If I were to stumble across a magic lamp, say in the Cave of Wonders, and if that lamp were to contain a genie who promised to grant me three wishes, at least one of those wishes would be for Disney to re-release their 1993 classic video game Aladdin.
On September 1, Disney announced that they were doing just that, and in case you were wondering, yes…it’s because I found a magic lamp and wished for it. Don’t worry. My last wish was to free the genie. I know the deal.
Originally released in 1994, the game is a side scrolling platformer which put you in control of the films hero as he travels through Agrabah on his quest to defeat Jafar. As Aladdin, you could defeat enemies with your scimitar, or by clocking them with apples.
On the surface, it doesn’t sound that innovative, just your standard platformer video game. However, you’d be wise not to judge on first appearances. The game was revolutionary in that it was the first video game to ever be hand animated. Approximately 10 Disney animators created the artwork for the game, creating around 1400 drawings, which were then digitized by Virgin Group and placed in the game. This hand drawn animation allowed the characters to have smoother movement and more detailed facial expressions.
The extra effort paid off, and the game (released on the Sega Genesis) sold four million copies. It was eventually ported to the NES, Gameboy, Amiga, and DOS, and the new game will be available on the PS4, Nintendo Switch, XBox One, and PC.
For a Disney geek like me, it truly is like having a wish granted, one that can zoom me right back to my childhood.