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Hercules and the Arabian Night
Season 1 (Hercules TV Series), Episode 44
Hercules
Air date February 10, 1999
Written by Unknown
Directed by Phil Weinstein
Episode guide
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Aladdin and the King of Thieves
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"Hercules and the Arabian Night" is a crossover episode of Disney's Hercules: The Animated Series featuring characters from Aladdin

Summary

Hades meets Jafar (Jonathan Freeman) in the Underworld, and makes him human again after they realize they've both been defeated by "upstart brats". Jafar makes a bet that he can beat Hercules, but finds him too strong; Hades finds that Aladdin (Scott Weinger) is too tricky. Jafar suggests that they capture their friends, Icarus and Abu, and frame each other for it. The trick works, and when Hercules arrives in Agrabah, Aladdin and Jasmine (Linda Larkin) defeat him using surroundings and Aladdin's agility, until Hercules and Aladdin are eventually trapped under a building. Hercules rescues them, and realizing that Hades and Jafar have teamed up, they go to the Underworld disguised as each other. Jafar doesn't realize the deception until it's too late, when his staff is broken, causing him to become dead permanently. Abu and Icarus have meanwhile been freed, and Aladdin tells Hercules he'll make a great hero before returning to Agrabah. Icarus, having bonded with Abu, asks if they can get a monkey.

Plot

As Hades goes through his usual job of bringing fresh souls in, Pain and Panic tell him that one of the souls is not cooperating. The soul approaches Hades, introduces himself as Jafar and all but demands to be sent back. Hades is at first unconcerned, but they find a common ground: Jafar tried to overtake Agrabah, Hades is trying to overtake Mount Olympus and they both have been defeated by "upstart boys" but each thinks his nemesis is superior. They make a bet that they can defeat each other's respective hero. So Hades gives Jafar a new snake staff, which makes him flesh and blood so long as he holds it, and tells him to attack Hercules while he's training on Phil's island. At said island, Philoctetes is trying to teach Herc not to "barrel through" and to "use his noodle" from time to time. Suddenly, Jafar pops up and creates a griffin and a minotaur to go after Hercules. With Phil tied up, Herc does his best to wrestle the beasts. Jafar laughs at how slow Herc is...until Herc picks up Phil's "statue head" house, bashes the beasts and proceeds to smash it on Jafar, who gets knocked all the way back to the Underworld. Hades decides to send Pain and Panic to Agrabah to take Aladdin out. When the minions arrive in the Arabian city, they first mistake Abu for Aladdin... but the real Al, along with his wife Princess Jasmine, arrive on Carpet. After a scuffle, Pain and Panic are about to finish Aladdin off, but Aladdin convinces them to look into his lamp (by telling them not to look into it). Genie's hand punches them all the way back to Greece and down into the Underworld (this is all of Genie that is seen). Hades admits that Aladdin is tough, but wants to concentrate on beating Hercules first. Then Jafar offers an idea: what if Herc and Al had a misunderstanding between them and get into a fight? Hades likes the idea and puts the plan into motion. The first part is kidnapping Abu from Agrabah and Icarus from Prometheus Academy (both using bananas as bait). When Herc can't find Icarus, an old man (Jafar in disguise) fools Herc by telling him that a "young rogue named Aladdin" kidnapped him. Herc gets angry and runs off to find Al. Later, in Agrabah, Al and Jasmine can't find Abu... and Pain and Panic disguise themselves as Herc and tell him that Herc kidnapped Abu. When Herc, Phil and Pegasus arrive in Agrabah, Al, Jasmine and Carpet give them a not-so-warm welcome. Herc and Al start the fight, Herc barreling in and Al sidestepping each blow. Al gets Herc to chase him through the alleyways of Agrabah to an old abandoned building. He then gets Herc to punch enough holes in the walls to bring most of the house down on top of Herc. When Herc holds it up, Al demands Herc to tell where he hid Abu. Herc responds by wanting to know where Aladdin took Icarus. Before they can work it out, though, the building collapses on both of them. While Jafar and Hades believe the heroes have been destroyed, Herc gets himself and Aladdin out of the rubble. They piece together that it was a setup and that Hades and Jafar are holding Icarus and Abu in the Underworld. Aladdin wants to charge in to rescue them, but Hercules thinks of another way. While Hades tells Jafar of his plans for Olympian domination (and offers Jafar the 'Lord of the Dead' title while doing this), Pain and Panic yell that Herc and Aladdin are coming their way. Jafar is sent to stop them. He blasts Aladdin in an ice block and creates a giant scorpion to take on the slow Hercules. But there's one problem: the man in the ice is Hercules, disguised as Aladdin, and the one fighting the scorpion is Aladdin disguised as Herc. Shocked, Jafar is unable to stop Aladdin from nabbing the snake staff and tossing it to Herc, who snaps it in half. The spirit of Jafar is dragged down into the River Styx for good. Icarus and Abu meanwhile have escaped and begin punching Hades, until he threatens to make them "permanent residents". Herc and Al congratulate each other before Al takes Jasmine, Abu and Carpet back to Agrabah. Aladdin tells Herc that he'll make a great hero someday. Icarus, having bonded with Abu, asks Hercules if they can get a monkey.

Character Debut

Characters in Order of Appearance

Quotes

Goof

Continuity

An unusual aspect of this episode is that it indicates that Aladdin and Hercules existed around the same time, though one would logically conclude that they lived at least a millennium apart (Hercules being from ancient Greece, while Aladdin is from the era of the Islamic empires, probably of Abbasid Caliphate). On the other hand, some of Aladdin's enemies, such as Mechanicles, Queen Hippsodeth and Dominus Tusk, could easily be the same vintage as Hercules. Also during the "A Whole New World" part, Aladdin and Jasmine can been seen riding through what seems to be ancient Greece and ancient Egypt.

Princess Jasmine mentions that she and Aladdin are married, indicating this episode takes place after the events of Aladdin and the King of Thieves, which would explain Iago's absence in this episode and also explain why Aladdin has the same outfit on which he wore in Aladdin and the King of Thieves, this is additionally backed up by the fact that Aladdin appears physically older than his last appearance.

Errors

  • In The Return of Jafar, Genie states that he raced with Hercules, and the Hercules seen there looked nothing like the one from the films and was a living statue.
  • The episode seems to indicate that Jafar died recently, though there was an entire movie, and indeed a TV series, between his death in The Return of Jafar and this episode. It is possible that time passed differently in the underworld and that Jafar had to go through a waiting line before meeting up with Hades, as it is mentioned in many ancient texts (such as Virgil's Aeneid) that souls have to wait a long time to cross the river.
  • This crossover tries to mix the mythos of both settings, despite Aladdin's world already having its own pre-established lore.
    • Hercules already has its own Fates while Aladdin only has one Fate who is the counter-force to Chaos.
    • Aladdin and the King of Thieves shows the Hand of Midas as an ancient enchanted relic that is apparently the preserved hand of Midas, however Hercules already fought King Midas fairly recently within his own show and with Midas only acquiring his own powers from Bacchus a little bit before meeting Hercules, making it impossible for the Hand of Midas to be older than its origin.
    • Aladdin already had the "Netherworld" as the limbo realm in-between life and the afterlife where cursed and unfulfilled spirits linger and where Ayam Aghoul made himself a self-appointed duke who traps the spirits of his enemies and women who have caught his interest there, meanwhile it and the Underworld look nothing alike, with the Underworld also being a physical underground domain while the Netherworld is another plane of existence entirely.
  • The Hercules animated series not only has several inconsistencies with Aladdin, but it even has several continuity issues with the film it was based on (such as Hercules knowing Hades during his teen years), and its self-aware parodying nature puts it at odds with Aladdin's own more serious style which takes the rules of its setting somewhat more seriously, such as the fact that Genie only references things from the future whilst Hercules's setting has a modern parallel to almost every modern day thing, such as high schools, diners, traffic lights, and the fact that many characters who are not genies, supernatural, magical or Iago, will casually break the fourth wall far more frequently than in Aladdin even in life-threatening situations, mainly due to the drastic differences in writing between both franchises.

One possible solution to all of this is that the two franchises do not exist within the same continuity but both do have their own versions of characters from both franchises.

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