Whilst scanning the sand on a Dorset beach with his metal detector, John Silver uncovers Aladdin's Magic lamp. After floating in the sea for two thousand years, the lamp has become a battered relic of what it ued to be. When John polishes his find to summon the genie, the slave of the lamp cannot get past the twisted spout.
Thinking that the lamp is just another piece of useless junk, John's mother throws it away for recycling. During the recycling process, the genie becomes miniaturized and the lamp is recreated as a bicycle bell.
Although John doesn't own a bicycle, he feels compelled to buy the bell when he sees it displayed in a shop window. When he rings the bell, a tiny genie appears.
John's first two wishes turn out to be miniature replicas of what he had asked for. His dissapointment grows when the genie informs him that the lamp must be restored to its former glory before he can grant full sized wishes. The genie then tells John that the only person with the power to turn the bicycle bell back into a lamp is Merlin the Magician.
Seated on a magic carpet with the genie on his shoulder, John travels back twenty eight years in time where he meets his mother, father and several of their friends who agree to accompany him on his great adventure to find Merlin.