If there’s something I cannot truly live without in this world, it would have to be catchy music. If a song is catchy enough, I’ll dance to it. Naturally, if there’s a game that encapsulates my love of music, it’s Dance Dance Revolution. The DDR series features soundtracks filled with nothing but Japanese and European dance music, with the occasional American song sprinkled in there.
Almost all of the songs featured in these games are quick and energetic, while being very fun to dance to. DDR was a very popular series, with many sequels, spin-offs, and variations. Some of these versions have become insanely rare, becoming highly soought after over the years. Unfortunately, some of said iterations are also bland cash-ins. What happens when you combine blandness with rarity? You get “Dance Dance Revolution: Disney Mix”.
Let’s flashback to the early 2000s for a bit: The Disney Renaissance was over and the company was in a “Dark Age” of sorts. As a result, Disney became more experimental with how they utilized their licenses. This eventually lead to the creation of Kingdom Hearts, a crossover between Disney and Square Enix’s Final Fantasy franchise.
However, there was another crossover featuring Disney and another Japanese property. This is the aforementioned “DDR: Disney Mix”. The game featured Disney characters, along with a ton of remixes of old Disney songs. This version of DDR is extremely rare, to the point where a single copy could go for hundreds on Amazon. I remember seeing this game in stores as a kid, and asking my parents for it. Of course, it was expensive even back then.
The game was around 100 bucks, and it certainly wasn’t something my parents would casually buy me. I didn’t mind too much, as the game quickly faded from my mind after a week or two. Years later, I would rediscover this game and the memories flooded back immediately. I ended up finding a copy on an emulation site, and downloaded it so that I could finally experience what I was missing.
Turns out, I wasn’t missing much. DDR: Disney Mix is a pretty lame version of the franchise I’ve come to know and love. 90% of the songs are super easy, only a handful of them are Disney related, and there is a severe lack of substance here. Each song features an animation of several Disney characters, usually dancing or singing to the song.
That’s fine on paper, but each character only has one set of animations. This means that you’ll be seeing your favorite Disney characters doing the exact same things for each individual song. On paper, this isn’t bad. The problem is that there is a severe lack of variety when it comes to the animations. There are about 8 different sets of animation in the game, all of them featuring classic Disney characters.
Now, almost all of these animations are actually pretty good and watchable. That’s until you get to the songs featuring Mickey’s dog Pluto, which are really bad. I don’t know why someone thought it was a good idea for Pluto to “twerk” in a rhythm game, all I know is that it’s there for pretty much no reason. Kind of a weird thing to put in a game aimed at children, in all honesty.
As you can tell, I didn’t like this game all that much. Probably the worst part of the game is the song selection. As previously mentioned, this game only has a few Disney remixes in it. Most of the song selection comes from previous DDR games, and is haphazardly tossed into the mix. This means songs like B4U, Higher, and Share My Love are all included on the disc. While I love all these songs, they don’t really fit in a Disney-themed game.
If there is anything good to say about this game, it’s that the few remixes they have of old Disney songs are pretty good. On top of this, the classic Disney characters are given new “urban” outfits. It’s pretty cool to see Dale in a tie and sunglasses, or Mickey in one of those “cool” backwards hats. Still, it’s not enough to really save this title from mediocre.
I’ll be brutally honest, I’m glad my parents never bought me this when I was younger. The game was clearly not worth its 100 dollar asking price. If you want a good DDR experience featuring beloved characters, I recommend tracking the “DDR: Mario Mix”. It’s one of the best DDR spin-offs I’ve ever played, features a ton of good remixes, and is overall a fun experience.
Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about the Disney Mix. It just doesn’t hold water like the Mario version does, and is overall very bland. Nowadays, it only has worth as a collector’s item. It looks good on a shelf, but it’s useless beyond that. It’s definitely one of the more forgettable Disney crossovers.