Beautifully constructed, 1001 Nights stays true to the lush and mysterious backdrop of the well known and age old story. Tezuka remolds the story into an escapist fantasy where a 60s-era working man is transported back to an era of entirely fictitious Arabian details. Seemingly at odds with itself, 1001 Nights consistently unfolds in a way that combines Playboy graphics, Arabian rug design and traditional Japanese scroll paintings.
Sound like a strange mix? You bet and along the way we experience some of the great cultural juxtapositions that makes Tezuka the unpredictable style it is.
I've decided to write my first review on what I consider the best anime movie ever made. Now I doubt anyone else will agree with me on that statement but I truly feel this movie is a masterpiece. It was this movie that introduced me to the genius that is Osamu Tezuka. I expected to like this movie but I didn't expect it to be this good. It was excellent in every way, certainly better than any other cartoon movie at the time. With that being said its very sad to see this great film fall into obscurity the way it did. Any way on
with the review.
1001 nights is the first film of three films known as Animerama. The others were Cleopatra and Belladonna of Sadness. These films were among the first attempts at cartoons aimed for adults this one being the first full length animated feature made for adults. As you can expect their is quite a bit of nudity, sex, and Violence however it is not done in a sleazy way in fact it's quite light hearted feeling. The thing that truly makes this movie so great though is not as much the content as the Master story telling by Tezuka. This whole story is so deep and complex and even though at points it seems like it's going off the rails at times it all comes together perfectly in the end. The story is basically a twist on the story of Alladin with additions to it like Sinbad the sailor and the tower of Babel among other crazy stuff. It's hard to really explain the story without spoiling anything but it's largely a tale of rise and fall where many peoples lives intertwine. All the Characters are quite interesting and memorable and most have a strong amount of Character Development most notably Alladin.
The art is also quite good for it's time and often mixes real in life images. There is is some nice psychedelic sex scenes which are quite mesmerizing. The music is awesome classic rock and proto-metal type stuff and is very catchy. The main theme often ends up stuck in my head in fact it is at this very moment. The whole movie is outstanding in everyway.
Yeah that's my opinion and even though i'm plrobably alone on it I would suggest you watch this film if your cool with oldschool anime. It really is by all means a great film.
Belonging to a Muslim family my bedtime stories consisted of the adventures of Sinbad, Ali Baba and Aladdin. We had a copy of the children’s version of 1001 nights at home and me and my brother would hang on every word as our mother would read them to us. When I grew older I watched all the movies and series based on these stories (e.g The Theif of Baghdad – a must watch if you like the Arabian Nights)
So when I came across this movie by Tezuka, Osamu I was ecstatic.
Let me explain the story a little. Senya Ichiya Monogatari (SIM) tells the tale of
Aladdin as he ventures into Baghdad as a water seller and falls in love with a slave girl. The girl is being sold in the market place and Aladdin, who fell in love with her at first sight, taking advantage of a sandstorm takes off with the girl and that is where our tale begins. I won’t dispense too many details here, because its very entertaining to watch the story unfold. Since the original 1001 nights is so vast the writers have chosen and used some elements of the different popular tales and infused them in telling the tale of Aladdin (like the bandits cave, the flying toy horse and the flying carpet). I loved seeing all the different elements come together to create a completely new tale of love, hate, power and insanity.
The characters are very entertaining to watch. There is just the right amount of comic relief in the dialogues and there are also scenes that will bring tears to your eyes. A few scenes sent a chill up my spine too but they were just as entertaining. By the end of the movie I felt that I had actually gone through a long journey because the time span covered in SIM is that of years but it doesn’t feel rushed at all.
The animation is old but surprisingly it complements the story very well adding to the majestic atmosphere. The scenes are very vivid and the imagery is very powerful. (I wouldn’t watch this after doing drugs :p)
Overall I loved SMI. It reminded me how much I enjoyed the Arabian Nights tales as a child and its motivated me to buy the 1001 nights compilation translated by Malcolm C. Lyons and Ursula Lyons.
I don't know what is weirder, a tiny female genie rubbing her breasts for magic purposes or Tezuka's fetishistic side blatantly displayed in the sensual pink panther sequence. For better or worse, the movie is littered with moments that defy common sense and beg the question “why” at every turn. The problem is however that a supposedly adult movie that does have various sequences of clearly adult content is littered with such misplaced bullshit. If his intention was to make something lighthearted and ultimately devoid of pretense, there shouldn't be entire dramatic segments that are far from self-aware, let alone subverted. He can't focus, his
tone and pacing are always all over the place. Les Réusltats du Féminisme from fucking 1906 managed to be both absurdist, thoughtful, and the most ahead of its time film in history, which believe it or not, can be done. What this movie represents is basically utter waste of talent on a project that sucks from its very conception. Considering Belladonna came just a bit later, this is just inexcusably lame even for the period it came out.
I must say that, for the first adult animated movie of the Animerama Trilogy, it was quite enjoyable, except for the fact that the only version I was able to watch was in Italian (with no subtitles), and me can't speak well spaghetti e pepperoni... -_-
Story is a mix of tales from the 1001 nights: Aladdin, the magical ship, Babel Tower (why in the frog is there a biblical tale in this movie will always get me).
Sound is quite well done: mix of classical music and original soundtrack.
Art is a blend between limited animation and psychedelic cuts for the more ecchi stuff (*wink wink*).
movie isn't suitable for kids, only for teens and adults of all age.
This summer, American arthouse theaters screen one of the craziest anime films ever made, an erotic pseudo-historical musical acid trip produced by Osamu Tezuka in 1973. Learn about what makes Belladonna of Sadness a one-of-a-kind experience. Content Warning: discussion of sexual violence