For as long as there have been video games there have been Disney-licensed video games. Sure, we could take a look at the recent Kingdom Hearts series and find all sorts of Disney heros/heroines kicking various amounts of ass. But it would be a lot more fun to go back to a time when Disney clearly did not give a shit about how their licenses were handled and the likes of Capcom and Virgin Interactive weren’t afraid to get their hands—or rather, the hands and paws of beloved 90’s cartoon icons—dirty. The following games may look innocent, but rest assured their body counts rival those of any action movie of the same era.
He’s about to show you a whole new world…of pain. Everyone’s favorite fez-sporting vagabond dispatches Jafar’s palace guards via the ancient Arabian technique of jumping on their heads. To add a little flavor, Aladdin can also stun foes with a barrage of deadly…apples. Even though he is pictured on the box wielding a scimitar, he never actually uses one in Capcom’s SNES version of the game. That would be too easy of course, as the sight of a scrawny baggy pants-wearing kid is enough to instill fear in the hearts of those who cross him.
9. The Beast
As the Beauty and the Beast movie would have you believe, Beast is just a misunderstood creature. He’s grumpy and menacing-looking, but wouldn’t actually hurt a fly. As the Beauty and the Beast game for SNES would have you believe, however, is that Beast would hurt a fly, rat, bat, French villager, or anything else that stands in the way of him getting whatever it is he wants. Belle, I suppose? Curiously, even though Beast is supposedly the master of his castle, every enchanted piece of furniture is out to kill him. Guess that’s what happens when you don’t unionize.
The Circle of Life is turned into the Circle of Death when the king of the jungle tries to take back his throne. The star of The Lion King pounces his way through the Savannah, completely ignoring the principles passed down from his father: “As king you need to understand that balance and respect all creatures from the crawling ant to the leaping antelope”. I’m guessing it doesn’t count as respect when you claw open monkeys and lizards and shit without even eating them. Not so glad you attended that birthing ceremony now, are you, Animal Kingdom?
7. Darkwing Duck
He is the terror that flaps in the night. An apt description if “flaps” means busting caps in the skulls of F.O.W.L.’s goon squad. On the TV show, Darkwing Duck is a bit of a bumbling numbskull; nothing ever seems to go his way. His gas gun is rarely used as anything but a grappling device, but in the NES adaptation of the series the Masked Mallard packs more heat than The Punisher. In addition to the default gas ammo, Drake can pump his foes full of lightning bolts and heavy gas bombs. Batman may have one rule, but DW knows that on the streets of St. Canard, there are no rules.
6. Goofy and Max
Goofy and son Max have had their share of problems on Goof Troop, be it Max trying to get the girl in high school or Goofy trying to pay off the mortgage. But as soon as they venture into the video game world, shit gets real and all of a sudden the family Goof is thrust into a life-and-death battle against pirates on a tropical island. With rocks and barrels at their disposal, these anthropomorphic dogs hurl projectiles at their nautical nemeses with reckless abandon. Ironically, a grappling gun designed to shoot sharp metal hooks merely stuns enemies, leaving blunt force trauma as the only means of sending these scurvy scum down to Davy Jones’ locker.
5. Chip ‘N Dale
Sometimes, some crimes go slipping through the cracks. But the heroes of Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers have no trouble filling those cracks with the bodies of robot dogs and bipedal rats. Ranger Gadget is usually the brains of the operation, and since she’s the damsel in distress this time, the chipmunk duo is forced to use brawn over brains. Thankfully, the disproportionate world they live in is scattered with thousands of miniature wooden crates and over-sized apples to combat Fat Cat’s henchmen. A co-op mode allows both Chip and Dale to work together, albeit with the opportunity to screw each over in a testament to one of Disney’s most illicit interspecies love triangles.
Whenever a boy is raised by wolves, there is usually some cause for concern. Considering his upbringing, Mowgli actually turned out to be an upstanding young man in The Jungle Book. So of course, let’s mar his reputation in the video game. Mowgli makes mince meat out of monkeys, snakes, and other jungle creatures through the use of the Arabian Assault (a.k.a. Pride Pounce, a.k.a. Beast Bop) as well as a seemingly endless supply of bananarangs he keeps concealed somewhere in his wolf-tailored short shorts. Baloo may have taught him the bare necessities of life, but Mowgli taught his enemies the bare necessities of death.
Featuring an alternate universe where characters from The Jungle Book exist in a civilized 1930’s era harbor town, TaleSpin certainly put a different spin on the traditional Disney animated series. Of course, it didn’t matter to Capcom how traditional the setting was; they were gonna have the characters wreck shit or die trying. Baloo the Bear doesn’t pilot the more familiar Sea Duck from the series, but it’s just as well since his vehicle of choice can do things no fixed-wing aircraft in existence can do: stop on a dime in mid-air, fly backwards and upside-down, and fire giant balls of death out of its propeller. Cargo pilot? The only thing Baloo delivers in this game is liquid hot justice.
2. Scrooge McDuck
Life is like a hurricane. Here in Duckburg, death is more like a old man’s cane impaled through your eye socket. The world’s wealthiest duck will stop at nothing to find treasure in Ducktales. He will travel the globe murdering gorillas, mountain goats, mummies and aliens without a second thought as long as it means more gold coins in the vault. Scrooge is so hardcore he doesn’t need a spacesuit on the fucking moon. None of this would be possible, of course, without the aid of Scrooge’s legendary pogo-stick cane, rumored to have been forged by Hephaestus himself.
Even a sweet, innocent teenage mermaid isn’t safe from Capcom’s kill-mongers. At least they explicitly did not try to recreate the plot of the The Little Mermaid movie; in the NES game, the story takes a departure some time after Ariel becomes human and reverts back to a mermaid, now hellbent on cleansing the sea of riffraff in order to finish off Ursula once and for all. Ariel can bash underwater baddies with a portable seashell, and when that’s not available she can entrap small creatures in a bubble with a flick of her tail and use them to send their friends to an even more watery grave. The hot crustacean band doesn’t have much to sing about when this fiery redhead starts making bikini tops out of their carapaces.