Sunday, March 29, 2015

StarBoy91's Theatrical Escapade - Insurgent

Written: March 22nd-23rd, 2015 / Published: March 29th, 2015
 
Hello everyone, StarBoy91 here; passionate about video games, big retrophile, and fan of all things 16-bit.  So in the same exact week I managed to go from watching one of the most uplifting and enjoyable movies of 2015 (Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella) that rank as one of my top favorites to ... one of the bleakest and middling experiences in theatres so far.  =|  How about that?
Yes, that desaturated look and tone of this banner was done deliberately
Welcome again to my Theatrical Escapade, where in this edition I will talk about the first sequel to last year's Divergent: Insurgent, or as the full title of it goes The Divergent Series: Insurgent (which I saw on the 21st).  Because the Hunger Games movies did the same thing with their titles.
 
Now before I begin divulging my thoughts on this movie, let's have a brief recap that led up to this.  Before Neil Burger's movie adaptation of Divergent came out in theatres I managed to read all of Veronica Roth's trilogy of books exactly last year; Divergent was the best, Insurgent was okay, and Allegiant sucked in my opinion (I'm really not looking forward to the two-part movie adaptations of it).  When I saw the Neil Burger treatment in theatres I personally thought he did a pretty good job at capturing the narrative (it wasn't the best but it was engaging for what it was), even if there were a few changes here and there, and I didn't think it was as bad as many people made it out to be.  =)
 
So many months after I saw it I heard that Burger dropped the director role because he was too busy to make the sequel, so for Insurgent (and the two Allegiant movies) another director took his place.  I'm like, "Okay, so they're doing what they did with The Hunger Games: Catching Fire onward when Francis Lawrence took Gary Ross' position".  But when the name of The Divergent Series: Insurgent director was revealed I couldn't help but stare in disbelief: Robert Schwentke.  A director that doesn't have the most positive street cred (try as he might, I'm sure he must be a nice guy, but he doesn't have luck attaining the greatest of accolades),... the same director who lost his mind when he gave us R.I.P.D. in 2013 (seriously, what the hell happened there?).  Now, you cannot possibly go any lower than that, and fortunately Schwentke's Insurgent is better than his previous effort (though that's not such a difficult feat considering R.I.P.D.'s low quality, so really that doesn't say a lot).
Image from Rotten Tomatoes
Rated: PG-13 | Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 | Running Time: 119 Minutes | Directed by: Robert Schwentke
The Divergent Series: Insurgent takes place where Divergent last left off, as Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) and her friends are on the run from Jeanine Matthews' (Kate Winslet) forces because she is a Divergent, a person capable of fitting into all five Factions in dystopian Chicago (Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless, Erudite), considered to be a threat because she cannot be controlled.  A mysterious box is soon uncovered containing a well-kept secret that will change the course of everything and it's discovered that only a Divergent can open it.  Tris, deeply upset and remorseful over the loss of her two parents in the previous film (feeling responsible for their deaths), decides that the only way to resolve the chaos is to kill the main source behind it all: Jeanine.  But she'll have to learn to forgive herself if she is to save all the people she's got left to care about, including her boyfriend Four (Theo James).

While Neil Burger's Divergent cut some corners and made some changes in certain areas (particularly during the last third) it at least followed the narrative of the book otherwise, and you can recognize it as such if you've read the book beforehand; not to mention that trimming a four hundred-fifty page-plus book to two and a half hours(ish) allowed its characters and atmosphere to breathe.  Those same attributes sadly do not go hand in hand with the Robert Schwentke-led sequel.  =(

I understand how difficult a task it can be to try to make an adaptation based on a very long book, especially if it's five hundred page-plus novel (like the first Divergent sequel).  I had noticed a running pattern with sequels based on books lately that had them be twenty minutes shorter; while I didn't mind it when it happened to The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, I feel it served as a detriment for Insurgent which is now just two hours in length.  But that's not what makes Insurgent so jarring so much as how it strays so far from the source material it's virtually unrecognizable.

I guess there was reason to raise concern the moment the first trailer was shown months ago, with Tris going to save her mother (Ashley Judd) from a floating, burning building and her performing all those stunts in a dream sequence (which I do not recall from the novel... because it did not happen), but when shown in context it makes sense (even though it doesn't transpire in the written work itself); but it's that very scene which gives you a sense of what you're in for.  There are also other changes, like how Tris' brother Caleb (Ansel Elgort) got separated from Tris and Caleb, the way the biggest secret is contained is different, and because so much has been altered structurally it affects the movie as a whole, among other things (including the way some characters are killed off).
Image from Rotten Tomatoes
That's not to say it's all bad, though, as Schwentke managed to create a grim-looking futuristic Chicago with destroyed skyscrapers which looks convincing and it is well shot; which is why I'm glad I stuck with the 2D screening because Summit felt the need to post-convert it to 3D for some reason (even though Divergent was strictly 2D), and you can tell in some scenes with things being so close to the screen.  That was not necessary!

And while I'm on the subject of tone, this is a dark feature; even more so than its predecessor.  At times its got a desaturated look to it, which I suppose comes with the territory considering the dark nature of the story, but it makes it seem bleak and dreary.  There's also gruesome moments which sometimes can be offputting while other times they're neutered down for the teen demographic.

While I admit that I found a purely instrumental soundtrack by Joseph Trapanese rather refreshing in Insurgent (and a good one, at that), I did miss the random song mix of the first film.  Still, the music blends well with the environments, and it complements the tone and atmosphere of Trapanese's respective cues.

The cast is still solid, and some of the newcomers were great choices.  I thought Octavia Spencer as Amity leader Johanna Reyes (with some scars on her face) was apt-selected, and I could believe her as Johanna despite being in the movie for just a few minutes; and Naomi Watts as the Factionless leader Evelyn was really good for she exceeded my expectations (and Naomi looks good with black hair too).  =)

Miles Teller's Peter is a riot this time around, for he manages to steal each scene he's in thanks to the witty delivery of his lines.  It's funny how I went from disliking him in Divergent to actually liking him in this movie, despite playing such an ambiguous role; and it's nice that Teller managed to have fun with his role in Insurgent (when he vocally admitted to feeling "dead" back when filming Divergent).  He's one of the best parts of this movie.
Image from Rotten Tomatoes
Then there's the Divergent herself, Tris Prior.  Shailene Woodley is once again the main highlight of the series for it's easy to find yourself rooting for her, despite the fact that Tris finds herself in some of the most unflattering of situations.  But it's easy to sympathize for her regardless, particularly when she finds herself at her lowest point (including a difficult trial scene proving her innocence to Candor); she's also got that look in her eyes which vividly express that if you get on her bad side she will take you on.  Also, Woodley looks better with short hair, in my opinion.  =)

If there's anything letting this movie down, aside from having to condense five hundred pages' worth of stuff to one-hundred nineteen minutes and changing stuff here and there to satisfy moviegoers' expectations, it's the fact that there's no sense of character development like there was in the book.  You don't really learn anything new about the characters we were introduced to in Neil Burger's flick, which is too bad because had there been more scenes it would've aided the film version of Insurgent significantly.  Let's hope that when it comes out on DVD and Blu-Ray there are outtakes and deleted scenes which expanded on some scenes and/or characters.

Another downside is how some characters are left in the background while a few I only wished stayed in the background.  One of my least favorite elements of the trilogy when I read them was Tris' brother Caleb, who was basically the kind of douchebag who doesn't realize he's a douchebag and is hopelessly blinded by it, which makes him unlikable to me.  Ansel Elgort has got the look that only helps amplify Caleb's unlikability factor, so you'll forgive me if I feel nothing for him (with all the changes that were made here, I'll be happy if the Allegiant movies cut him out entirely).  There's also Kate Winslet's Jeanine, who really only appears in a handful of scenes and doesn't play a big role until the third act, but even then she's not as imposing as she was in Divergent.

Some scenes, when I read them in the book, came out as I pictured (like the interrogation scene with Tris and Four and the enemy storming of the Candor Faction), but others I felt could've used either touching up or was let down by (one of the enemies is offed PG-13 style, and don't get me wrong: it happened in the book, but I imagined it to be more gruesome and less censored than that).  Also, obligatory YA PG-13 sex scene, because why not (even though it didn't happen in the book)?
 
The Divergent Series: Insurgent is a bit of a letdown as a follow-up to Divergent (which I honestly thought was solid), but there are still things to like about it, and it's partly saved by Shailene Woodley's performance and realistic-looking dystopian future.  I normally don't mind changes from the source material so long as a movie follows the gist of the narrative, and I would not have minded Insurgent's changes so much had it developed its characters more and stayed true to the gist of its story.  But hey, you can't have it all with movies like these.
 
Take all that away, and basically I thought Insurgent was okay (but not in the same level as the book).  If you watched Divergent and ended up not liking it I'm afraid this movie isn't going to change your mind, for it's a step down in quality; but if you did like Neil Burger's film you might get something out of Robert Schwentke's Insurgent, but I can't guarantee whether you'll like it or not... and definitely watch it in 2D if you give it a chance.  And hey, look on the bright side: at least it was more sensible and competently made than R.I.P.D. was.
 
My Personal Score: 3/5
 
Next March Schwentke will return to direct The Divergent Series: Allegiant Part 1.  It's my least favorite of the trilogy, and taking into account the array of changes made to Insurgent I've a feeling that that same might befall the two movies based on Allegiant.  All I have to say is that if Schwentke manages the impossible and makes Allegiant passable or even good, I'll have a whole new respect for him, but in the meantime this is what we've got.
 
I want to thank you for reading my honest Theatrical Escapade thoughts on this movie, so please leave me a comment and let me know whether you agree with me or not.  Until next time, I'm StarBoy91, and may your day shine brightly!  =)
 
<(^o^)^TO EACH THEIR OWN^(^o^)>

Saturday, March 28, 2015

StarBoy91's Theatrical Escapade - Cinderella 2015

Written: March 20th-28th, 2015
 
Hello everyone, StarBoy91 here; passionate about video games, big retrophile, and fan of all things 16-bit; and I would like to welcome you all to a new segment of my blog I'd like to call Theatrical Escapade in which I discuss movies that I saw that are still in theatres at this point (regardless of what genre or what the target audience is, regardless of how I feel towards it, for it's escapist entertainment).  Not sure if it's something I'll commit to since I largely talk about video games, but I want to give it my best shot.  <=)  I decided that the first movie I would talk about in this Theatrical Escapade series is the latest Disney live action incarnation of Cinderella by masterful Shakespearean director Kenneth Branagh.
In case you are wondering if you've been following my blog up to this point: yes, I cannot get enough of drawing my avatar in the banners of certain posts (it's so fun to draw and represents me well); another thing is that when I make custom banners for these posts I will give a small visual hint at my feelings towards the movie in question, whether it was a positive experience or a negative one or even somewhere down the middle.
 
Now before I talk about the movie I feel it's appropriate to briefly go over the Disney short that precedes it: Frozen Fever.
Image from Rotten Tomatoes
Rated: G | Aspect Ratio: 2.24:1 | Running Time: 7 Minutes | Directed by: Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee
Taking place after the events of 2013's fantastic animated feature Frozen, Elsa has been planning a special birthday for her young sister Anna for some time, but just as Elsa's about to be done and decides to spend time with Anna she starts catching a cold, creating a slew of baby snowmen called Snowgies each time she sneezes which are out causing trouble, especially at the place where the party will be celebrated.
 
When I first read the premise behind the short (before having seen it) I admit that I was like, "Really?  Elsa the Snow Queen catches a cold?"  That scenario didn't really click with me when I read it the first time considering that ice and cold elements are her specialty, but when watching the premise in motion I thought it made sense.
 
I enjoyed Frozen Fever a lot, its animation and colors are great, the set up was pretty ingenious, the new song "Making Today a Perfect Day" is quite catchy, it's got the charm and wit and humor that the movie's known for, and despite being only seven minutes long watching this made me feel like I was watching Frozen once more on the big screen.  =)  The fact that all the same people involved from said movie teamed up once more for the short, including the same composer (Christophe Beck) and co-directors and voice actors (Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad), is really amazing; the quality is about on par and the tiny snowmen were cute.  I liked it tremendously, kudos Disney.  =)
 
Now let's talk about the new Cinderella movie, and... okay before I delve right into how I felt about it I should probably share a bit of background that led up to it.
Image from Rotten Tomatoes
Rated: PG | Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 | Running Time: 102 Minutes | Directed by: Kenneth Branagh
I wasn't familiar with the original fairy tale when I was a child, but I was introduced to the story of Cinderella through a few adaptations.  One of them was the 1950 animated version done by Disney (of course) which I remember liking a lot at the time but have not watched it in full since I was a child, and another one was an anime from Japan (dubbed) that wasn't as long as the Disney one but was still decent in its own right; and I remember thinking at the time how interesting it was that in one version Cinderella gets a silver dress and glass slippers from her fairy godmother  while in the anime Cinderella got a pink dress with gold shoes (if I remember correctly) which appeared from the branches of a sentient tree.  This was probably one of the first (if not the first) instances where I saw two different (media) takes on the same story.
 
I also saw the two Disney animated sequels made for TV, and I saw the 2000 Italian animated Titanic movie Titanic, mille e una storia by Camillo Teti.  I know what you're thinking: what does that have to do with Cinderella?  Come on, it's pretty obvious!  One of the subplots revolving around Angelica, a pretty young lady who's under the control of the wicked stepmother and her two daughters?  That's Cinderella!  The way that she becomes the belle of the ball once she shows up with a pretty dress and dances with her love interest?  That is Cinderella.  The way the mice get chased after by a cat and the way that the mice help Angelica?  Once again, Cinderella!  It's funny how in what was already a rip-off of a highly successful movie (James Cameron's Titanic) the people involved managed to steal--oh, I'm sorry, "borrow"--elements from The Secret of NIMH, Anastasia, An American Tail, 101 Dalmatians, and Cinderella among other things.  I saw it in Italy once when I was thirteen in 2004 when I visited relatives, and I saw it again on YouTube years ago.  Not very good, but I've seen worse, believe it or not.  XD
 
Okay, I promise I won't take long to get to Kenneth Branagh's adaptation, so let me wrap this up quickly.  When I saw Maleficent in theatres (which I didn't find awful personally) last year I remember one of the trailers that played before it was a teaser with a glass slipper, indicating that the next live action fairy tale would be Cinderella.  A glass slipper, yeaaah, that says a lot about what that version will be like.  =|  So for the longest time I saw no screenshots for the movie (not until a few months ago), which made me a little worried that it would not be good.  So back in January I saw Rob Marshall's adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical Into the Woods (which had characters from The Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Cinderella), which I personally liked for all intents and purposes (despite its flaws); but before that one started I saw it: a trailer for the new Cinderella.  It had me intrigued, but at the same time I was a little reluctantly hesitant about it.  I can't explain it, but something about the trailer made me think it was going to be a bit heavy-handed and different.  <=\
 
But when I heard that Kenneth Branagh's interpretation would be a traditional take on not just the 1950 animated Disney classic but the classic Charles Perrault's Cendrillon from centuries ago as well (no modern day twists like in Alice in Wonderland by Tim Burton and Maleficent), coupled with the fact that its early reviews were immensely positive, it helped ease my concern a lot and the closer it got to the release date the more I wanted to see it (and not just for Frozen Fever, but because I genuinely wanted to see for myself if Cinderella 2015 was as good as a lot of people and critics made it out to be).  So on March 16th, after work I went to watch it on the big screen with an open mind.  And I just have to say: I... wholeheartedly... LOVED... this movie!  =D  It was so brilliant, that I honestly have no idea where to start.
Image from Rotten Tomatoes
It's the story we all know and love, except that it's fully realized and brought to life, and I applaud the filmmakers for following the golden rule of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".  Ella (Lily James) has had a golden childhood with her two caring and loving parents (Ben Chaplin and Hayley Atwell), but then one day her mother dies due to ill health, but not before imparting her secret to her daughter: "have courage and be kind".  So Ella and her father keep each other happy while Ella keeps those words to heart, but when her father decides it's time to marry again Ella is okay with it; so he marries Lady Tremaine (Cate Blanchett), who also lost her husband, moving in with her two daughters Anastasia and Drizella (Holliday Grainger and Sophie McShera respectively).
 
But shortly afterwards Ella's father dies, leaving her at the hands of her stepsisters and Lady Tremaine, who treat her as a servant doing pretty much every cleaning and cooking for them.  One day she's given the nickname "Cinderella" for having ashes on her face, which affects her deeply, so she rides outside where she accidentally stumbles upon a young apprentice named "Kit", not knowing that he's Prince Charming (Richard Madden).  It's there they experience love at first sight, so he invites all royal and non-royal maidens in the kingdom to the upcoming ball in the hopes to see her again, wanting to marry her for love.  Forbidden by the Tremaine family to go there, Ella is left home alone in sorrow until she's granted an opportunity to attend the ball by an unexpected encounter with her fairy godmother (Helena Bonham Carter).
Image from Rotten Tomatoes
The movie is very well-cast, and I loved how Kenneth Branagh (and screenplay writer Chris Weitz) managed to incorporate so much depth and development to these characters from the fairy tale, including the Prince Charming who's nicknamed "Kit".  I liked all the cast, actually, but there are some standouts; primarily Cate Blanchett's Lady Tremaine, who has a lot of fun playing Ella's wicked stepmother (without going too over the top) that she's almost worth the price of admission alone; plus, she's got a classy fashion choice.  Then there's Richard Madden who plays Ella's one true love, Kit, who's very likable and you can believe that he's enamored with her.  There is also Helena Bonham Carter who plays the Fairy Godmother, and she was one of the highlights of a movie that already was utterly satisfying to watch, for she's quirky, funny, and beautiful in her look and mannerisms (and she's only in it for one scene).  =)
 
Finally there's the title character herself, and--with all apologies to Drew Berrymore, Brandy, Anna Kendrick, and all the other actresses who played (or voiced) as her--Lily James is the perfect embodiment of Cinderella.  =)  She's nice, she's kind towards others, she's independent, she's strong, and she's humble as well; all of which makes her very appealing and charming.  James does a really good job at bringing the character to life that she becomes her own, and she looks divine when she wears the blue dress at the ball.  Her scenes with Kit are charming and amiable, and even though "love at first sight" is not a very easy scene to accomplish, James and Madden managed it perfectly in their first scene together and it feels genuine.
Image from Rotten Tomatoes
Cinderella 2015 is such a beautiful-looking movie to look at as well, for Branagh knows how to incorporate colors and visuals when it comes to his movies.  For example, during the ballroom scene the halls are golden and everyone is dressed in a multitude of colors, but the greatest contrast comes when Ella arrives with her blue dress (which glows radiantly), and it is a magnificently breathtaking and fun scene as well when they start dancing.  There is a bit of CG, but it's not overused and is solely limited to the anthropomorphic mice whenever the movie cuts to them and the transformation scene--which is a good thing because too much of it would've been distracting.  And the transformation scene, oh my God!  The transformation scene for when Ella's dress going from pink to blue as she's spinning around is an incredible feast for the eyes.  It's magical in every sense of the word.  =)
 
The set designs are also breathtaking to behold, whether it be the outskirts of town, the elegant castle interiors, or even the woods in one brief scene.  Haris Zambarloukos knows what it takes to make effective shots with his succinct cinematography, and he's got a good eye for great angles (such as the ballroom scene, and the scene where Lady Tremaine confronts Ella about the glass slipper).
Image from Rotten Tomatoes
Another highlight of the movie, for me personally, is Patrick Doyle's incredible score, which helps augment the story's sense of magic and wonder; plus the songs are emotionally driven they make their respective scenes work.  Some of my favorite cues are the themes for Ella and Kit, the music when Ella makes her entrance at the ball, and the music for the transformation by itself is enough to take my breath away.  During the credits are a few renditions of songs from the 1950 Disney classic, including a new song called "Strong" by Sonna Rele which is so inspiring that I feel it's a great way of bookending the film.
Image from Rotten Tomatoes
Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella is a sweet and charming delight to watch from beginning to end, and even though it's a pure fairy tale and opts for a more traditional take in this age of revisionism it's better off for it.  The moral of the story of being kind and having courage, and the story itself, has got a timeless appeal that simply makes it enchanting.  It also helps that the movie is beautiful, not just for its array of colors and cinematography, but in the way the story was handled and for giving many of its characters three-dimensional treatment that make them easy to relate to.  In making the story come to life none of the magic was lost, and it's clear how much influence the original Disney animated classic had on this movie.  This is live action Disney done right.  =)
 
This is a movie I loved a lot and it's one of those near-perfect movies for me personally; I honestly don't have anything bad to say about it.  Cinderella 2015 is feel-good entertainment, and I highly recommend giving it a watch.  If you have any concerns based solely on the way revisionist takes on Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland and Maleficent were handled (as well as Universal's Snow White and the Huntsman), you don't have to worry about any of that here because its old-fashioned and traditional in its execution and it is highly refreshing.  =)  And even though I enjoyed it tremendously I can understand why some wouldn't, and some may have seen it just because Frozen Fever precedes it, which is too bad because it really is great.
 
My Personal Score: 5/5
 
Judging by how good Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella turned out, it makes me eager to see the live action treatment which will be given to Beauty and the Beast with Emma Watson in a couple years' time.  =)  All I ask is that Luke Evans keep his facial hair when playing Gaston (no, seriously, he looks weird without it, in my opinion).
 
Stay tuned for my next Theatrical Escapade post as I talk about The Divergent Series: Insurgent, which I didn't feel was anywhere near as good as this film........... or its predecessor, rather......  O~0  Stay tuned!
 
I want to thank you for reading my honest Theatrical Escapade thoughts on this movie, so please leave me a comment and let me know whether you agree with me or not.  Until next time, I'm StarBoy91, and may your day shine brightly!  =)
 
<(^o^)^TO EACH THEIR OWN^(^o^)>

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Disney's Aladdin (SNES) Review

Received: August 7th, 2010 / Written: March 2nd-16th, 2015
Published: March 17th, 2015
Year: 1993 | Developed and Published by: Capcom
 
Hello everyone, StarBoy91 here; passionate about video games, big retrophile, and fan of all things 16-bit.  =)  Disney's animated movies have been on a role for the past half-plus decade.  From Bolt to The Princess and the Frog to Wreck-It Ralph to Frozen to even Big Hero 6, their latest animated fare have proven to be not only some of the best movies of their respective release year but also in some cases some of the most successful to date.  Watching some of these movies harkened back to the ten-year Disney Renaissance period that lasted from 1989 to 1999, which is a good thing because animated Disney is on a roll.  =)  And speaking of classics, let's talk about one of my favorites from the '90s: Disney's Aladdin.
Image from Wikipedia
In 1992 Ron Clements and John Musker (of The Great Mouse Detective and The Little Mermaid fame) unleashed upon the world an animated feature that took audiences to a whole new world with Disney's Aladdin, based a little on the tale of Aladdin when he finds his lamp from One Thousand and One Nights.  I may not have been of age to see it when it was on the big screen (I was one at the time), but I was been introduced to it via VHS years later and it's a movie I've got a lot of fondness for.  =)  The animation was wonderful, the characters were fun and likable, the music is timeless, and the way Disney interpreted the folktale was good.  Many people seem to agree since it's got critical acclaim since release and has been a very successful movie.  So successful that the people who loved Aladdin wanted more.
Image from Wikipedia
So then in 1994 Chip'n Dale: Rescue Rangers creators Tad Stones and Alan Zaslove wrote, produced, and directed the first made-for-TV animated sequel under the Michael Eisner reign The Return of Jafar which followed up on the events of the first Aladdin.  In this movie Aladdin is still hanging around with Jasmine in Agrabah (not married... delayed much?) when unbeknownst to them the evil villain Jafar has been freed from the lamp that Aladdin tricked him into at the end of the first movie, by the thief Abis Mal; while this is going on Gilbert Gottfried's Iago released himself and decided to turn a new leaf, but it takes him awhile to be accepted.  I don't think the sequel is awful, and I have to give it credit for trying something risky by establishing a continuous franchise; but because it was made on a small budget the animation is not as fluid as the previous film and the color palette sometimes feels weird without any shading.  In hindsight, The Return of Jafar didn't need to be a movie (least not one that lasted sixty-eight minutes); I liked the idea of them bringing back the characters, but I think it would've worked best as a three-part pilot for a series.
Image from Wikipedia
And that is where the Aladdin TV series came in, for after the sequel came out the same people involved decided to follow up with various adventures in Agrabah (and out) with Aladdin and friends.  Lasting three seasons from 1994 to 1995 at eighty-six episodes, the show was very fun to watch and honestly I felt it was a better experience than The Return of Jafar.  Oh, yes, I have to address this: the late Robin Williams (who has sadly passed away last Summer), who was voiced the Genie in the first movie, refused to return due the way they used his voice in Aladdin's marketing campaign, so the role went to Dan "Homer Simpson" Castellaneta for the first made-for-TV sequel and entirety of the series.  I liked the stories involved, and the villains were fun and memorable: Abis Mal, Mirage, Sadira, Aziz, and Mozenrath to name some.  Some of the allies that were made for this show was solid as well.  =)
Image from Wikipedia
Finally there was the second made-for-TV Disney animated feature under Eisner's reign and the final one centering on Aladdin; 1996's Aladdin and the King of Thieves, inspired by Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, which Tad Stones helmed on his own.  In a way it's like the animated equivalent of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in that it's a father-son adventure where Aladdin meets his once thought to be lost father, Cassim, who has been lording over the forty thieves (the awesome thing is that he's voiced by John Rhys-Davies).  =)  Not only is this made-for-TV follow-up a hundred times better than The Return of Jafar, but I honestly think it's genuinely good; I like the dynamic between Aladdin and Cassim, the running time was more sufficient, the songs were memorable, it was a great sendoff for the characters we've known for years, and while still not movie quality the animation is pretty good on its own (with actual shading, lighting, and occasional camera revolving); at times it was really intense (I love this movie).  Best of all, Robin Williams was back as Genie after one of the Disney crew apologized for using his voice for merchandising purposes; while Castellaneta was not a bad Genie, you just cannot top Williams.  *sigh*  May he rest in peace.  =(
Image from Wikipedia
So after Disney's Hercules came out in theatres in 1997 (also by Clements and Musker) Disney decided to create a midquel TV series that took place during the demi-God's school days, which looking back sort of contradicts Hercules' statement of having never rescued a city before in the movie (that, and Hades).  I thought this series itself was okay personally, but imagine my (and everyone else's) surprise Aladdin was going to cross over with Hercules in the latter's show in 1999 in the episode "Hercules and the Arabian Knight".  It was incredibly fun (despite the one glaring fact that neither series take place in the same time period), and it was great to see Jonathan Freeman's Jafar once more revived by Hades after having died in The Return of Jafar.  This was a good crossover, and the hero and villain team-ups fleshed things out with each character working to their advantage.  =)  And finally, they maintained continuity that Aladdin and Jasmine got married in Aladdin and the King of Thieves, which I appreciate a lot.
 
And since the first Aladdin was a big hit there were not only merchandises that resulted from the movie's success but video game adaptations as well... a year later in 1993.
With Capcom's Nintendo 16-bit Disney licenses The Magical Quest starring Mickey Mouse and Goof Troop (Gūfii to Makkusu - Kaizoku Shima no Daibōken in Japan) having proved to be fun and charming for critics and audiences, the reliable company decided to take the task of creating the Super Famicom/Super Nintendo version of Disney's Aladdin (since at the time Capcom was the only company allowed to release Disney games for Nintendo consoles, but that contract would expire after today's game's release) while Virgin Interactive made their own video game adaptation for the Sega MegaDrive/Genesis console at the same time.  More on that later, but for now let's see how Capcom treated this movie license.  =)
 
In case you've been living inside a cave for the past twenty-plus years here is the story: a long time ago in the land of Agrabah, located near the River Jordan, there was a time of wonder and adventure.  A young man's life was changed once he stumbled upon an ancient treasure that was highly sought after: the magic lamp.
Out in the desert the unnamed Sultan's grand vizier Jafar and an humble thief named Gazeem that he enlisted stumble upon the Cave of Wonders.
But just as the thief enters the cave proclaims that only can enter here, "one whose worth lies deep within, the diamond in the rough" before Gazeem is devoured alive.  So Jafar sets out to find the "diamond in the rough".
In the streets of Agrabah lives a young street urchin named Aladdin who steals to survive.  One day he meets a young maiden in the streets who's about to be punished for having not paid for an apple she gave to a hungry boy, so he saves her just in time.  They discuss their futures and have a moment but are interrupted by the Sultan's guards, where Aladdin is captured and it is revealed that the young maiden was the young princess Jasmine who had run away from the palace.  Under Jafar's orders the guards lock Aladdin deep in the heart of the dungeon, where the young thief is met by an old beggar who's actually Jafar in disguise who'll offer freedom in exchange for helping him retrieve the lamp in the Cave of Wonders.
Once inside the Cave Aladdin and his simian friend Abu meet a sentient carpet named Carpet, who helps them find what they're looking for.  But just as Aladdin retrieves the magic lamp an entranced Abu has touched the forbidden treasure, causing the place to burn and collapse.  Just as they reach the entrance they give the lamp to Jafar, who winds up double-crossing the group trapping them inside.  Luckily Abu snagged the lamp back while the grand vizier was not looking, and it's at this point they encounter an all-powerful Genie who's resided inside the lamp all this time and was summoned once Aladdin rubbed it.  With the help of Genie they escape the depths of the sand, granting one of Aladdin's wishes turning him into a prince so that he can take Jasmine's hand in marriage.  But he learns that it's not the outside but the inside that counts.
 
Slash-Slash-Slash-Slash-Slash
Capcom's version of Disney's Aladdin for the Nintendo 16-bit console reverts back to the 2D sidescrolling platformer genre since Goof Troop opted for a top-down adventure previously.  Unlike the other Disney Capcom games for the system that used at least three major buttons, this game uses all four, and fortunately you can select one of four gameplay types in the options screen to suit your personal comfort.  As for me, I often choose the second one; Aladdin's main action buttons are jumping, running, apple throwing, and parachuting (should you procure a piece of cloth).  Other sets of actions that you'll find yourself doing in this game pouncing on enemies and objects, bouncing on trampolines, ziplining, swinging, ducking, pulling ropes, and even the ability to hang onto and climb over ledges.

Hanging on
That last ability is something that wasn't often utilized in 2D platformers back then, and for this game it can be a bit of a godsend as there might be some moments when you might not make it right on top a certain platform but you may find yourself grabbing on to it; same for if you're trying to climb right up higher sections.  I like it, and I think it's pretty cool how much range Aladdin has got in terms of actions in this game.  =)  The goal of each area is to reach the arrow sign at the end; but on the way there you'll have to contend with enemies, procure some power-ups and apple for long-ranged ammo, and gathering the small gems and red rubies (worth five gems) sprite-lifted straight from Goof Troop.  If you find a heart power-up or if you collect a hundred gems your health capacity will augment itself.  In certain areas you might find a golden scarab, and should you grab it before it flies away you'll access a bonus mini-game with Genie.
Essentially the equivalent of Wheel of Fortune, this is a chance for something big or something small.  In the spinning wheel you'll be granted either a life or two, full health, or even extra credits if any of the icons stop right under Genie's finger in the bottom center.  Grabbing the golden scarab is optional, but it's nice to have the option anyway.  =)

Swinging forth
The gameplay is very good, and because of the variety of actions set at your disposal and how well-polished they all are they prove to be very intuitive.  There are also a couple segments where Aladdin rides on Carpet, which controls decently enough but it's best to not touch the ceiling and floor lest you want to fall off of it.  When swinging you can choose whether to do the medium jump or the high jump, but it depends on which position Aladdin is in as well as pressing the proper direction buttons the moment you decide to let go.  The ability to run helps give you speed in your movements, and using the parachute is very useful when it comes to gliding gradually to (or near) a platform.  Each stage comprises of either one to four areas, and once you beat a stage you'll be given a password.

Bouncing up high in the sky
The music in the movie Disney's Aladdin by Alan Menken was great and fit well with the various environments of Agrabah, which also contributes to its memorably catchy songs written by both Tim Rice and the late Howard Ashman.  The composers of this game version did a nice job at trying to stay as faithful to the instrumental style and tone that the movie's music had, and frankly speaking it's much more listenable and engaging than most of the music that was used in Capcom's previous 16-bit Disney outing Goof Troop/Gūfii to Makkusu - Kaizoku Shima no Daibōken=)  Much of the background music has got an Arabian feel that incorporates a great deal of instrumentation, and when heard in context with the game's respective areas it works wonders in augmenting its sense of atmosphere.

Seriously, what are those enemies?  O~o
Some incredible examples are the Cave of Wonders with its sweeping orchestration and softly mysterious cues, and the pyramid theme sounds eerie yet inviting with its Egyptian-like vibe.  Some of the other cues are good as well; and fortunately some of the songs from the movie manage to be transitioned into 16-bit (sans lyrics).  During the Genie World areas a very energetic-sounding and pumped up "Friend Like Me" is playing in the background (and that includes some of the very final notes); and I'm enamored with the notion that there are three different versions of "A Whole New World" in the same game, two of them being the magical-sounding one from the magic carpet ride sequences and a deeply resonant sounding version played during the credits.  =)  The intro and Jafar themes sound great as well.  A few of the sound effects were lifted from The Magical Quest, but for the ones that were originally made for this game they range from either solid (grabbing and landing) to hilarious ("mwwah" as Aladdin bounces off of enemies).

Well, there are scimitars in the game at least;
too bad Al's not carrying one  =|
Disney's Aladdin has got great visuals, which is always something to look forward to when it comes to Capcom's games on the Nintendo 16-bit console (even their lesser efforts); also as far as 16-bit Disney Capcom goes I think it's the best-looking of the sextet.  =)  The settings are colorful and polished throughout, and there's a neat sense of detail from time to time.  The streets of Agrabah is a pleasing setting for the eyes with the slightly detailed walls with occasional glimpses of open markets and other people in the distance; what's cool is the way it gradually becomes darker the farther you progress and in one segment there is a breathtaking view of the Sultan's palace looming in the backdrop amidst an impressive array of parallax scrolling buildings in the distance.  =)  But that's only the start of the game.

Time to escape
Each segment of the Cave of Wonders has got an immersive way of using their hues and shades of primary colors, whether it be the start where it's all blue (with the entrance lingering in the distance), yellow with the glowing treasure, and scorching red as you try to escape a setting where it radiates with boiling heat and fire as it fills with lava (which after a while will scroll fast).  I like the Egyptian and snake motifs and décor in the pyramid and Jafar areas respectively, and I especially appreciate the color-layering running sand in the former and moments where lightning strikes in the latter.  =)  And of course there's the Genie areas which have a playful look and feel to them, with platforms and springs that have got Genie's face on them (which change reactions whether you get on them or plunge to your doom) which all transpire in a cloud-filled environment; and if you look very closely in one segment you'll notice Abu holding on to dear life grabbing on to Carpet flying in the distance.

Time to show them acrobatic skills
What I also think works very well is how the cutscenes all have a Carpet-like border surrounding them, which adds a lot and fits with the theme of Agrabah; and speaking of cutscenes they are really well-drawn and match the tone of the movie (and perhaps it's just me, but a couple of them almost look like stills from the actual movie).  =)  Aladdin's overall animation is fluid and very intricate to a T; whether he's walking, running, jumping, and even swinging, I find it amazing how thoroughly detailed his motions are for a 1993 Disney Capcom platformer (a neat touch is how his sleeve-less vest flutters as he falls down).  His sidekick Abu has also got his fair share of animations, even when he's just following Aladdin around or reacting to stuff, which adds levels of charm to the game.

Dark and brooding sandy atmosphere
In Disney's Aladdin you'll find yourself dealing with the Sultan's guards, bats, snakes, scorpions, sand bats, and a series of vases (even winged ones) with birds' feet protruding from them.  I have no idea what these enemies are about and why Capcom decided to add them, though it does add a sense of mystery to them.  All their animations are decent, and the best part about them is their incredulous look upon being tossed an apple or when you pounce on them.  =)  I like how the default title screen is a slightly glowing and slightly fading version of the original movie poster, and there's a handful of Mode 7 effects--like when the title zooms out and how the bonus wheel with Genie makes its entrance by bouncing in until it begins to rotate.  Finally, both of Jafar's forms look great.

Rug riding outta here
Being a Disney Capcom game, Disney's Aladdin is on the easy side and out of the six SFC/SNES games it's actually the easiest (and that's despite the fact that this is the only other Disney Capcom title outside of Goof Troop to have limited continues).  And part of that may attribute to the ability to run, which is not only manageable but it also winds up alleviating much of the difficulty in the process (like Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master).  Enemy projectiles and enemy attacks are easy to avoid if you're really careful, the bosses have simple patterns to follow, and the stage designs are well-made but do not scream high challenge.  While passwords are convenient if you don't feel you have the time or confidence to beat it in one sitting, they're not necessary otherwise; but at least they're brief and to the point at just four (literal) characters (which is more than I can say for The Legend of the Mystical Ninja's extraneous thirty-one character password system).

Ah, so that's how ziplining was done in the past
That's not to say there aren't any obstacles to overcome in the game, because there are plenty.  Early on in the Cave of Wonders there are a couple instances where you must pull down a rope to open up a passage over a stream of rolling logs and you cannot leg go until one is below you.  In one segment of the pyramid there is a moment where you must swing on a series of chains which alternate between being raised and lowered above a floor of spikes.  In Genie's world there are some Genie balloons with hooks below them and you have the option to either jump on said balloon or swing on the hook.  As for a last example there are times when fire rises up and down and you must pull a switch to adjust the trail of a moving platform.

Aladdin used a very effective swing against
that winged vase with talons
After having made Goof Troop for the SNES pre-Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami returned to the Disney mold to work on this game, which was released in November of 1993 in North America and Japan, and early 1994 for European gamers.  Disney's Aladdin was actually the second Disney Capcom game that Japan got to play, as 1993's Goof Troop would not arrive there until the very following year in 1994.  So instead of the release order being The Magical Quest starring Mickey Mouse -> Goof Troop -> Disney's Aladdin like it was in North America and Europe, the release order for Japan was Mickey's Magical Adventure -> Disney's Aladdin -> Gūfii to Makkusu - Kaizoku Shima no Daibōken.

Holding down the rope to open the way
November 1993 was also the month that Virgin Interactive released their video game adaptation of the movie for the Sega MegaDrive/Genesis console, which Capcom's Nintendo 16-bit incarnation found itself competing against.  This was back when Sega still made consoles to compete with Nintendo, and this has resulted in a long-argued bout over which version of Disney's Aladdin was superior; for despite the variation in terms of design and gameplay, comparisons were inevitable.  One side tends to prefer the Capcom adaptation while another side of gamers strongly believe that Virgin's version is the dominant one that did the movie justice.  While the SFC/SNES did very well and has got a loyal following, there are a few people (believe it or not) that find it to be weak or not all that good (even when compared to the Sega 16-bit game); same is true in the case of vice versa.  It doesn't matter which version you prefer in the end, as there will always be someone who picks a side and it's not going to resolve the argument any time soon.
What are my thoughts?  Having played both versions myself (well, the PC version of the MegaDrive/Genesis game, actually), I think Disney's Aladdin on the SNES did a lot of things better than the Virgin Interactive adaptation; while it may not have the animation from actual Disney animators it does look prettier in my opinion (as well as its music being crystal clear), and I liked Carpet's introduction better here as it was faithful to the movie (and he did not appear right out of nowhere after a midboss fight), and I loved that Capcom incorporated an "A Whole New World" stage with Aladdin and Jasmine--sure, it may have been a throwaway stage with zero enemies in the way, but it was much appreciated.  =)  Plus, there was an actual ending scenario here as opposed to abruptly cutting to Aladdin and Jasmine flying away on Carpet in the moonlight and giving their kiss during the credits after defeating Jafar.  But despite all those aspects one-upping the version done by Virgin, I have to admit that otherwise that the Sega 16-bit version is a tad better as it had more depth and challenge (and there's a whole 'nother reason too, but I'll get to that later).  A lot of people feel the same.
Screengrabbed from NintendoLife

Even Mikami himself shares that sentiment, which comes as a surprise since he designed the Capcom adaptation, admitting that had he not worked on the Nintendo 16-bit version he would've done the Sega 16-bit adaptation instead.  But his reasoning behind that is not unfounded, for some of the reasons he preferred the Virgin game was the fact that it had animation done by Disney animators and the fact that Aladdin actually carried a scimitar, which Mikami wanted for his version (despite the deceptive SNES cover, he carries no such weapon in-game).  What's equally mindblowing is the fact that Dave Perry, designer of the MegaDrive/Genesis version, stated in a different article that he would've worked on the SFC/SNES game if he hadn't been a part of the version he worked on.  It's amazing what you learn of games (and developers' thoughts behind their own games) you like after years of playing them.  =O
There was also another video game adaptation of Disney's Aladdin in the form of the Sega Master System and the Game Gear in 1994, developed by SIMS and published by Sega.  I have not played either 8-bit version, but from what I gather its narrative and dialogue is the most accurate to the movie and that it's essentially the Disney equivalent of Prince of Persia.
Which makes sense since the Jordan Mechner classic did have some elements that were influenced in the movie (from the grand vizier sharing the name Jafar to him asking the princess to marry him to Jasmine being trapped inside an hourglass which is an homage to that game).  In fact, some gameplay elements in the Capcom version of Disney's Aladdin have been derived from Prince of Persia, for Aladdin can hang on to the side of ledges and either lower himself down or even climb up said ledge; a couple obstacles in the pyramid stage even feel Prince of Persia-esque to me (sans the swordplay), and the way the animation is fluid in both games shows what influence the 1989 game had over the 1993 movie-to-video game adaptation.  =)

Nintendoes What Sega Don't: give Carpet a
solid video game introduction  =D
There is actually a bit of history as to how I got exposed to Capcom's adaptation.  Back in the '90s you either grew up with the version made by Capcom or the one made by Virgin Interactive.  I grew up with the latter... three of them, in fact (first on the original Game Boy, then the PC version of the MegaDrive/Genesis game, and finally the Game Boy Color version), and I didn't know of the feud between versions when I was a little until I was in my mid-teens.  I actually recall one time when I was at a Toys "R" Us as a kid having spotted a box of Disney's Aladdin for the SNES, but I never bought it (this was long before one of my cousins loaned me his SNES console, and the thought of getting it for my cousins who actually owned one never crossed my mind either).  I only saw the front cover from a distance, and I presumed that it was equal to the versions I grew up with (this was back when I had no resource or prior knowledge to the Nintendo 16-bit game or the feuding adaptations at the time).

Image from The Cutting Room Floor
Yes, this is real
Until I was eleven I lived in Italy and only visited our relatives in America once a year before having moved to the continent in 2002 (which I'm all for; as much as I like Italy I much prefer the living conditions here--I still visit my old home city each year).  I remember often visiting one of my Italian cousins' house to play Famicom and NES games on plug-and-plays directed to the TV (legal or not, it was a pretty neat way of accessing Japan-only 8-bit games without actually having to import them) which I enjoyed tremendously (plug-and-plays being my first exposure to the Nintendo 8-bit console, which in the ensuing years I begun to realize they were actual games).  Then one day in 2001 or 2002 one of my cousins had a new plug-and-play with about fifteen-twenty games on it, and the very first game on the list was Aladdin.  Now, bear in mind, this was during my pre-teen years (without little knowledge of all things FC/NES), and after years of playing the Virgin games all I thought of this at the time was, "Whoa, another video game version of Disney's Aladdin?  Sweet!!!"  In 1995 a company called Hummer Team made a (surprisingly playable) hack of Capcom's game, but I didn't know that back then.

Image also from The Cutting Room Floor
It too had a password system
It's been years since I last played it but from I remember it was playable (even if it didn't have the ability to run) and while the visuals weren't as polished as the Nintendo 16-bit original for what Hummer managed to design as 8-bit it looked fine.  I remember the music stopping absolutely after you either paused and unpaused or if you lost a life; I even managed to beat it once (this despite being on a 16.7% slower than an NTSC 50hz controller connected to the TV).  In late 2003 there was a small blurb on a Game Informer magazine about a Game Boy Advance version of the SNES game which had a screenshot with visuals that were not at all like the Virgin Interactive version and more the version I played on the plug-and-play.  I remember being amazed at that news, but despite being initially interested I never played that handheld adaptation.

Apple throwing in the sand
But the real surprise was not until September of 2005, when Hurricane Rita threatened to hit our neighborhood in Texas (my God, has it been ten years since the hurricane trio Katrina, Rita, and Wilma already?); my family and I drove to one of my mom's friend's houses far in the distance and stayed there during the week (our neighborhood went unscathed, but some cities were not so lucky).  The family was nice as I recall, and their kids had video games I played during our stay (many of which I played for the first time).  One of the consoles they owned was an SNES, and one of the games I owned was Disney's Aladdin.  At fourteen I had presumed it was the same as the Virgin versions (not knowing at the time of the feud), but when I actually played it I was floored.  It played like the hack I experienced on the plug-and-play years prior, only it was a hundred times better (polished, even) and more enjoyable; it was at that point that I realized that Capcom created this version in 1993 and not a then unidentified developing team in 1995; on a related note, I also remember having watched Aladdin and the King of Thieves on Disney Channel (which never got old for me even back then).  Flashforward to Summer 2010, a year and a half after one of my cousins loaned me his SNES console, I decided to order my own copy of the SNES game on eBay.  The rest, as they say, is history.  =)

Still got that Capcom charm we know and love
Disney's Aladdin on the SNES is not perfect, and after The Magical Quest starring Mickey Mouse and Goof Troop it feels like a bit of a step down.  The root of it all isn't linked to the fact that it's easy, as even if it is it's enjoyable to play in its own right.  And while one could make the argument that this adaptation would've greatly benefitted better from having different difficulty settings, there actually is replay value to be had here.  =)  In the first of Genie's levels depending on whether you got there the first time or after you lost a life a tuxedo-wearing Genie will conjure up a path of either clouds and/or balloon hooks.

"Whew, dodged a bullet there!"
Opening up certain chests in certain levels will unleash a golden scarab, but grabbing it is completely optional.  There are also the red rubies scattered in each stage (excepting the final one), each having ten; some are located right in the open while others take either more precarious methods of accessing them or some are found in hidden parts of an area.  There are a total of seventy red rubies in the game, and while's there no guarantee you'll be able to get all of them with no problem they are optional to collect and depending on whether you have forty-five to fifty-plus amount of them at your disposal: well, you can never really change the ending of Disney's Aladdin, but you can change its credits sequence (but only in one whole sitting).  And speaking of alternate sequences:
If you wait until the first demo is over the title screen will be that of a blue silhouette of Genie protruding from his lamp (with "Friend Like Me" playing in the background).  =)  Pretty cool!

Running inside the depths of a pyramid
This was the second and last Disney game Capcom made based on a movie, after The Little Mermaid on both the NES and Game Boy.  But while that adaptation opted to create its own story and subplot which did not exist in the animated originator (somehow managing to bookend the story in an equal way for both media), at least in the case of Disney's Aladdin Capcom tried to stay more faithful to the movie's story this time around.  But that sadly is this Nintendo 16-bit adaptation's own undoing: it was maybe too faithful for its own good.  On the surface it doesn't sound bad, but when you think about how many settings there are in the movie... it's quite small.  The first stage takes place in Agrabah, the second and third stages transpire in the Cave of Wonders, then there's the Genie stage, the "A Whole New World" stage later, and then there's the Jafar stage.  It wouldn't have been so bad had the stages had more length and complexity to them.
 
"You ain't never had a friend like me" *sob*
One of the reasons gamers tend to lean towards the Virgin Interactive adaptation is the way its areas had a more open-ended and mazelike design to them, not to mention the fact that Virgin took more liberties with the license.  The areas in Capcom's Disney's Aladdin are brief, linear, and not all that complex; yes, there are occasional moments of secret segments if you look hard enough but they are too few and far between (not that it makes the stages any less linear), and before you know it the areas are finished.  In Virgin's version there were some areas that while not in the movie they helped add some length (like the desert and the palace dungeon); while adding a stage set in the confines of a pyramid was a nice touch for the Capcom edition, I wish they did more than incorporate the same environments as in the movie.  =(  Maybe add a sequence where Aladdin escapes from the dungeon or something.
 
Nintendoes What Sega Don't: show us a
whole interactive new world  =D
I'm not saying Capcom's unwillingness to stray from the source material enough makes the game bad, nor am I saying that movie-licensed games should be note-for-note adaptations.  I just wish there was more.  On its own terms, the SNES version of Disney's Aladdin is a fun game while it lasts, for the flexibly intuitive play control and lovely aesthetics are worth the price of admission alone, even if it does take roughly forty to forty-five minutes to beat (give or take depending on your skills as a gamer).  =)  I don't mind the fact that it was easy, nor do I find the lack of difficulty settings an issue as I said earlier there's a ton of replay value that works to the game's advantage despite its shortcomings (even if its areas are on the straightforward side).  Capcom's interpretation is a game I liked when I was younger and while it's shy from being great I still like playing it once in awhile.  =)
 
If the "One Jump Ahead" sequence was a
video game...  =)
When Virgin Interactive and Capcom made Disney's Aladdin for the Sega and Nintendo 16-bit consoles respectively, it was during the time when only Capcom was allowed to make Disney titles for Nintendo consoles; while on the Sega side of things it didn't really matter who handled the Disney license so long as they approved.  And I think it was at this point when the two versions were competing against each other that Nintendo realized that the exclusivity contract was silly so in 1994 they decided to tear said contract up so that way other companies besides just Capcom could work their Disney licensed magic from the Super Famicom and Super Nintendo to Nintendo's consoles of today.  =)
Click for full size
Frankly speaking, I think they made the right call with this decision, because as much as I love Capcom I believe that restricting the Disney license to just them for Nintendo consoles was a huge disadvantage from the start (disallowing variety from other companies was also a minus), as Sega was already outnumbering Nintendo as far as their Disney library was concerned.  Had Nintendo not done that the SFC/SNES console would've only had six Disney titles total (by Capcom, the first of which was done in 1992), which is a pretty small number if you think about it.  Luckily the developers during the mid-to-late lifespan managed to make up for the tiny abundance available by 1993 so that the console would have a sufficient amount of Disney games to play for everyone (by Capcom or no).  Who says (video game) feuds are a bad thing?  =)
 

"A snake, am I?  Perhaps you'd like to see how
sssssssnakelike I can BEEEEEEE!"
I think Disney's Aladdin by Capcom works better as a game on its own, but if you've played both competing versions then comparisons will be highly inevitable.  But if you don't compare then I think you'll have better enjoyment for this game.  If you're looking for a fun Disney platformer that's easy with enough challenges and replay value, I think you'll enjoy it enough.  If you're looking for an in-depth and overtly challenging adaptation of the movie with open-ended design, you won't find it here.  If you're a fan of all things Disney or Aladdin it's incredibly fun to play once in awhile.  It may not be the best Disney Capcom experience around, but for what it is it's good fun while it lasts; this version of Disney's Aladdin may not have been as in-depth or as lengthy as we would've liked, but at least Capcom gave us a chance to see their take on a whole new world.  =)  Until next time,
I'm StarBoy91, and may your day shine brightly!  =)
My Personal Score: 7.5/10
<(^o^)^TO EACH THEIR OWN^(^o^)>
P.S. Speaking of Disney works done by Clements and Musker, I cannot wait for next year's Moana=)  I like all the movies they co-directed so far, so I say bring it on.
 
P.S. 2 I think it would've been cool to have played video game adaptations of The Return of Jafar and Aladdin and the King of Thieves (I could totally picture them in my head); too bad mixed to negative word of mouth towards these sequels by critics prevented them from happening.  A kid at heart can dream.  *sigh*
 
P.S. 3 I swear, talking about video games (even ones I have a fondness for) can be really hard at times, especially when I don't physically script them before starting my reviews (I tend to play them by ear).  =(
 
P.S. 4 The next time I talk about a Disney Capcom game will be when I review Bonkers, for which I'll preface with a very awkward explanation as to why it took me so long to actually go for it.  O~O
 
P.S. 5 In other news, I recently got to see Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella (and the short Frozen Fever) in theatres.  I honestly loved Branagh's take on the story, it took me by surprise just how genuinely good and beautiful it was, it was charming throughout, and it's become one of my favorite movies of 2015--so far (and as for the short, it was a blast seeing the Frozen characters on the big screen once more, and I thought it was cute).  =)
 
Thank you for reading my review, my reader, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think.  Hope you have a great day, take care  =)
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R.I.P. Robin Williams (1951-2014)