Sorry to shatter your tiny existence on this spinning ball of water and dirt. We know, life is hard. Life is even harder when you realize you’re remembering your beautiful ’90s childhood completely wrong. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it wasn’t that great. POGS actually sucked (seriously how could you think they were fun?), that scene from Titanic where you first saw a boob wasn’t nearly as scandalous as you thought, your Beanie Baby collection didn’t put you through college, and that cheesy ’90s comedy where Sinbad played a genie never even existed.
You remember that movie, right? No, not Kazaam with Shaq. We’re totally not confusing the two. It was a different, eerily similar movie called Shazaam — kind of the like DreamWorks’ Antz to Pixar’s A Bug’s Life. We know you remember that movie, unfortunately, none of us can really put a finger on what we’re remembering because the movie never existed. In fact, Sinbad has been refuting the film’s existence for years.
So, how could hundreds of people from a generation simultaneously remember a nonexistent film in detail? Some have argued that Sinbad and/or the filmmakers have removed every trace of the film from the Internet because they were embarrassed by it; however, we all know someone’s grandma would have a copy of it in her basement that would have surfaced on the Internet at some point.
Some people, including Sinbad himself, attribute the memory to the Sinbad The Sailor TV block that the comedian hosted in 1994.
— Sinbad (@sinbadbad) October 3, 2016
Sorry, but this isn’t the genie we remember. He was so clearly wearing cool-toned colors in the film (purple or blue) and not red like Sinbad the Sailor.
Reddit has a pretty out-there theory about the film and it’s definitely worth entertaining. According to one Reddit community, the reason we remember the Sinbad genie movie is because it does exist, but in a parallel universe. The community describes this as “the Mandela Effect.” It’s a Matrix-like theory where we live in a parallel universe that has been altered in some way (see the film The Butterfly Effect if you’re confused). So, it’s true that Shazaam could have existed, but someone ended up messing with the space-time continuum and rewrote history.
The less fun, most logical reason we probably all remember a movie that doesn’t exist is because we’re confusing details from similar films. Shaquille O’Neal’s film was pretty darn similar. The poster featured the blue and purple colors we remember and was named Kazaam. That’s just two letters shy from Shazaam — two letters that happen to be in the front of Shaq’s name that’s written bigger on the poster than the actual movie title. Though, it’s not just this film that may have caused the confusion.
BBC released a movie in 1991 called Bernard and the Genie that starred comedian Lenny Henry. Again, the premise was similar to that of Kazaam. Couple that with the mid-’90s TV series Adventures of Sinbad (which features a warrior dressed sort of like a genie) and 1995 straight-to-video film Magic Island, and everything starts to blur.
So, sorry if we ruined it for you, but Sinbad’s genie movie wasn’t real. Do you remember this film or have any definitive proof that it exists? Please tell us in the comments because it’s still killing us!