101 Dalmatians: Escape from DeVil Manor is too scary for puppies | Crunchmaster 98

Lurking deep within the Disney Vault is one of their more bizarre decisions in the gaming industry. Why did they make a survival horror point-and-click game, and why for 101 Dalmatians of all things? Eh, who cares, it’s really fun.

Nightmare Ned was Disney’s doomed dream

If you were a kid in the 90s playing CD-ROM games, you probably played at least one Disney Interactive game. For kids learning how to use the computer, Disney games were the best of the best, the cream of the crop. 101 Dalmatians: Escape from Devil Manor, Disney’s Animated Storybook: Mulan, Disney’s The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, you name it. All your favorite Disney franchises, right on your desktop!

Oh, and Nightmare Ned. You remember him, right? That great beloved Disney franchise? … No?

Nightmare Ned was a platformer game released sometime in late 1997 (it’s difficult to get an exact date, due to vague distribution of PC games at the time). It was, as far as I know, the only Disney Interactive game to not be based directly on an established IP – it only had a single season of a cartoon that was made after the game began development, and by the time the game released, the show was no longer airing even in reruns. It was Disney’s one voyage into making ‘original’ video games, and it disappeared as quickly as it came.

So what even was it?

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101 Dalmatians: Escape from DeVil Manor haunts me to this day

There’s something about the 101 Dalmatians franchise that enraptured me as a child against all odds.

Be outraged if you must, but truth be told, I’m not even sure if I had watched the original movie at that age. When I watched it as an adult, I remembered nothing about it, and I’ve never found a VHS of it in my family’s extensive Disney tape collection.

And I mean, what about it actually drew my attention? The main characters are British heterosexuals. Yes, somehow they managed to take the two most annoying groups of people in the world and combine them. And then they had the audacity to make the dogs British and heterosexual, as if dogs are capable of hate. Absolutely dreadful. Why do I like 101 Dalmatians?

Because of the puppies. Duh.

Even Disney knew the puppies were the only reason 101 Dalmatians is even relevant enough to talk about today. And boy, the merch they made. Sequels! Cartoons! Toys! I think I spent more time playing with my Dalmatians-themed snow globe than watching 101 Dalmatians: The Series (which, admittedly, still takes up way too much space in my heart).

There was one piece of Dalmatians-themed memorabilia that held my attention for the longest, though, and it was by far the least appropriate for the puppy-obsessed children they were marketing to. For little me, 101 Dalmatians: Escape from DeVil Manor was fun, emotionally stimulating, and also absolutely unnecessarily terrifying.

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RETRO: Fluppy Dogs, or, “They Can’t All Be Winners”

Why do some cartoon franchises fail? There are a lot of vectors a potential new marketable property can take before it inevitably dies. Most of them never get off the ground, dying an ignoble death well before they see the first light. Some franchises find their feet and get off a shaky season of television or two before being killed off. The lucky few that last may become mega-franchises and, eventually, cultural touchstones.

Fluppy Dogs is a franchise that seemed like it could make it. It had a toyline already in stores, a promising pilot, and the studio producing it was already riding off a fantastic success with Adventures of the Gummi Bears. What went wrong? Why did Fluppy Dogs flop?

Well, it failed because it wasn’t any good. 

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I want a Dole Whip

As of today it’s no longer a secret that I’ve never had a Dole Whip.

Dole Whips are a cult classic treat you can get at a few places, notably Disneyland and Walt Disney World. It’s a soft-serve dairy-free ice “cream” treat made with pineapple flavor. It’s either served by itself, or as a “Dole Whip float” with pineapple juice.

I don’t know what it tastes like, because as I’ve just said, I’ve never had it. But I REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY WANT TO

So let’s look at my options.

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CHATTER: Top 10 Goofy Movies that Shouldn’t Have Been Made

We recently decided to rewatch the 1995 classic A Goofy Movie and its lesser-known direct-to-video sequel, and it gave us an opportunity to think about all the sequels that came along the way when they decided to revive the Goof Troop franchise.

Okay, seriously: there have been so many of these. We don’t even remember when they decided to bring back this decaying whale of a series. Maybe it was something to do with DuckTales? The cartoon reboot was short-lived, and immediately cancelled after the Thanksgiving special that gave children seizure nightmares.

Without further adieu, here’s our list of Goofy movies that just weren’t goofy enough for us.

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