Another title of the Book of 1000 Nights and a Night, Arabian Nights is a collection of stories with a frame story that has been traced back to the 9th century and may well be older yet. Some of its most well-known stories are "Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp", "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" and "The Seven Voyages of Sindbad".

The first song in the Disney movie Aladdin (1992), setting the scene and creating the atmosphere. The problem was that a number of Arab groups objected to the portrayal, in particular the lines that created a menacing atmosphere:

Where they cut off your ear
If they don't like your face


So Disney eventually caved and those lines were replaced by the immensely dull lyrics:

Where it's flat and immense
And the heat is intense


The lines, in my opinion, were innocuous, and I was much more disturbed by the fact that the good guys are lighter skinned people with American accents while the bad guys are darker skinned, more heavily accented, and have prominent noses. But two lines of lyrics are easier to change than 90 minutes of animation.

Before some of you go foaming at the mouth about political correctness and all that, I think a much more interesting thing is going on here. It's getting more and more difficult to depict exotic locales in popular art because the mainstream audience is getting much more diverse. Not so long ago, it was easy to pick a random country to serve as a mysterious faraway land of strange customs - "the other". You could just slap some makeup and a baggy costume on some white guys and there you go. Watch the 1958 version of Aladdin with Sal Mineo, or any black and white movie set in the East, and you'll see what I mean.

Now "the other" is us, as more and more people from those countries are part of the audience, they aren't satisfied with the thickly accented stereotypes, and are demanding less stereotypical, less offensive, and more accurate portrayals - as well they should.

But I still don't know what the big deal about those two lines were. Sigh.

Lyrics: Howard Ashman
Music: Alan Menken
Vocals: Bruce Adler

Oh I come from a land, from a faraway place
Where the caravan camels roam
Where they cut off your ear
If they don't like your face
It's barbaric, but hey--it's home!

When the wind's at your back
And the sun's from the west
And the sand in the glass is right
Come on down,
Stop on by
Hop a carpet and fly
To another Arabian night!

Arabian nights
Like Arabian days
More often than not
Are hotter than hot
In a lot of good ways

Arabian nights
'Neath Arabian moons
A fool off his guard
Could fall and fall hard
Out there on the dunes.

Title: Arabian Nights
Author: Krisalis Software / Buzz Software
Released: 1993 by Mirage
No. of disks: 1
HDD installable: yes
Lanuages: English
RAM: 1meg

An Arabic themed puzzle platform game to the point of stupidity. Epic rolling anthems, secret dank rooms, and sandy graphics. A traditional character with perfect cuteness and inertia. The game is a varied mix of minecart racing and carpet flying with running down passages or finding keys. It was loved by all and received 83% in Amiga Power

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