1001 Nights is Canadian animated show that appears on Teletoon, and Radio Canada. It also airs internationally in 18 countries, including the United States. It has won two Leo Awards. It targets children from the age of four to about 11, this is of course a group with varying abilities of comprehension and internet access. That most of these children cannot access the Internet without parental monitoring, is perhaps why there is no new trans-media content for this show.1001 nights is of course an adaptation of the books by the same name. Anyone who is from almost any part of the eastern world will have heard the stories many times. 1001 nights is surprisingly the first time the show has been made in cartoon form for television.
The Arabian Nights have an interesting place in the minds of most people who grew up with them. The stories magically mature as you do. They are often transcribed in to children’s books with a lot of inappropriate content being written out. What children are aware of though, is that adults often have their open copies of the book. As teenagers sometimes you graduate to teen versions of the Arabian nights, which are either more romantic or more plot based than the ones that you might have previously encountered. Eventually everyone acquires the original novel with is surprisingly graphic, and violent.
It’s interesting to see a cartoon version of 1001 nights, and then wonder if it will fit in with the narrative that story already has in a particular culture. The book of course already presents itself as trans-media content. I wonder if part of the reason that there is no push to put related content online is because the creators don’t want children on the internet, link hopping across to mature content that’s affiliated by name, something that is somehow much easier than taking a book from your parents bedroom.
The kind of content that this show could generate is very limited. It could most likely only create stand-alone games that would have to be downloaded. This might be why the creators have chosen to not produce them, creating a product in something that already has an existing narrative severely limits the creative decisions that you can make. At the same time though the existing narrative bolsters popularity of the show, it becomes something that children can watch with parents who also feel a sense of loyalty towards the property.