Before it was acquired and rebranded in 2003, Virgin Interactive Entertainment, the Virgin Group’s own videogame development and publishing arm, had a fruitful business history that made it a vanguard of the revolution that brought games from the arcade to home consoles. In case you’re interested, here is a list of Disney video games by Virgin Interactive developed and released in the 90s.
Virgin Interactive had a great partnership with Disney, creating game titles based on some entries of the latter’s Animated Canon. This was due to the VIE office’s original location in Hollywood’s “30-mile zone” which helped it gain licenses to produce videogame adaptations of movies from that time.
Here are some of the best-known Disney animation-based videogame adaptations developed in partnership with Virgin Interactive.
Primarily for Sega Genesis, different from the SNES version developed by Capcom. Developed and published by Virgin Interactive in the early 1990s, this Aladdin video game was an adaptation of the Disney animated film of the same name. The game follows the story of Aladdin, the street urchin who finds a magic lamp and a genie that grants him wishes. The gameplay involves platforming and exploration through various levels, each featuring obstacles and enemies inspired by the movie. Aladdin can jump, climb, and attack using his scimitar, while also utilizing the powers of the genie for special abilities. The graphics and music capture the vibrant and magical atmosphere of the film.
The Lion King (1994)
For SNES and Genesis platforms, The Lion King is one of the most commercially successful Disney video games by Virgin Interactive out there. The game follows the journey of Simba, the young lion cub who must overcome various obstacles to become the king of the Pride Lands. Its gameplay involves platforming and combat through various levels inspired by scenes from the movie. Simba can jump, roar, and swipe his way through enemies while also utilizing the powers of his animal friends, such as Zazu and Rafiki.
The Jungle Book (1994)
The Jungle Book for the SNES and Genesis platforms is another entry in our list of best-known Disney video games by Virgin Interactive. A beloved classic, this video game brings the adventurous world of Mowgli and his jungle friends to life. Players assume the role of Mowgli, a young boy raised by wolves in the jungle, as he sets out on a quest to defeat the evil tiger, Shere Khan. Featuring vibrant graphics and a lively soundtrack, the game takes players on an exciting platforming and exploration journey through various levels inspired by the iconic scenes from the Disney animated film. Along the way, players can utilize Mowgli’s unique abilities, such as running, jumping, and swinging on vines, as well as the powers of his animal friends, including Bagheera and Baloo.
Created for the SNES, Game Boy, and Sega Genesis, this video game version of Pinocchio lets you control the titular character, as you navigate through various levels filled with obstacles, enemies, and puzzles that are inspired by the film’s memorable scenes. Along the way, Pinocchio must collect items and avoid danger to achieve his dream of becoming a real boy. With its colorful graphics and lively soundtrack, the Pinocchio video game captures the essence of the movie’s magical and imaginative atmosphere. It received praise for its engaging gameplay and creative adaptation of the film’s storyline, making it a treasured gem for both Disney and video game enthusiasts.