The Arabian Nights: One Thousand and One Nights

The Arabian Nights: One Thousand and One Nights Arabian Nights in Popular Culture

A number of works in popular culture have been significantly influenced by the tales found in The Arabian Nights, and many of us are barely even aware of their origins. Following are short summaries of some of these works, with their connections to The Arabian Nights highlighted.

Disney's Aladdin, a 1992 animated film version of "Aladdin's Lamp," is the most commercially successful of these works. Its plot is very similar to the original story: Aladdin is a poor beggar who comes upon a magic lamp and uses it to disguise himself as rich to woo the sultan's daughter. His vizier is named Jafar, after the vizier from "The Three Apples."

Sinbad: Legends of the Seven Seas is another animated film, released in 2003 and based on "The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor." Compared to the Aladdin adaptation, it shares little with its respective Nights story, save for the character and setting. In this adaptation, Sinbad is a pirate looking to recover the lost Book of Peace.

Recently, Vancouver's Big Bad Boo Studios released a children's animated version of 1001 Nights, which currently airs in over 80 countries around the world.

Themes and motifs of the Nights are found in Chaucer's Canturbury Tales as well as Baccaccio's Decameron.

One of Edgar Allan Poe's stories was called The Thousand and Second Tale of Scheherazade, as if a continuation of the Nights. It serves as a satire of the story collection, and Scheherazade dies at the end.

Ultimately, this list could probably never be exhaustive, since these stories have continued to resonate throughout the centuries, speaking to their universal nature.