I have recently been reminiscing about one of my favourite games growing up – Disney’s Extreme Skate Adventure, or Disney Skate for short.
This quirky game took three of my most-loved movie franchises, Tarzan, Toy Story, and the Lion King, and let me skate around in them.
Skateboarding may have nothing to do with these franchises, but its inclusion led to hours of mindless fun.
Tony Hawk, but for kids
Although I was a child when I last played the game, I still remember it controlled incredibly well.
The gameplay was relatively simple, but it made doing tricks like ollies and 360s accessible and fun for children.
I still remember grinding on a grocery store’s produce section until every piece of fruit was kicked out of the bins.
A fundamental reason for the enjoyable gameplay was that Disney Skate used the same engine as the critically-acclaimed Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4, which came out the previous year.
The fun gameplay was also aided by the fact that I could play as some of my favourite Disney characters – such as Buzz Lightyear, Simba, and Tarzan, which blew my young mind.
I also loved that I could create my own character and complete quests that focused on brands like McDonald’s and Nokia – making the game more relatable to the real world.
While I now see this was cynical product placement, it was fantastic to the younger version of me.
Another thing that still sticks in my mind is the excellent soundtrack of early 2000s-era music.
The soundtrack was filled with pop and rock songs which are still the genres that I listen to the most, and I think playing Disney Skate was a reason for this.
Standouts for me were Basement Jaxx’s “Where’s Your Head At,” which I still listen to regularly, and Smash Mouth’s “Pacific Coast Party.”
Although there were only 13 songs on the entire soundtrack, I could watch the same episode on Disney Channel five times a week, so repetition clearly did not bother me as a child.
My appetite for repetition led to me playing Dinsey Skate for hours as a child.