The Truth About The Beloved Sinbad Genie Movie

Posted: Jan 2 2017, 8:43am CST | by , Updated: Jan 2 2017, 11:11am CST, in News | Latest Movie News

The Truth About the Beloved Sinbad Genie Movie
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Do you remember a 90s movie starring Sinbad as a wish-granting genie?

You might, but that doesn't actually mean it existed.

The internet has been atwitter about a new investigation into the 90s movie starting Sinbad (David Adkins) where he played a magical genie that granted wishes to children.

"Whenever I would see Sinbad anywhere in the media I would recall him playing a genie," Meredith Upton, a 25-year-old Nashville resident who claims to remember the film, told the New Statesman, who was doing some investigation. "I remember the name of the film as Shazaam," Upton said. "I remember two children accidentally summoning a genie ... and they try and wish for their dad to fall in love again after their mother's passing, and Sinbad can't [grant the wish]."

The problem is that there isn't any evidence that the movie was actually made. There are millions of people who might be remembering a false memory.

"A false memory is, you could think of it as an extreme example of the general phenomenon of memory distortion," Christopher Chabris, co-author of The Invisible Gorilla and a professor of psychology said to Mashable. "Memory distorts, it's not like a DVD ... the natural state of memory is to continually change over time."

"All memories, when we retrieve them, are constructed out of stuff that's been stored and is in our minds somehow," Chabris said. "This Shazaam thing is a fairly simple example, or at least starts, with a fairly simple example of exactly that. This seems to have all the hallmarks of a simple memory distortion that results in the construction of a false memory."

He thinks that people might be confusing "Shazaam" with Kazaam, a movie starring Shaquille O'Neal as a genie that came out in 1996.

"Did people invent this Sinbad thing out of whole cloth? Of course they didn't, there's something very similar that did exist," Chabris said.

People who "have some kind of memory in there" are more likely to "combine the information," Chabris said. "There are many experiments where researchers have deliberately created false memories. It's well known that this can happen."

Backing up that claim is the fact that the "cover art" people remember is similar to the Kazaam marketing material.

Still, believers say they aren't confused and they know the difference.

"I am one of several people who specifically never saw Kazaam because it looked ridiculous to rip off Shazaam just a few years after it had been released," one anonymous Shazaam-believer told the New Statesman.

Even Sinbad himself is weighing in on the topic, taking to Twitter to say that the "so-called Sinbad genie movie" never happened.

He also claimed that it could be people misremembering Sinbad the Sailor movies that he hosted in costume.

The situation is a perfect example of the Mandela Effect, a theory that some of the things we remember in large numbers actually did happen, but there was a glitch in the "system" and it was erased.

"That's testimony to the strength to which we believe our own memories, that we would invent outlandish theories, just to maintain the illusion that our memories are accurate," Chabris said. "This is an extreme demonstration of what happens when we put too much confidence in the accuracy of memories."

For more information about the Mandela Effect, check out our officially Mandela Effect Guide.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/46" rel="author">Noel Diem</a>
Noel passion is to write about geek culture.




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