It was my first year at NYU and my roommate Brad happened to have landed the role of the singing voice of Aladdin. I knew the recording session was happening that day, and wished him good luck the night before.
Brad left me a message on our dorm room answering machine: Quick! Hurry uptown now! I could attend the recording session in progress, as his guest!
Luckily I had walked back to my room after classes in time. And luckily I actually clicked on the machine to check messages; I often didn’t do that. This was an age before mobile phones so the urge to constantly check messages etc, was not in my programming. But I checked and I heard the message.
I immediately ran downstairs from our 15th floor dorm room in Rubin Hall (room 1508) on 5th avenue. I hopped in a cab. There was a lot of traffic… I remember regretting not taking the subway. I was freaking out, worried I would miss it…
Luckily, I got to the studio in time to watch both songs recorded: ‘A Whole New World’ and 'One Jump Ahead’. Brad Kane and Lea Salonga were singing. Alan Menken was there, as well as Ron Clements and John Musker (though I didn’t know what they looked like then to know it). There was a 65-piece orchestra playing. The music sounded big and beautiful. Hard to describe… I was already a huge fan of the Little Mermaid and Beauty & The Beast, and the music sounded similar to those, but so big and right there like you could reach out and touch it. It was emotional. It was huge. It was awesome.
This was beyond exciting for me, this super nerdy college freshman who was dreaming of one day working in animation…and especially, working at Disney. What are the odds that I ended up with a roommate that gave me this opportunity? Crazy.
This day definitely inspired me even more to stay on my path to try and work at Disney Feature Animation. And I did get there, just a little more than 4 years later, starting as an inbetweener on Hercules.
At the Aladdin session, lyricist Tim Rice was sitting near me and he was rewriting lyrics on the spot for the 'One Jump Ahead’ reprise. He was trying things, scribbling ideas down, running xeroxes by himself and then handing them out to everyone in the room, including me.
I saved it of course…
Here’s a little piece of history that I’m certain most of you have never seen…
The end of the Barcode World sprites, as far as I can tell. VS Mode “canonical full color” versions of the scenario player characters, with their official names. One of the eight PCs actually doesn’t seem to appear on any Barcode Battler stuff outside of World and I couldn’t find a code that made it show up in VS, so I included Hebereke, who is an odd deal:
You can only get Hebereke as a soldier-type character option in scenario mode by scanning one of the special Sunsoft game cards. Even though there’s several character cards specifically for the game, the only one represented in sprite seems to be Hebereke. Bit of a rip-off.
A town waits for a road. Based on “The Relationship” by Lonely Christopher. Starring Ron Lea, Tony Rosato, Sam Earle, Aidan Greene, Myles Erlick, and Julian Richings. Narrated by David Fox with music by Clara Engel.