Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp
part of Popeye the Sailor (Fleischer Studios)
Date: April 7, 1939
This Movie plays What Can I Do for You?
Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp is a two-reel animated cartoon short subject in the Popeye Color Specials series, produced in Technicolor and released to theaters on April 7, 1939, by Paramount Pictures. It was produced by Max Fleischer, and directed by Dave Fleischer for Fleischer Studios, Inc., with David Tendlar serving as head animator, and music being supervised by Sammy Timberg. The voice of Popeye is performed by Jack Mercer, with additional voices by Margie Hines as Olive Oyl and Carl Meyer as the evil Wazzir.
This short features Olive as a screenwriter for Surprise Pictures ("if it's a good picture, it's a Surprise" - the same joke idea had been used in 1938's Daffy Duck in Hollywood), working on a treatment of the story of Aladdin that will feature herself as the beautiful princess and Popeye as Aladdin, all the while speaking in rhyme. As she types, her adaptation of Aladdin comes to life on the screen, with Popeye having to use his wits against an evil vizier who seeks to control a magic lamp inhabited by a powerful genie. After completing the script, Olive gets a termination of employment notice from the front office, which reads "Your story of Aladdin is being thrown out...and so are you! [signed] Surprise."
As in many Popeye cartoons, many of the gags are conveyed using dialogue. As Princess Olive awaits Popeye/Aladdin's declaration of his love, he turns to the camera and remarks "I don't know what to say...I've never made love in Technicolor before!" During the climatic battle between Aladdin and the vizier, Olive screams out "Help! Popeye—I mean Aladdin—save me!!"