Title of Movie
The Bat & The Magic Lamp ('sounds very unoriginal and crap, I know')
Movie classification ratings
U (UK), G (Australia, Canada, USA)
Notes: suitable for audiences aged 4 years of age upwards, contains mild animated violence
Estimate feature run-time: 1 hour, 30 mins
Year of Production & Release
Production: 1993, theatrical release: 1995
'Get ready for one of the biggest - yet unexpected & uncharted crossover adventures in animated history'
'Behold the magic, wishes can come true.... especially if you're a bat!'
What type of movie is it?
A family animated movie cross-over starring the 2 comic- relief characters: Genie of Aladdin and Batty Koda of Ferngully, set in the Aladdin universe.
- Is an example of a dimensional crossover - has its own dimension with some kind of travel. How the character/s who are out of time and out of place get back to where they belong.
- Is an example of a crisis crossover - characters brought together to deal with some massive threat >> Batty Koda in Aladdin setting teaming up with Genie to set right what went wrong
- Is an example of negative space wedgie - used to bring characters together when the crossing series takes place in distant worlds, times, universes
A crossover generally implies 2 or more fictional characters from different media properties interacting on a TV show or movie which is something they wouldn't normally do. Is an example of inter-continuity crossover
- Is a Buddy Picture >> a story about 2 friends or friends to be and their adventures, they serve as dual protagonists. The friendship itself will provide much of the drama and humour along the way. The 2 characters work together to defeat a common enemy and reap a shared reward, is fueled by the power of friendship.
- Team Up >> concept of 2 heroes teaming up, them being Batty Koda and Genie
- Adventure Duo >> they are a specific pair from the world of animation & film
- Animation Bump >> improved animation quality compared to Ferngully at least
Robin Williams as Batty Koda and Genie
Gilbert Gottfried as lago
Douglas Seale as Sulton
Plus other unknown voice actors playing a variety of characters, of which I won't bother mentioning as they are pretty much not as important and crucial to the story and plot of the film.
- 'Be careful what you wish for' - character makes a wish and gets what they wished for, only to find out that the reality does not live up to their fantasy
Based on this Disney rendition of the classic Aladdin tale, a bat going by the name of Batty Koda, who claims to have been genetically experimented on by humans, thus giving him a crazed, unstable personality, has been magically transported to the Arabian city of Agrabah. Batty eventually stumbles upon a magical oil lamp and with one rub, inadvertently unleashes the Genie, thus granting him 3 wishes. However, this in itself, has unexpected consequences. To further complicate matters, he soon finds out that an enemy wants to get hold of the lamp, as well as to have Batty killed.
Will Batty, with the aid of Genie, be able to restore the lamp to its rightful place, as well as return home safely to Ferngully?
Genie >> 'Big Good' - character stated to be the counterpart to combat the forces of evil & a 'Non-Human Sidekick'
Is a 'Ball of Light Transformation' - peculiar form of voluntary shape-shifting where character turns into a flying orb, flame of light
Is a Benevolent Genie >> a cool Genie, is nice and subservient
Batty >> adorkable, Hyper-competent side-kick who tends to be smarter, more efficient and more industrious
Inter-species friendship >> Genie the erm, Genie and Batty Koda, the fruit bat
Odd friendship >> Genie and Batty Koda; the friendship between 2 characters that would seem unlikely to be friends for various reasons. Through their friendship, they learn more about each other & themselves
So it seems that Robin would be playing and voicing dual roles?
Yes. Dan Castellaneta and Matt Miller - had I been in charge of this crossover -, would not be reprising the roles of Genie and Batty in this particular film. Not that I have anything personal against them. After witnessing Aladdin: The Return of Jafar and Ferngully 2, I noticed that Robin Williams's absence, as well as the low-budget production values in the animation & poor musical numbers, was a detriment to those movies, and as a result, the movies themselves turned out to be lackluster follow-ups to the original films.
It is possible to have Robin Williams voicing both the Genie AND Batty Koda - he probably would have had to record his lines for those characters individually first or be able to switch to each character simultaneously, one after the other. It is a quite a huge feat, especially for an animated movie that is 1 hour 15 mins long. But knowing Robin Williams has that knack of voicing a multitude of characters with varying personalities, he would have been more than capable of pulling this off.
What else do we need to know about this movie?
Aladdin and Jasmine are notably absent throughout this feature, as is the antagonist, Jafar. Therefore, there would be a different antagonist in his place. Batty Koda is the lead protagonist and character of this film, with Genie, as usual playing his supportive role. Both characters serve as dual protagonists. It has some of the humour and wit of Ferngully and Aladdin. Genie is well, Genie with his magical powers and character transformations whereas Batty is more or less the same character as he was in Ferngully, but in addition, a lot more emphasis is placed on his development as a character & his origins. He would be a lot more fleshed out in terms of personality; he is also a lot braver than ever before and he pretty much leads this movie, right from the front. In Batty Koda and Genie, they are the 2 main characters, though it is more so about Batty, rather than Genie.
It also contains cameo appearances from the Sulton and parrot, Lago, lots of clean and G-rated humour, some pop culture and entertainment references and a few musical numbers thrown in. And lastly, it will be co- produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Kroyer Films. It would have the same high production values as the original Ferngully and Aladdin movies, rather than the straight-to-DVD fare of Aladdin: Return of Jafar, Aladdin and the King of Thieves and Ferngully 2: The Magical Rescue.
Though the fallout between Robin and Disney was well documented in the press at the time of the 1990s, it still would have been cool to see a crossover feature starring Genie and Batty Koda, who unlike the former, isn't owned by Disney.
Why Batty Koda in particular?
Batty Koda is, and will forever be synonymous with Robin Williams than with Matt Miller, in the same way as Genie is synonymous with Robin than with Dan Castellaneta - who is better known as Homer from The Simpsons. He is one of my favourite Robin Williams characters, of whom doesn't get the same recognition or attention as Genie. Batty is very underrated as an animated character and his manic personality, sarcastic wit and humour is just an ideal foil for Genie's larger-than-life, yet often subtle, mischievous and down-to-earth charisma.
You have very chalk-&-cheese personalities to compliment one another. That, & that they'd make for one heck of a cartoon duo. And though the idea of a crazed fruit-bat in the outskirts of Arabia mingling with the locals and Genie may sound off and peculiar at first, on-screen, I think this would work.
Another reason is by giving Batty Koda his own standalone crossover/spin-off, this would further boost his reputation as an animated character & to hopefully make him more of a household name, like with Genie.
Examples of Shout-outs
- Various Disney properties and pop culture references, movies, TV shows, references to Mork & Mindy
- The Cameo >> a Disney-fied portrait version of Peter Pan from the movie, Hook appears on the wall of a house