel.
- Shazzan will serve them whenever they call, but he cannot return them home until they deliver the ring to its rightful owner.
- And thus begins their incredible journey."
Chuck (voiced by Jerry Dexter) and Nancy (voiced by Janet Waldo) come across a cave off the coast of Maine where they find a mysterious chest containing halves of a strange ring. When they first joined the rings, they end up transported back to the fabled land of the Arabian Nights where they meet their genie Shazzan (voiced by Barney Phillips). Shazzan creates a magical flying camel named Kaboobie (voiced by Don Messick) to serve as their transportation. Shazzan comments to Chuck and Nancy that he can't return them home until they deliver the two rings to his rightful owner.
Shazzan is very large, being able to hold Chuck, Nancy and Kaboobie in the open palm of his hand. He is wise and jolly in nature, usually appearing with a cheerful "Ho-ho ho-HO!" and referring to the two children as his "little masters". Chuck and Nancy each wear one half of the broken ring, which has to be joined to bring forth their magical servant. A frequent plot device is that the two teenagers became separated, most often by the act of a villain. They can not summon the omnipotent genie until they manage to find each other. Once Shazzan materializes, it is extremely bad news for the villain.
The series is similar in its style and production details to the other Alex Toth-created CBS Saturday morning cartoons of 1966-1968, relying heavily on music and sound effects earlier created for Jonny Quest. As is typical for both animated and live-action TV series of the era that revolve around an ongoing dilemma (Dino Boy in the Lost Valley, Moby Dick and Mighty Mightor, Lost In Space, Gilligan's Island, Lidsville, etc.), the heroes never resolve their long-term situation. Chuck and Nancy never find the ring's owner and thus never return to their American teenage lives.
Shazzan's powers and abilities
Shazzan is referred to in a commercial as Shazzan, greatest of all genies. As such, he naturally shows off with all kinds of magical powers and appears able to do just about anything, from growing in size, to transforming or empowering others, or changing his own form to escaping situations commonly referred to as inescapable, to altering reality itself. This all may have made it seem like he can do anything and survive anything. However, that is not exactly the case. First of all, Shazzan is a genie, and has to be summoned with magical items. According to the common myth about genies, destroying such a magical item destroys the genie itself. Which means, if anyone destroyed the rings, Shazzan would also die. In spite of this, his many enemies never try to destroy the rings; rather, they launch their attacks directly on this god-like, gigantic, immortal genie. Shazzan easily defeats them each time by transforming himself, them, or something else in the area into something else, though in some cases, the enemy seals their own fate somehow. There are also some things that make Shazzan disappear from sight, even if it is only briefly. For example, in the episode "1001 Tricks", Shazzan grows the Jester to his size, and the Jester casts a spell that sends a meteor to crash down on Shazzan. He disappears from sight, and Chuck, Nancy, and Kaboobie are concerned. It is indicated that these things destroy Shazzan, but only briefly, as there are not many surefire ways to destroy a genie permanently. There are also some things that even Shazzan can not accomplish. First of all, in an episode involving a pirate captain on a flying ship, the pirate captain sends Nancy to the underworld, where not even Shazzan can travel. As a result, Shazzan strikes a deal with the captain, offering him three wishes in exchange for Nancy's return. Secondly, in one episode, Chuck and Nancy become trapped in the mythical land of Neverwas, and even Shazzan can not break through the land's magic barrier without knowing its secret. In addition to all the magic Shazzan can drum up, Chuck and Nancy have magical items which include "Illusion Dust" (which naturally causes a momentary illusion), a magic rope (which will obey the command of the owner), and a cloak of invisibility (which turns the wearer invisible).
- The Living Island - In order to give Kaboobie a rest, Chuck and Nancy land him on an island where they end up hunted by an evil hunter.
- Master of Thieves - An underling of the Master of Thieves plans to steal Chuck and Nancy's rings in order to give it to his master.
- Valley of the Giants - Chuck and Nancy travel through a valley which is inhabited by a cyclops.
- The Black Sultan - Chuck and Nancy encounter a prince that has been turned into a pig. He is on a mission to rescue his princess from a sleeping spell casted by the Black Sultan.
- The Underground World - While exploring some caverns, Chuck and Nancy are attacked by giant bats.
- Demon in the Bottle -
- Ring of Samarra - While trying to save Princess Jasmine, Chuck and Nancy end up chased by giant birds made of glass. It is soon discovered that the Evil Khan of El Jawali is holding her hostage in order to claim her father's Ring of Samarra.
- City of Brass - While flying over the ocean, Chuck, Nancy, and Kaboobie get lost and land on a ship to ask for directions. They find a ship full of brass statues that come to life and capture them in order to make them their slaves.
- The Evil Jester of Masira - The Evil Jester of Masira steals the secret Book of Evil Magic in a plot to overthrow the Viceroy of Masira and take over his kingdom.
- The Master Wizard of Mizwa - Upon finding a garden, Chuck, Nancy, and Kaboobie end up captured by an evil wizard.
- Demon in the Bottle Returns - The Demon in the Bottle that Chuck, Nancy, and Shazzan had previously defeated returns for revenge. He manages to separate Chuck and Nancy so that they wouldn't summon Shazzan.
- City of the Tombs - Chuck, Nancy, and Kaboobie fly of the Desert of the Dead only for them to be captured and taken to the City of the Tombs.
- The Young Rajah of Kamura - Chuck and Nancy save a young Rajah from Kamura from certain death. Now they must fight to keep the evil Regent from claiming the throne
- The Sky Pirates of Basheena - Nancy is captured by the Sky Pirates of Basheena and it's up to Chuck to save Nancy.
- The Forest of Fear - Chuck and Nancy travel through the Forest of Fear in order to find the Magical Tree of Tureen.
- Sorceress of the Mist - The Sorceress of the Mist captures Nancy in order for her to become the next Sorceress of the Mist.
- The Flaming Ruby - The Maharajah wants to use Kaboobie to steal the Flaming Ruby of Eternal Truth.
- The Keys of the Zodiac - Chuck and Nancy fight an evil wizard who can summon his evil Twins of Gemini to steal the sultan's Keys of the Zodiac. The only problem is that the Twins of Gemini resemble Chuck and Nancy and it's up to Shazzan to prove their innocence.
- Lord of the Shadows - The Lord of the Shadows sends some of his shadow creatures to steal the Jade Goddess from the Shah of Salim so that he can have the magical all-seeing powers.
- The Diamond of El Rhapir - The Magician of the Mirrors captures Nancy at the time when she is holding the Diamond of El Rhapir. Chuck and Kaboobie must fly through the mirror to rescue her.
- The Idol of Turaba - Chuck and Nancy witness a girl getting captured and taken behind a waterfall to a secret city which is made of porcelain and the river is made of clay.
- The Land of Neverwas - Chuck and Nancy are captured by the ruler of the Land of Neverwas as part of a plot to take revenge on the kindly Wizard of the 7th Mountain.
- The Three Horsemen of Mandragora - Chuck and Nancy unwittingly release the Three Horsemen of Mandragora upon being tricked by the Sultan.
- A Thousand and One Tricks - Chuck and Nancy run into their friend the Rajah of Kamura who has been imprisoned in his own palace.
- The Circus of Zahran - Chuck, Nancy, and Kaboobie arrive in the city of Zahran and visit the local circus. They end up stumbling onto a plot by the circus' ringmaster to take over the city and take all of its treasures.
- Baharum The Befuddled - Chuck and Nancy run into a genie named Baharum the Befuddled who is being controlled by the Master of Thieves.
- The Impossible Quest of Nazir - Chuck and Nancy go to the Temple of Knowledge to ask the Sage of Nazir for directions to where the Wizard of the 7th Mountain lives. The Sage of Nazir has them perform two different tasks. Chuck and Nancy are unaware that an evil magician is posing as the Sage of Nazir and has the real Sage of Nazir imprisoned.
- A Pound of Evil Magic - Chuck and Nancy set out to meet their friend the Viceroy of Rapport where the run into the evil Master Wizard of Mizwater who plots to destroy the Viceroy of Rapport's kingdom.
- The Maze Of Mercuraad - Chuck and Nancy get lost in the valley of the 5th Mountain when on their way to the 7th Mountain. They end up running into the valley's guardian Mercuraad who demands payment for them to pass.
- The Magical Kingdom of Centuria - The Magical Kingdom of Centuria only appears on Earth for 12 Hours ever 100 years in order to find a new king. Chuck and Nancy see Centuria appear and end up captured by its queen who plots to make Shazzan its king.
- Nastrina of the Flames - While Chuck and Nancy are flying on Kaboobie, a magical cloud causes them to crash on an island where they find a princess being chased by a dragon. It soon turns out that the princess is really an evil sorceress named Nastrina who plots to destroy Shazzan.
- Quest for the Magic Lamp - The Master of Thieves steals Aladdin's lamp. Chuck and Nancy team up with Aladdin to get his lamp back.
- Raschid the Apprentice Sorcerer - Kabala is an evil sorcerer who has a grudge on Shazzan. He sends his apprentice Raschid to find Chuck and Nancy in order to get to Shazzan.
- Kahn of the North Wind - Chuck and Nancy's friend Shalimar is captured by an evil wizard named Kahn.
- The Mirage Maker - The Mirage Maker kidnaps Kaboobie and a princess. Chuck and Nancy are forced by the Mirage Maker to deliver a message to the sultan for their safe release.
- Mysterio, the Mini Magi -
Robert Smigel's TV Funhouse created a parody of Shazzan, appearing on the May 14, 2005 broadcast of Saturday Night Live. The parody, entitled "Shazzang!", depicted the genie Shazzan(g) quickly defeating the villain, but then maiming and executing the villain in an increasingly sadistic fashion, to the growing horror and consternation of Chuck, Nancy, and Kaboobie, eventually babbling about having to "please his dad". The parody was generally well-received, but some viewers found the segment to be excessively violent and disturbing. It is shown on the DVD version of the SNL special "The Best of TV Funhouse."
Shazzan has also appeared on an episode of "Space Ghost". It was called "The Final Encounter". It was last episode of the six part "The Council of Doom". Space Ghost falls in a trap that transports him to the dimension of Shazzan. Shazzan helps him defeat the Sultan of Flame and transports him back to his own dimension.
Two episodes of Shazzan were released on a Saturday morning cartoon compilation, along with a short video containing some background information.
On April 3, 2012, Warner Archive released Shazzan: The Complete Series on DVD in region 1 as part of their Hanna–Barbera Classics Collection. This is a Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) release, available exclusively through Warner's online store and Amazon.com. All episodes, while not perfect, have been faithfully remastered for this release.