and his Magic Lamp
(aka VOLSHEBNAYA LAMPA ALADDINA, ALADDIN’S MAGIC LAMP)
(1966, U.S.S.R.) color/Cinemascope 84 minutes
Gorky Film Studios
Screenplay: Viktor Vitkovich, Grigory Yagdfeld
Music: Aleksai Muravlyov
Cinematography: Vasili Dultsev, Lev Ragozin
Directed by Boris Rytsarev
DVD-R comes packaged as shown in color DVD case, wrapped in plastic!
ALADDIN AND HIS MAGIC LAMP is a remarkable fantasy film, full of magic and amazing effects, certainly one of the “biggest” films which Childhood Productions ever released.
Originally a Russian production (VOLSHEBNAYA LAMPA ALADDINA), ALADDIN is easily on par with other noted Russian fantasies such as THE SWORD AND THE DRAGON (ILDVD-R!!JA MUROMETS) and THE MAGIC VOYAGE OF SINBAD (SADKO). It is unfortunate that ALADDIN is far more obscure than its more glorious cousins.
Combining amazing outdoor sets with miniatures, opticals and animation, ALADDIN is a smorgasbord of awe-inspiring visuals, and boasts a lively, affable screenplay which juggles satire and slapstick effortlessly.
Early on, the evil magician talks to the very stars themselves in an amazing optical effect. The Baghdad sets are simply beautiful. When Aladdin travels to an enchanted (invisible) city to retain the magic lamp, the city has a vaguely expressionistic feel about it which is quite wondrous. One of many gorgeous process scenes features the Genie and Aladdin sitting together at sunset, contemplating their fates.
The magic Lamp itself is a somewhat odd-looking item, a rather nondescript vertical container, looking more like a spittoon than the stereotypical, sleek oil-lamp we have come to associate with this fable.
When the Genie finally materializes, the effect is both impressive and scary, utilizing an uncanny mixture of live-action and animation, with deep red filtering. There are some virtually stunning close-ups of the Genie.
After many struggles for our three heroes (Aladdin, Bodura and Genie), the film ends happily yet ironically, with a big Wedding, followed by Aladdin and the Princess entering their chambers to begin their honeymoon. The voice of the Genie interrupts, however, pleading: “Not yet! There are children in the theatre!”
A bizarre and wonderful fantasy which deserves another look by everyone interested in the maligned, neglected fantasy genre. Luckily, this public domain gem has been released by several different video and DVD companies, both in the U.S. and elsewhere. See our “Aladdin Video Box Art Gallery!” –>