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A-Lad-In His Lamp

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A-Lad-In His Lamp
Directed byRobert McKimson
Story byWarren Foster
Based onOne Thousand and One Nights
by Czendze Ormonde
Produced byEdward Selzer
StarringMel Blanc
Jim Backus
Music byCarl W. Stalling
Animation byCharles McKimson
Phil DeLara
Manny Gould
John Carey
Fred Abranz
A.C. Gamer
(effects animation)
Layouts byCornett Wood
Backgrounds byRichard H. Thomas
Color processTechnicolor
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
The Vitaphone Corporation
Release date
October 23, 1948 (US)
Running time
7 minutes

A-Lad-In His Lamp is a 1948 Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoon.[1] The short stars Bugs Bunny, and features the Genie and Caliph Hassan Pfeffer, who is after Bugs and the genie in his lamp.[2] The voices of Bugs Bunny and Caliph Hassan Pfeffer are voiced by Mel Blanc, and the voice of the genie is played by Jim Backus. The cartoon is a takeoff of the story of Aladdin's Lamp. Elements of this short would later be re-used for the Arabian era in Bugs Bunny & Taz: Time Busters.


Bugs finds Aladdin's lamp while digging a rabbit hole; believing it is junk, he starts to clean it, rubbing the dirt off so he can use it as an ashtray. A genie appears and tells him to make a wish. Calling him "Smokey," Bugs reluctantly starts to make multiple wishes, only to be interrupted by the genie each time. Bugs ultimately requests two carrots, which the genie produces. "Smokey" remarks that he wants to return to his home in Baghdad, and Bugs, imagining how fabulous it must be, remarks to himself that he wishes he could go to Baghdad. Interpreting it as an actual wish, the genie then puts Bugs in the lamp and fires him from it like a cannon, and the two fly off to Baghdad. As they arrive, Bugs sputters and 'conks out,' and he and the lamp fall into the Royal Palace of Caliph Hassan Pfeffer, angering the caliph, who then wants the lamp. When Bugs refuses, the caliph threatens Bugs at swordpoint, and a chase ensues, during which Bugs' attempts to enlist the lazy genie's help fail. Bugs eventually tries to escape from the caliph by taking a magic carpet rigged with an outboard motor. When Bugs tries to draw the genie again, the genie becomes angered and warns Bugs saying, "If you disturb me once more, I'll beat you to a pulp." The carpet's motor runs out of gas, and Bugs crash-lands back into the palace, and the caliph now has possession of the lamp. When the caliph tries to draw the genie out of the lamp, in spite of Bugs' warning not to try this, the genie emerges, larger and angrier than before, and beats the caliph to a pulp. Cheering Bugs on his victory, he grants Bugs a wish as a celebration. He whispers to "Smokey," who produces a ball that becomes a puff of smoke when dropped. The scene concludes showing Bugs as a caliph himself, surrounded by a harem of female rabbits, and wondering "what the poor rabbits are doing this season."

Home media

A-Lad-In His Lamp has been released on the Warner Home Video laserdisc <i>Wince Upon A Time</i>, and the VHS releases Bugs Bunny's Hare Raising Tales and Looney Tunes Collector's Edition: Daffy Doodles.

Depiction of Middle Easterners

This short was the earliest in the Bugs Bunny series to be set in either the Middle East or North Africa, and the first to feature Arabs or Islam.[3] In this case, the setting is Baghdad, depicted with Las Vegas-style flashy signs and desert-like streets. Also depicted is the used rug lot of Mad Man Hassan, where people can sell their magic carpets.[3] The scene soon shifts to the palace of Caliph Hassan Pfeffer, built on a G.I. loan, a mortgage loan for veterans guaranteed by the federal government of the United States.[3]

The caliph is depicted as a lazy man, reclining on pillows and smoking a hookah.[3] When he discovers the magic lamp of Aladdin, his expression turns to "child-like glee" and his motive for the rest of the short is greed. His facial expressions during the pursuit of the lamp tend toward the grotesque, while he is waving a big sword and growling.[3] As do Middle Eastern villains in other Looney Tunes shorts, he has bushy eyebrows, moustache and beard which enhance his physically intimidating presence.[3]

Such shorts reinforce stereotypes concerning Muslims and Middle Easterners, depicting them as lazy, hedonistic, pleasure-seeking, easily angered, and indiscriminately and irrationally violent. Punishments for various offenses are depicted as too severe, Draconian in favoring capital punishment for the most minor of offenses. "Death is the default punishment" is a concept used to reinforce such stereotypes.[3] The G.I. loan that financed the building of the caliph's palace fits another stereotype: that of Muslim men deriving their power from the support of the Western world.[3] These shorts tend to make no distinctions among Arabs, Muslims, and Persians, terms which in popular culture tend to be depicted as "interchangeable".[3]

For all the menace of their weapons (often swords), they are inept in using them and easily manipulated by the "Western hero" Bugs.[3] Also lacking are depictions of diligence and productivity in the Middle East, thus portraying the Middle East as being a cultural backwater, unaffected by modernity.[3]

In 1991 when the short was one of 120 Looney Tunes being shown in AMC Theatres nationwide prior to, and during, the Gulf War; Warner Bros. responded to criticism from Casey Kasem, voice artist and radio personality of Arab descent, by issuing the following statement:

"To see the short is to recognize it as simply a classic cartoon, produced 43 years ago, satirizing a classic children’s fairy tale, intended - as all our cartoons are - only as good-natured fun".[4]

Vivian Boyer of Warner Bros. further clarified that "it was never intended to be a racist cartoon".[4]


  • Sensoy, Özlem (2010). "Mad Man Hassan Will Buy Your Carpets!: The Bearded Curricula of Evil Muslims". In Kincheloe, Joe L.; Steinberg, Shirley R.; Stonebanks, Christopher D. (eds.). Teaching Against Islamophobia. Peter Lang Publishing Inc. ISBN 978-1-4331-0336-0. Retrieved 23 April 2016.


  1. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (1999). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons. Checkmark Books. pp. 60–61. ISBN 0-8160-3831-7. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  2. ^ Beck, Jerry; Friedwald, Will (1989). Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies: A Complete Illustrated Guide to the Warner Bros. Cartoons. Henry Holt and Co. p. 190. ISBN 0-8050-0894-2.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Sensoy (2010), p. 113-123
  4. ^ a b Wilson, Jeff. "Bagdad Bugs Bunny Cartoon Tickles Funny Bone, Also Offends". AP NEWS. Retrieved 2019-04-27.

External links

Preceded by
Hare Splitter
Bugs Bunny Cartoons
Succeeded by
My Bunny Lies over the Sea
This page was last edited on 8 October 2021, at 21:38
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