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Posted by Tracy Poff on June 27, 2011

Following on the success of the animated movie Aladdin in 1992, Disney created a TV series to chronicle the further exploits of Aladdin and company, pitting them against all manner of mystical antagonists, ranging from the merely annoying to the downright dangerous.

The show ran for a total of 86 episodes from 1994 to 1995.

I watched this one a lot when I was younger–every day, I guess. At the time, I liked it quite well, though I suspect that was because I had not developed very discerning tastes, yet.

I’ve been watching a bit of it lately, and I’m afraid that it doesn’t hold up as well as I’d like. The episodes have pretty straightforward plots, and there’s no continuity or character development, so in the end neither the viewer nor the characters get anything lasting out of the episodes.

The show suffers from many flaws that are hallmarks of a children’s show: characterization changes to suit the needs of the plot; dumb jokes inserted at random moments; unrealistic black-and-white morality; too much time spent addressing the audience; and a severe lack of subtlety. It was certainly possible to do better at this time. Batman: The Animated Series ran from 1992 to 1995, and rarely fell into any of those traps.

I intend to watch this one fully, though regrettably I don’t expect the average quality of the episodes to pick up much as it goes along. There are a few episodes that I remember enjoying, though, so I’ll have some things to look forward to. And, I do think it’s worthwile to examine one of the elements of my formative years, even if it does fail to impress.

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