Everything you need to know about the Sinbad Shazaam Mandela Effect

People from all walks of life seem to remember Sinbad starring in a genie movie titled Shazaam

  • The bizarre nonexistent movie is being dubbed one of the biggest Mandela Effects yet

  • Some believe the movie is being confused for Shaq’s genie movie Kazam

  • Sinbad has addressed the issue multiple times on his Twitter claiming the movie does not exist

It is one of the more peculiar arguments to thrive on the Internet. For some time now there has been a huge debate on whether or not the Sinbad was in a genie movie titled Shazaam.

By far the strangest part of this discussion is the amount of people that swear the movie Shazaam existed, myself included. However, when searching for evidence of the film’s existence, there is no trace of it what-so-ever!

That has not stopped avid believers from trying to prove the movie was a real thing. Multiple threads on reddit are dedicated to solving the mystery of Shazaam.

Sinbad Claims Shazaam Does Not Exist

The debate over the family friendly genie movie has received so much attention that Sinbad has addressed the issue several times on his Twitter account.

The most recent response happened on New Year’s Day, with a string of tweets denouncing the idea that he had ever starred in Shazaam and then challenging believers to produce some evidence.

Now for this game Shazaam sinbad genie movie. We done talkin bout that until you produce some footage. If so many saw it, there should be

At least on VHS copy out there that you can play a short video for all of us.

And I am not talking bout photoshopped VHS boxes , play what is in the box 🙂



Fake Copies of Shazaam Have Emerged

Since the debate over the film has intensified, some have tried to produce fake evidence that sinbad-vhsthe movie did exist. One picture that has been passed around shows a hand holding a gold colored box. On the front is a very generic and scratched up VHS of Shazaam.

There is only one problem with this picture of Shazaam. It was clearly a product of photoshop. Snopes was able to track the original picture back to WWE wrestler Chavo Guerrero, with Sinbad’s face digitally applied of course.



sinbadThat was not the only fake movie box to emerge recently. Someone spent a bit more time to create what appears to be an original movie poster of Shazaam. The poster goes as far as having Roger Ebert calling it “Family Fun.”

If you look for anything regarding Ebert reviewing the movie, you once again come to a dead end. Although, Ebert did review Shaq’s genie movie released in 1996 titled Kazam. He gave the movie 1.5 stars and complimented Shaq for his role in Blue Chips.

“Shaq has already proven he can act (in Blue Chips, the 1994 movie about college basketball). Here he shows he can be likable in a children’s movie. What he does not show is good judgment in his choice of material. […] the filmmakers didn’t care to extend themselves beyond the obvious commercial possibilities of their first dim idea.”

Was it Kazam

Some have suggested that Shaq’s genie movie, Kazam, is the culprit behind the confusion with Sinbad and Shazaam. Those who claim to remember Shazaam say that is not the case at all. Many who say they remember Shazaam also say they remember Kazam.


TNT Guest Host

There is another theory that the memory of Shazaam is a combination of both Shaq’ssinbad-pic movie Kazam, and a guest appearance spot Sinbad had done in 1994.

In 1994, Sinbad guest hosted a viewing of “Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger” on TNT. His outfit resembled that of what a genie would wear, leading many to say that people are mixing that image with their memory of Kazam to create Shazaam.

This is still another theory that is shot down by Shazaam enthusiasts, with the main argument being, the outfit from the picture of Sinbad on TNT does not match the outfit they remember him wearing in Shazaam.

reddit Remembers

Reddit user EpicJourneyMan went as far as to try and dismantle his argument, in what may be the most detailed description of the non-existent movie on the Web. In a thread on reddit, EpicJourneyMan debates himself over the existence of Shazaam. Below are his pros and cons.


  • Sinbad himself states that he never was involved in a movie where he played a genie

  • The cover/movie poster of the 1995 movie “Houseguest” has his head coming out of a mailbox on the left hand side which to some, might subconsciously be remembered as a genie coming out of a bottle

  • Sinbad always dressed with incredibly bad fashion sense that kind of portrayed him as “genie like” or the ever adventurous “Sinbad the Sailor” intentionally

  • There was another movie called “Kazaam!” staring Shaquille O’ Neil that came out in 1995 where Shaq played a genie that helped out a lonely boy

  • The movie was never widely released, so maybe people are confusing it with a comedy sketch he performed instead of actually seeing a movie – they just heard other people talking about it and assumed it was a real movie without ever actually seeing it themselves.


  • I managed a Video Store back in the “heyday” of the video rental business and was responsible, with my uncle (he was the owner – I owned/managed and dealt primarily with the videogame side) for ordering the upcoming “New Release Titles for rental as they became available

  • I took it upon myself to order two copies of the Sinbad genie movie without consulting with him first because they were such a great deal at half the price of a normal “New Release” back in 1994

  • In fact, I ordered the second one in a bundle with another movie which I think may have been “Invisible Mom” with Dee Wallace Stone and written by W.C, Martell, but am not sure this was the title – but the logo of the Production Studio was similar

  • The cover had the word “Sinbad” in font bigger than the Title and had Sinbad facing left with a kind of raised eyebrow and his arms crossed facing in side profile to the left

  • The movie was actually a children’s movie and not an adult audience oriented Comedy, which led to a lot of returns to the store with people saying “there is something wrong with this tape” – which to my chagrin, led me to having to watch the movie to find the supposed damaged portion of the film multiple times (honestly, I always thought these people just wanted a free rental)

  • I can’t remember the Title – but it seems like it was one word

  • The movie only had one funny scene in it (at least to me) and it went like this:

    The lamp is rubbed for the first time by two kids – an early teen boy, and his little sister who looks to be around 5 years old or so in their living room by the fireplace while their single dad is out of the house running an errand – the boy rubs the lamp and “Sinbad” appears with full genie attire…turban, ridiculous spiral upturned shoes, ear rings, silk pants and shirt, and I believe a green/blue vest but can’t say for sure.

    Sinbad stretches his arms out wide in the smoke filled room and says something like “I am the genie of the lamp” and the kids freak out! The little girl screams out “Aaaaagh! It’s a kidnapper!” – or something like that as they run away

  • After Sinbad calms them down, he explains that for releasing him from the lamp they will be granted three wishes and the boy is skeptical and wishes for something stupid that flew…either a flying skateboard or magic carpet – but I’m leaning more towards the carpet

  • The wish is granted and the kids are amazed! and agree amongst themselves to use the other wishes on something special and important – the little girl asks for her mother back and Sinbad shows his tender, emotional side by saying “I’m afraid I can’t do that” (not sure if this was because the mom had died, or the parents were separated and he couldn’t make people love each other – this is 22 years ago after all)

  • So after agreeing to save the last two wishes, and save one to bring a wife (or their old mom) to help out their lonely, depressed dad – the girl breaks her favorite doll and wastes a wish having the genie fix it – shortly after, the boy comes up with an idea for the second wish and the girl has to tell him that she already used it…

  • So, with one wish left, the climax of the movie takes place at a pool party involving the Dad, his Boss, and a bunch of clients

  • During this scene a film technique is used similar to that used in “The gods must be crazy” where the speed is intentionally sped up to make things look more “cartoon like and funny” – but it ended up just looking stupid and lame. And this is where the wished for “flying thing (I think carpet)” appears and knocks a bunch of people into the pool – which includes the mean Boss

  • They have some kind of happy ending, but honestly – I just was looking for the reported “problem with the tape”…it wasn’t a good movie at all and except for that scene where the genie appears, wasn’t funny at all

  • When my uncle sold the store years later, he specifically pointed at those two tapes I ordered and said “I hate that @#$*ing movie – it never even paid for itself after all these years!”

In the thread, others agreed and applauded the detailed memory. One reddit user even stated that he has a $1,000 bounty on Craigslist for anybody that can provide a copy of Shazaam.

Other Redditors helped to give more details from scenes in the movie on the thread. Another theory stated that perhaps Sinbad’s genie movie was bought out and silenced by Shaq’s failed genie movie.

Kazam bombed in the box offices pretty bad. The movie only managed to bring in $19 million out of Kazam’s $20 million budget.

In this theory, it is suggested that Shazaam was bought out by Kazam as a sort of non-compete clause. Kazam was released in 1996, and all those who claim to remember Shazaam claim it was released in 1994-95.

These movies were released at a time when the presence of the Internet was nowhere near what it is today. While it would be borderline impossible to make a movie vanish today, in the 90s it may not have been that hard to manage.

However, those who believe this theory also believe there must be a VHS copy somewhere in existence.

The Mandela Effect

Regardless of Shazaam’s existence, it has been dubbed one of the largest and most in-depth Mandela Effects, due to people having such vivid memories of the movie.

The Mandela Effect is a term created by self-declared “paranormal consultant” Fiona Broome. She created the term after she realized that she shared a false memory of Nelson Mandela dying in prison in the 80s with a large group of people. Mandela did not die until 2013.

nelson-mandelaThe theory behind the Mandela Effect explores the possibility that we are living in a time of parallel universes coming together. As these alternate realities come together, memories from each universe are replaced by the other. A basic, “this town ain’t big enough for the both of us,” scenario.

The greatest Mandela Effect up to this point is without a shadow of a doubt the Berenstain Bears. People from all walks of life remember the title being Berenstein Bears, spelled “ein” instead of “ain.”

Is it All in Your Head

Another theory behind the Mandela Effect puts the blame on our faulty memories. Our brains create memories as we go from little bits of information that is obtained. Memories are by no means a solid recording of events that have happened, instead, just our creation that can be altered due to bias, imaginations, and even peer pressure.

A website called Debunking Mandela Effects has a wide array of reasons that these nonexistent memories are suddenly given life, and none of them have to do with parallel universes crashing into each other.



About Meko Haze

Meko Haze is an independent journalist by day... and an independent journalist by night.

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