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|Released||April 30 & May 1, 2000|
|Written by||Peter Barnes|
Arabian Nights is a two-part television movie, adapting the tales of One Thousand and One Nights. The frame story involves a sultan, Sharyar, who has been driven mad by his first wife's betrayal and plans to kill his new bride. Scheherezade, daughter of the sultan's vizier, volunteers to marry him, hoping to bring him to his senses, and tells him a series of stories to stave off death. The stories include the tales of Ali Baba and Aladdin, and the lesser known stories of Boucbouc the hunchback (here spelled BacBac) and of Harun al-Rashid and the beggar Amin.
Like previous Hallmark literary epics, the production, directed by Henson veteran Steve Barron, utilized Jim Henson's Creature Shop, who supplied two digital dragons who guard the treasures of Arabia. The dragons resemble giant frilled lizards, and according to the Creature Shop website, "much work was spent in creating anatomically convincing movement - swaying cat-like when walking, lizard-like whilst climbing."
- Mili Avital as Scheherezade
- Alan Bates as the Storyteller
- James Frain as Schahzenan
- Tcheky Karyo as Black Coda
- Jason Scott Lee as Ali Baba
- John Leguizamo as the Genie of the Ring and the Genie of the Lamp
- Vanessa Mae as Princess Zobeide
- Dougray Scott as Sharyar
- Rufus Sewell as Ali Baba
- Jim Carter as Ja'Far
- Peter Guinness as Chief Executioner
- Hugh Quarshie as Mustappa
- Andy Serkis as Kasim
- Burt Kwouk as Caliph Beder
- Peter Bayliss as 1st Phsyician
Creature Shop Credits
- Creature Artists: Hal Bertram, Nigel Booth, Aurelio Campa, Gary Careton, Nick Drew, Karen Halliwell, Tim Hill, Jeff Newton, Joelle Newton-Mold, Gary Pollard, Richard Smith, Sharon Smith, Mike Turloff, Mary Victoria, Val Wardlaw, Richard Wheeler