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Ali Baba (1936)

6.2
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Ali Baba senior and his son Ali Baba live in poverty. One day they happen to see the Forty Thieves enter their cave. After the thieves leave, Ali Baba and his son enter the cave and start ... See full summary »

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Title: Ali Baba (1936)

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Ali Baba senior and his son Ali Baba live in poverty. One day they happen to see the Forty Thieves enter their cave. After the thieves leave, Ali Baba and his son enter the cave and start to fill their pockets with the treasure they find inside. Alas for them, the Forty Thieves return and they are forced to hide in large jars. But of course they are discovered... Written by Julie Anne Elliot (Shira)

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30 January 1936 (USA)  »

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(Cinecolor)
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Version of Ali Baba Goes to Town (1937) See more »

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Pretty good...and orange.
9 June 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

"Ali Baba" is a cartoon from Van Beuren Studios--a cartoon producer for less than a decade during the late 1920s and into the 30s. While their cartoons were of decent quality compared to most companies of the time, the quality of their work never came close to rivaling Disney. Part of this was due to the deficiencies of the art and writing of the cartoons but part wasn't really Van Beuren's fault. Disney had an exclusive contract with Technicolor for full-color film stock for several years. Tinier studios like Van Beuren either had to make black & white cartoons of use the less advanced (and uglier) two- color film--such as with the Cinecolor you see in this particular short. Because it was not true color, the film is made up mostly of oranges and blues and comes off as a bit garish.

This particular cartoon was directed by Ub Iwerks--the same guy who helped Walt Disney found his own studio in 1928. After working together for a few cartoons, Iwerks left for greener pastures--though he never really found them and was back with Disney by the late 1930s. While "Ali Baba" is better than most of Iwerks' non-Disney efforts, this isn't saying a lot.

The cartoon begins with a band of robbers flashing through town and stealing everything. Ali Baba and his son follow them and discover their secret hideout and the secret password. But, when the gang returns unexpectedly, Ali and his son are forced to fight their way out. This short has a bit more silliness than usual and is pleasant. This isn't a glowing endorsement to see it, but it is better than most Van Beuren cartoons and is watchable.


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