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. Each episode contained two separate Shazzan segments.
Shazzan appeared in reruns on Cartoon Network from 1992-2000. The series was shown from 1997-2000 on Cartoon Network's Toonami block as part of Cartoon Roulette. In 2000, The series began airing on Cartoon Network's sister channel Boomerang.
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.
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, 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 & 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).
Each episode of Shazzan contains two separate 11-minute segments.
1. "The Living Island" / "The Master of Thieves"
2. "Valley of the Giants" / "The Black Sultan"
3. "The Underground World" / "Demon in the Bottle"
4. "Ring of Samarra" / "City of Brass"
5. "the Evil Jester of Masira" / "The Master Wizard of Mizwa"
6. "Demon in the Bottle Returns" / "City of the Tombs"
7. "The Young Rajah of Kamura" / "The Sky Pirates of Basheea"
8. "The Forest of Fear" / "Sorceress of the Mist"
9. "The Flaming Ruby" / "The Keys of the Zodiac"
10. "Lord of the Shadows" / "The Diamond of El Rajim"
11. "The Idol of Turaba" / "The Land of Neverwas"
12. "The Three Horsemen of Mandragora" / "A Thousand and One Tricks"
13. "The Circus of Zahran" / "Baharum the Befuddled"
14. "The Impossible Quest of Nazir" / "A Pound of Evil Magic"
15. "The Maze of Mercuraan" / "The Magical Kingdom of Centuria"
16. "Nastrina of the Flames" / "Quest for the Magic Lamp"
17. "Rashid, the Apprentice Sorcerer" / "Kahn of the North Wind"
18. "The Mirage Maker" / "Mysterio, the Mini-Magi"
- Shazzan has appeared on an episode of Space Ghost. It was called "The Final Encounter" and was the last episode of the six part "The Council of Doom". Space Ghost falls into 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.
- Shazzan has appeared on an episode of Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law voiced by Maurice LaMarche. In the episode "Mufti Trouble," he had a long-standing rivalry with Mentok the Mindtaker.
- Kaboobie made a cameo in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "The Siege of Starro part 1" as the animal B'wana Beast was riding on.
- 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."
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.