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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alex Toth does the Arabian Nights!
I never watched "Shazzan" growing up, and that is saying something from a cartoon junky like me. I would watch pretty much anything animated. I watched all of the other Hanna Barbara shows; "The Herculoids," "Space Ghost," "Birdman," " Frankenstein Jr.," ... but not "Shazzan". I refused to watch it because I was a huge Captain Marvel fan, and the whole Shazam / Shazzan...
Published on June 1, 2012 by Zack Davisson

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3.0 out of 5 stars The Genie Not the Fawcett Superhero
I'll start off admitting that I have NOT purchased any of these. However, I likely never would. First off, these are just ripped copies, basically (read the other reviews, I mean, c'mon), there are no extras, no real reason to purchase a DVD (as opposed to locating a stream of these ... um ... somewhere ... wink wink). Anyway, I HAVE viewed several of these in the past...
Published 2 months ago by Red Wood


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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alex Toth does the Arabian Nights!, June 1, 2012
This review is from: Shazzan: The Complete Series (DVD)
I never watched "Shazzan" growing up, and that is saying something from a cartoon junky like me. I would watch pretty much anything animated. I watched all of the other Hanna Barbara shows; "The Herculoids," "Space Ghost," "Birdman," " Frankenstein Jr.," ... but not "Shazzan". I refused to watch it because I was a huge Captain Marvel fan, and the whole Shazam / Shazzan thing offended my sensibilities. (I was a true geek even as a kid, apparently).

Older and wiser now, I took the plunge and dove into this long-shunned Alex Toth production, and found an excellent, goofy, and surprisingly edgy late `60s cartoon.

The `60s and `70s wasn't exactly the greatest time for American cartoons. Budgets were tight, techniques were limited, and simplistic stories were recycled over and over again. "Shazzan" is no different, and repeats a basic magic item / unfulfilled quest scenario for all 36 episodes. Everything you need to know about the story is summed up in the preamble that runs before every episode:

"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 Kaboobie a magical flying camel and gives Chuck a magic belt and rope. Shazzan will serve them whenever they call, but he cannot return them home until they deliver the ring to it's rightful owner. And thus begins their incredible journey."

Who is that rightful owner? The story never says. Just a macguffin to keep the plots churning. The saving grace for many of these `60s/'70s shows is design, humor, and imagination. All of which "Shazzan" has in spades.

It goes without saying that Alex Toth is one of the great comic designers, and he obviously had fun playing around with the world of the Arabian Nights. Some of the magic is pulled straight from the original stories, some from Toth's imagination.

The Arabian Nights is a rich playground for the imagination, and "Shazzan" has everything you could want: Flying carpets, magical eggs, rocs, evil wizards--and flying camels. There is something about winged camels that is inherently cool. if you have ever read Neil Gaimen's The Sandman story Ramadan, then you know that this is the world bartered away to the king of dreams so that it could live forever in humanities' dreams. It is a pure fantasy land. (Disney's animators must have watching as well. The entire plot of Aladdin appears to have been lifted from an episode of "Shazzan".)

And while Chuck and Nancy are typical bland white-bread heroes, Shazzan himself is awesome. He has enough magical power that he could just snap his fingers and put things to right, but this all-powerful genie has a sense of humor and cruelty. There is actually an edge to "Shazzan" that surprised me, and that I don't think I would have noticed as a kid. The great genie delightfully torments the episode's villain and plays with them like a cat with a mouse. With a hearty "Ho ho ho ho!" he re-shapes their bodies or tears down their homes or leaves them stranded in the desert to die.

This "Shazzan" DVD has all 36 episodes, pulled from the Warner Archives collection. Obviously they didn't spend a lot of time and money restoring these cartoons, but everything looks nice enough to enjoy. They did actually put together a bonus feature, a short documentary called "The Power of Shazzan" (again with the Captain Marvel references! Grumble grumble!), which basically has a bunch of industry folks talking about working on "Shazzan" and watching it as a kid.

I was also surprised to find out that my wife knew "Shazzan". American cartoons rarely make the leap, but apparently "Shazzan" was popular in Japan. My wife actually always assumed it was a Japanese cartoon. But hey, flying camels are popular everywhere, so that is entirely appropriate.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars old movie fan, June 25, 2013
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This review is from: Shazzan: The Complete Series (DVD)
The Shazzan series along with Space Ghost and Dino Boy, Moby Dick and the Mighty Mightor, and Jonny Quest are for me the classics of Hanna- Barbera cartoons. They bring back the fun memories of childhood watching cartoons with friends and neighborhood kids. Each of us had our favorite characters, we knew their names, their talents, the story line as to how the characters started out on their journey and that they always were on the side of right. Even the music for these cartoons stirs up memories of what was going to come, excitement, adventure, using super skills and setting things back on the right road. Many times wrong choices were made by some of the characters, however there was always someone to help. It didn't end there because lessons were learned and a consequence always follows. I think that is what is missing in the Saturday morning cartoons today. I've seen some of the cartoon that children watch today and to me they are very scary and have no substance. The classic cartoons of Hanna-Barbera have a timeless quality.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NOSTALGIC, August 10, 2012
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This review is from: Shazzan: The Complete Series (DVD)
VERY GOOD REPRODUCTION. GLAD TO SEE THAT PUT THESE OLD CARTOONS ON D V D. LONG WAIT BUT WELL WORTH IT.
BRINGS BACK SATURDAY MORNING MEMORIES
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Different Villain Each Episode, June 8, 2012
By 
PWB Esq (Johnson City, TN USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shazzan: The Complete Series (DVD)
Shazzan is a great Hanna-Barbera cartoon. Unlike many, but not all, of Hanna-Barbera cartoons, each episode of Shazzan was new and fresh - there was a new villain each episode. That helped keep this series fresh, and the kiddies (and adults) interested. Series like "The Perils of Pauline Pitstop," for example, had the same villain each week, to wit, the Hooded Claw. And although a couple of villains had recurring roles, it was basically a new episode each week with Shazzan, Chuch, Nancy and Kabubie (sp?).

The animation, as other reviewers have noted, was typical high quality from Hanna-Barbera. Hanna-Barbera was prolific in the field of of animation - I'm glad Shazzan was among their cartoon repertoire. Hope you enjoy it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ah, old Hanna-Barbera, September 9, 2013
By 
K. Pring (Middletown, IN USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Shazzan: The Complete Series (DVD)
I've wrote on all these old cartoons I've collected and it's great to have them, sure they didn't really have a plot like modern stories with an ending and real character growth but they were sure a lot of fun weren't they? I mean, who wouldn't have fun with a Genie you can summon to get you out of any nasty jams you find yourself in. And he's always so jolly when defeating the bad guys too.

If you're like me and like the old school cartoons like this, well it's certainly worth having in your collection.
Thanks for reading and have a nice day.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT MEMORIES!!, June 7, 2012
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This review is from: Shazzan: The Complete Series (DVD)
Shazzan was one of my all time favorite cartoons as a child, and I have been waiting patiently for the series to be put out on DVD. As with all of Hanna Barbera cartoons, the animation quality and characters are excellent. I'm slowly building up my Hanna Barbera collection, and I'm very glad to be able to add this one to it. If you are a fan of Hanna Barbera, then this is a series that you absolutely need to have in your collection.
Shazzan: The Complete Series
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shazzan, August 23, 2012
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This review is from: Shazzan: The Complete Series (DVD)
Wonderful to relive Saturday morning cartoons. Takes me back to a time where happiness was the only emotion. Hanna Barbera at their best
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very!!!! Cool!!!!, May 14, 2013
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This review is from: Shazzan: The Complete Series (DVD)
Just another Very!!!!!! Cool cartoon,It is different then all the others..They at least made a good amount of episodes with this show,So you get alot...Just again,another really Cool show,Shazzan is wild man..
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Genie Not the Fawcett Superhero, August 10, 2014
This review is from: Shazzan: The Complete Series (DVD)
I'll start off admitting that I have NOT purchased any of these. However, I likely never would. First off, these are just ripped copies, basically (read the other reviews, I mean, c'mon), there are no extras, no real reason to purchase a DVD (as opposed to locating a stream of these ... um ... somewhere ... wink wink). Anyway, I HAVE viewed several of these in the past year and I can honestly say that "Shazzan" is one of the better 60s Saturday morning cartoons. Alas, the best of the bunch, though, were actually those picked up from prime time (Top Cat, The Jetsons, Jonny Quest) or theatrical shorts in edited format for TV (Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Tom & Jerry).

The strength of "Shazzan" is in the topic (fantasy-adventure), the characters (well, of the main characters, only the genie, himself, achieves success here, but he's an important part of the whole), and the mature theme (these were one of those that caused the powers that be to dumb down the 70s). Although each episode produced similar plotting, the situations varied somewhat and the battle between Shazzan and the villain was something of a Game of Thrones twist for the younger set. In the end, I can honestly say that if I acquired a perfect Saturday morning set, this would be one of a few that I would pick from this period.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still as good as it was in the 1960s, April 6, 2014
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This review is from: Shazzan: The Complete Series (DVD)
Use to watch Shazzan as well as many of the other great Hanna-Barbara Shows on Saturday morning. Still fun to watch the adventures and become that little kid once again.
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Shazzan: The Complete Series
Shazzan: The Complete Series by William Hanna (DVD - 2012)
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