I am writing this because I am frustrated at what I see as a hyped-up piece of software
that basically should never have been released. My personal experience with
this CD seems to have been repeated on Christmas Day in many households,
judging from the posts I have seen on the Usenet so far. In a nutshell, if you have
a moderm PC with good video and sound cards, it appears that this software will not
install. I personally cannot get it to finish the "video test", which locks up a quarter of
the way through. Apparently once you get through that you may get hosed because it
claims your sound card cannot play 16-bit files, even though it can. One person even
posted that it gets through the install and then claims he doesn't have a CD-ROM drive!
Their readme file announces problems with many major video cards and their drivers. Here
is a partial list:
ATI Mach 32 PCI, ATI VGA Wonder, Cirrus, Orchid, IBM ThinkPad, Diamond Viper.
It does not install with my WD 32-bit PCI either. Their suggested solution is to use the
"svga256.drv supplied with Windows". Well I have news for them, that driver is not
included on my Windows 3.1install disks. They don't even say what resolution the driver
should be or I could probably find a substitute.
In addition, the posts to rec.arts.disney have identified many sound cards that it fails on,
including ALL 8-bit cards. Of course the tiny print on the side of the box says "16-bit sound"
but who would really notice that, or if they did, even know what it means? The fact that so
many people cannot even instal the program is one thing. OK I accept that they may not
have the exact same machines as the software was developed on. But the fact that so
many complain at the slow speed after they miraculously complete the install program is
another clue as to how badly written it is. Even those with a 486DX2-66 and a 2X CD say it
is unacceptably slow. From what I gather the animation is not really that complex. If those
huge Quicktime video clips run well from a 2X CD on a 486, how hard could it be to get
256-color animation cels to run smoothly?
Section II: Disney Software's Technical Support: A joke.
Now, if one has problems installing a piece of software usually there is an 800 number
you can call to get them resolved, right? Well guess what, Disney doesn't have one.
What they offer is a truly bewildering array of TOLL Fax and voice numbers, a TOLL
BBS, an FTP site, a Gopher site, an Email address, file libraries on CI$, AOL, and God
knows where else. OK here's my PERSONAL experience with these methods of
receiving technical support:
Disney Software Facts service:
You are supposed to call voice and then receive a Customer Support Bulletin FAX. OK,
how the hell do you do that? I know how, but the line is always busy. Do YOU know how?
Do you even have a phone plugged into your modem? Do you have your own personal
Mailing: 10 day response time. Yeah, right. In 10 days I can return the damn thing so my
7-year-old daughter stops crying.
Today, Monday, 12/26/94, I call the TOLL number. After about 10 redials I finally get
through. It says that all tech support is busy (sound familiar?). I wait in the cue. I rack
up LD charges. After 5 minutes or so I get kicked onto a message that announces
they are closed for the holidays and will be back Monday 12/26 at 8AM PST. Huh?
It is Monday. It's 10AM PST. I hang up in disgust.
Disney Software BBS:
A TOLL call, 8 likes, 14.4k. Seems like the only place besides the idiotic FAX line to
get a technical support bulletin. OK, I'll bite. I call. It's busy. On Xmas Day. I try all day.
It's still busy. I try again at 7AM Monday. Seems like a safe time, right? Nope, still busy.
I try at 8, 9 and 10AM> Still busy. Beginning to see a pattern here? Either 1) Everyone
who bought a lousy Disney program is on frantically trying to find out how to make it work
or 2) it's down and nobody has bothered to reboot the server.
I can't vouch for the AOL< Genie, CI$, or Prodigy services. However I suspect they contain
exactly the same files as their FTP and Gopher sites. The FTP site has lots of nifty stuff.
Unfortunately there are NO Technical Support Bulletins anywhere that I can see, and there
is not one patch or suggestion, or file for that matter, related to the Lion King Storybook CD.
So much for that route.
'sy...@disneysoft.com'. Haven't tried that one yet. I don't have much hope of
getting any tech support by now. Did try the guy who posts
all those apologies for their lousy software to rec.arts.disney though. He has yet to
mail me back. I suspect he has been flooded with frantic cries for help. He is
'daved...@aol.com' for those of you who hold out some hope for tech support.
Section III: Other Disney software
I have seen quite a few complaints about other Disney products in rec.arts.disney.
Most notable among them are the Lion King Print Shop, which davedisney (whoever that is)
admitted should be called "Little Print Shop of Horrors" as one post put it. They upgraded
the product to fix its innumerable bugs. Good luck getting the upgrade. Try the FTP site if
you are stuck with this product. The other is the Jungle Book CD(?). I have seen a few
complaints about it. I think that it suffers from the same incompatability problems as the
Lion King CD.
Section IV: My reccomendations
1. For all you poor schmucks who have disappointed children today, I suggest you
take the easy way out and return the CD. It isn't worth the hassle to try to get it to run.
If you're a masochist, then go ahead and try to get tech support, you should enjoy
the experience. For the rest of us, buy something that works. That apparently excludes
2. Flood daved...@aol.com with complaints. He claims to be their "Customer Support
Manager". Flame the product on all the CD and game-related forums. Here is my list:
3. Don't waste any more time on it. Or money. You could wind up exceeding the cost
of the CD in LD charges that way.
4. If you don't like this then don't bother Emailing me. All flames will be politely ignored.
If you have similar problems then tell me about them. I am forwarding every complaint
I find to "davedisney". Have a nice day.
Tim Fisher, President, Pacific Fishery Biologists
Serving the states of ID, WA, OR, CA, AK, and the province of BC
Dedicated to the free exchange of ideas related to fisheries science
PFB WWW: http://www.teleport.com:80/~tfish/
I totally agree that this was poorly written software (but the animations are
pretty impressive :) and the setup is the most awful thing I've seen in so
long. But, I finally did get it to work. Read on...
>It does not install with my WD 32-bit PCI either. Their suggested solution is
>"svga256.drv supplied with Windows". Well I have news for them, that driver is
>included on my Windows 3.1install disks. They don't even say what resolution
>should be or I could probably find a substitute.
This is where I encountered my problems, and it took an hour or more to
figure it out. I knew the svga256.drv could be found on the Microsoft
FTP site (ftp.microsoft.com) so I went and got it from there. But, I was
still getting general protection faults, errors in AVI processing, and
sometimes even a memory error (and I have 12 megs of RAM, much
more than required!!!). I with the help of another family member finally
was able to get it to work (and now there are no problems at all) with the
svga256.drv set at 800x600 *SMALL* font. That solved my problems,
and should fix the video card problems. But sorry, I can't help you with
the sound card stuff.
Sell-it on the WWW! Selling various items ranging
from computer hardware/software to baseball cards to
gourmet coffee to publications. Use your favorite WWW
browser to go to: http://xmission.com/~wwwads/
If you happened upon the Lion King Print Studio and have not installed
it--DO NOT-- Not only does it have bugs but the fonts it installes come
up with big time errors and bonk your existing TRUE TYPE font list.
Fortunately, a WINDOWS restart seems to restore your list, but in NO CASE
use the TRUE TYPE fonts which they gave you in another application. ITS
BONKO for your other fonts.
SO, MR DAVE, WHAT ARE YOU GUYS GOING TO DO ABOUT THESE PROBLEMS. DO WE
TELL OUR 5 and 6 YEAR OLDS WHAT SCHMOS THE FOLKS AT DISNEYSOFT ARE AND
TAKE THE STUFF BACK AND GET SOMETHING THAT WORKS??
>SO, MR DAVE, WHAT ARE YOU GUYS GOING TO DO ABOUT THESE PROBLEMS. DO WE
>TELL OUR 5 and 6 YEAR OLDS WHAT SCHMOS THE FOLKS AT DISNEYSOFT ARE AND
>TAKE THE STUFF BACK AND GET SOMETHING THAT WORKS??
I have the Disney Animated StoryBook of the Lion King as well. My
five year-old has a 486SX20 with a Diamond Stealth VRAM card at
640x480x256. She as 5 MEG of RAM and it works fine. Her CDROM is
only single speed but with interrupts and dma it does ok. The
sound card is REVEAL 16 Bit. This system is running Windows 3.1.
Since my CDROM is double speed I tried the package on my computer.
486DX2 66MHZ with 12 MEG of RAM and Wearnes CDROM CDD-110.
Graphics is Cirrus 5422 1024x768x256. The sound card is Media Vision
Basic 16. I could not get Lion King to run on this computer. General
protection fault during install. Oh well. This system is running OS/2
Well here is the interesting part. I also have Aladdin by Disney.
And Aladdin by Disney Activity Center CDROM. This package works
great on both systems.
So if you have problems using Lion King and want to make your
young one happy (ie. no tears). Then get Aladdin Activity Center
CDROM. Kristen ('my 5 year old daughter') perfers it to Lion King.
Hope this helps.
So, let me get this straight. I've got myself a $400 video card
capable of displaying almost 17 Million colors at 1280 by 1024
resolution on my $1000+ monitor, and in order to run a stupid DISNEY
program I've got to run at 800x600 with 256 colors?
BWAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHA!! Guess what I'm NOT BUYING!!
*Steven Abrams abr...@cs.columbia.edu
INFORMATION SUPERHIGHWAY = Interactive Network For Organizing,
Retrieving, Manipulating, Accessing, and Transferring Information On
National Systems, Unleashing Practically Every Rebellious Human
Intelligence, Gratifying Hackers, And Yahoos. -- Kevin Kwaku.
I agree with you that their support is poor, but I think you're being
unreasonable in asking for toll-free support numbers. I don't know of
anyone that offers that, although I'd be interested in hearing. Of course,
if they answered their e-mail it would be a moot point. Also, they do have
a separate area on America Online which they DO post to.
-- Bill ru...@watson.ibm.com (with my copy of the storybook still shrink
wrapped trying to decide what to do)
: I am writing this because I am frustrated at what I see as a hyped-up piece of software
: that basically should never have been released. My personal experience with
: this CD seems to have been repeated on Christmas Day in many households,
: judging from the posts I have seen on the Usenet so far. In a nutshell, if you have
: a moderm PC with good video and sound cards, it appears that this software will not
: install. I personally cannot get it to finish the "video test", which locks up a quarter of
: Their readme file announces problems with many major video cards and their drivers. Here
: is a partial list:
: ATI Mach 32 PCI, ATI VGA Wonder, Cirrus, Orchid, IBM ThinkPad, Diamond Viper.
: It does not install with my WD 32-bit PCI either. Their suggested solution is to use the
: "svga256.drv supplied with Windows". Well I have news for them, that driver is not
: included on my Windows 3.1install disks. They don't even say what resolution the driver
: should be or I could probably find a substitute.
The "problem" is that they used the new "WinG" routines that will be a
part of most all new Windows software. This is Microsoft's answer to
Windows graphics and animation programming. Humongous Entertainment's
new Farm and Freddi Fish programs also use WinG and suffer from the
same problems. I had to upgrade my Cirrus 5426 video drivers to make
them compatible with WinG, which seems reasonable. However, the programs
updated the screen slowly even with the new drivers.
I can't see why the software publisher couldn't at least include the
latest drivers for all the known problem cards on the CD. There is
usually room for another couple of megabytes. This would be a great
help, especially to those who don't know where to get updated drivers.
(Thank you CICA!)
We got it working, after a few tries of installing, and although it
runs slowly, my son really likes it (and anything else connected
with Lion King). Disney SHOULD offer a money-back guarantee (do they?).
>Well here is the interesting part. I also have Aladdin by Disney.
>And Aladdin by Disney Activity Center CDROM. This package works
>great on both systems.
>So if you have problems using Lion King and want to make your
>young one happy (ie. no tears). Then get Aladdin Activity Center
>CDROM. Kristen ('my 5 year old daughter') perfers it to Lion King.
>Hope this helps.
I'm afraid I wouldn't recommend Aladdin Activity Center either. On my
system I have a problem with the QuickTime movies which are evidently used for
instructional purposes between activities. The program installs fine from
CD-ROM, but when I try to run it I get "Application Error - Call to Undefined
Dynalink". After this the program gracefully exits. After trying a number of
remedies, I got rid of the mciqtw.drv Windows QuickTime driver (the one
installed by the CD-ROM install program) from my SYSTEM.INI file and now I can
run the program fine, albeit without any QuickTime video (the program hangs
when a video is supposed to play - just hit the mouse button to skip it and
continue). After installing the program, which basically just installs a
version of Video for Windows and QuickTime for Windows, I was able to run
QuickTime videos and .AVI videos directly from the CD-ROM using Microsoft's
Media Player. The problem comes when the QuickTime videos are attempted to be
run from the Aladdin Activity Center program itself.
I too tried a couple of Disney's "technical support" options listed in
the manual. First, the Internet site was useless. It contained nothing
remotely related to Aladdin. Next I tried the E-Mail route at
sy...@disneysoft.com and have had no reply to date (1 week).
As much as my kids like Disney, I'm afraid I too am inclined to stay away
from their software. You would think that the drivers supplied on the same CD
as the application program would be compatible.
The undefined dynalink usually means that you have more than one version of
QTW on your system. The various versions are utterly incompatible with each
Have the file manager do a search for files named QT*.DLL and *.QTC. Hide
them somewhere that's not in your PATH, and reinstall Aladdin.
Note: if you're using Quicktime VR (like the Star Trek CD uses), leave the
files it installed in the QTW directory, and ditch any others, and don't
/ * / Alan Hamilton
In fairness to Disney, I have to say that I sent them email about the
replacement CD for 8 bit sound last Thursday, and I received a response
yesterday (Tuesday) at 5pm. However, the headers on the mail indicated
that it had been sent on Friday, and had been in transit since then. So,
they do seem to be responding to their email quickly, there's just some
delays in it getting sent out.
-- Bill ru...@watson.ibm.com
I don't have the Disney products mentioned in the prior posts but
I have come across "Undefined Dynalink" error messages from apps
using QT for windows. Usually the problem is that the application
assumes QT for windows path (from entries in the PATH or QTW.INI)
to be in a place where it can't find certain DLLs.
For example, I had a French tutoring program that used QT for
windows and worked fine until I installed a program that put
it's own QTW path in my PATH environment variable in autoexec.bat.
From that point on the French program would give me the "... undefined
To debug the situation you might have to move some files around.
Call the application's tech support - they should be able to resolve
: I can't see why the software publisher couldn't at least include the
: latest drivers for all the known problem cards on the CD.
Actually, we tried to. Our plan was to offer as many video drivers as
possible. But, since these are commercial games (for profit), we had to
get permission....and no one gave it. :(
Although I have no direct experience with this, I've heard that the
Dynalink error is related to trying to access some data in a DLL file that
isn't there. A common problem with Quicktime for Windows (QTW) when multiple
versions of QTW exist. Older versions don't have the same info in their
DLL. Sometimes developers put the QTW files in the Windows file, in the root
of the CDROM, or in a QTW directory. You could try cleaning out all the
existing copies of QTW from your hard drive and then re-installing. Or...
find the PLAYER.EXE that the game wants to use (say, on the CDROM) and run
it. Once running, minimize it and from then on (while the minimized QTW
player is running), the game will probably just use that particular
Once again, this is just info I've seen in another network and not directly
related to Lion King or Aladdin - just thought I'd pass it on.
Is the MAC version just as buggy, or does it run fine? I'm thinking of
getting it as an after xmas present, but this thread makes me wary.
Philip R. Obermarck POber...@IntelliCorp.COM
> So, let me get this straight. I've got myself a $400 video card
> capable of displaying almost 17 Million colors at 1280 by 1024
> resolution on my $1000+ monitor, and in order to run a stupid DISNEY
> program I've got to run at 800x600 with 256 colors?
> BWAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHA!! Guess what I'm NOT BUYING!!
Don't laugh, Steve. If you have bought much kid's software,
you should have known that you have to set it in 640x480 mode.
I don't know why. But the most kid's software I bought
( and which run on windows) runs only on 640x480 /256color
mode. In other modes, it either would not run as soon as it
begins or gave me GPE on the way. Of course, there are exceptions.
About the tech problem, I have the same experience with other
software companies. If you call them, they'll say that you hon'tt
have a *100% completely compatible* hardware..
If you call the hardware company, they'll say that your software
was poorly written. Yes, it is a jokee, isn't it ?
After I have three or four of this same experiences, I decided
that I will never call to get tech support. It is just
waste of money and time.
My suggestion is to buy the software wfrom the store which
accepts returns. Let your kid play hard before the returnable
date passes. If you don't have any trouble you keep it, if you
have troubles, you simply return.
I bought Mario Teaches Typing some time ago (paied $32),
it worked fine until at some point. Then my kid could not
pass thru that point because of strange memory problem.
However much memory I alllocated using various methods
(I could make over 600K free)), the program just bombs.
If I knew this problem at the beginning, I could have
I guess that the programmers who write kid's software
should grow up !!! :) :) :)
Maybe the game was created by the software engineers at Euro-Disney? ;-)
( ( (
) ) )
( ||||||| (
( O O )
) *THE END* (
## CrossPoint v3.02 ##
I'd like to add my $.02 worth. I got both Lion King and Aladdin
Activity center for my kids for Christmas. I'd like to add that I have
never had any problems with any other kid software either with
installation, compatibility or function, until now! Neither of these
Disney titles will work! Very frustrating. Lion King will not install.
As mentioned previously it say I do not have a 16 bit card. My card is
an Orchid GW32. I called Orchid and they said that they new about the
problem but were confused because they could get it to work on the SW32
and SD16 but not on the GW32 (they are all similar internally) but they
were working on it.
As for Aladdin, it installs ok, but crashes windows and the machine when
I try to run it. I get the following:
ACTIVITY caused an illegal instruction
in module KRNL386.EXE at 0001:0F0D.
I tried to call Disney tech support without much luck. It is very
frustrating and in fact unfare to pay for the call get an answer, get
into the menu system and then get a busy signal! Either make it busy or
let them in the queue. Anyway I eventually got to a sub menu where they
post the 800 number for tech support. Why not in the documentation?
Anyway for anyone who wants it it is 800-228-0988. I have still not
been able to contact anyone.
I am very frustrated with both these pieces of software (I consider
myself fairly PC literate), and I am very suprised that Disney, whose
name is associated with high standards of quality, would put their name
on something that is frustrating apparently thousands of households and
maybe millions of kids this Christmas.
I Too had problems with Disney's software Lion King, there tech support
via the phone is a joke. With a few fake messages and "hang up if line
is busy". NO SH_T , I brought it back and I will never buy Disney
Same Problem. I spent 2 1/2 hours on the phone with them (faxes, phone
support and BBS's) and received the reply "It's your video card. You
need and updated printer driver. Funny thing. I've never had a problem
with any other CD-ROM game.
One ray of hope: The rep I spoke with at Disney let me know that I am
NOT stuck with the Lion King Animated Story book. He told me to send it
back to them for a full refund. (Or I could exchange it for the Alladin
fun center!!! HEE HEE. What a joke.
whi...@ix.netcom.com I hate Barney.
As far as support goes, I got replies on my problem (everyones's
problem??) with the LK Print Shop answered pretty fast by going to them on
AOL. Give that a try. BTW< I did get the first patch for the PS but none
of the problems are fixed... maybe in the next patch?
I must agree that so, far, most of my Disney software is a bit
disappointing. Even the Mickey ABC's are giving me a headache!!!
Good luck, everyone!!!!
FDC Priestess to the Villians
> As far as support goes, I got replies on my problem (everyones's
> problem??) with the LK Print Shop answered pretty fast by going to them on
> AOL. Give that a try. BTW< I did get the first patch for the PS but none
> of the problems are fixed... maybe in the next patch?
What was the AOL address you sent mail to? I have mailed everyone listed
in the manual and have not received a response (I mailed them last Sunday
Unfortunately, this is true; My wife teaches 3 and 4 year olds and has
bought lots of kids software. My favorite: The Edmark Living Books
which claim to require "at least" 256 colors but give an error message
when run at 65K colors and higher: "Living Books require a color
palette of at least 256 colors." Ugh.
> My suggestion is to buy the software wfrom the store which
> accepts returns. Let your kid play hard before the returnable
> date passes. If you don't have any trouble you keep it, if you
> have troubles, you simply return.
It's hard to find a store which will accept returns on opened
software. Very hard.
> I guess that the programmers who write kid's software
> should grow up !!! :) :) :)
Which is why my wife and I (perfect combnation: Pre-school teacher +
Computer Science PhD [well, soon enough anyway]) will be teaming up to
start our own company some time soon.
There is no Mac version.
Siemens Rolm Communications Inc.
>Lion King Animated Storybook for MAC is due in February along with Winnie
>The Pooh Animated Storybook.
It is likely to be much less problematic as the Mac is known for being
multimedia friendly (witness all the commercials this last December...)
(_)(_) FDC Ostrich Prima-Ballerina
--------- Lead dancer of the Ostrich Corps-de-ballet
/ \ / \ (the one with the pink ribbon)
( (0)\ /(0) ) "Dance of the Hours", Fantasia
\ ----- /
\ \_/ / AKA Janet Miller
>> I guess that the programmers who write kid's software
>> should grow up !!! :) :) :)
>Which is why my wife and I (perfect combnation: Pre-school teacher +
>Computer Science PhD [well, soon enough anyway]) will be teaming up to
>start our own company some time soon.
> *Steven Abrams abr...@cs.columbia.edu
>INFORMATION SUPERHIGHWAY = Interactive Network For Organizing,
>Retrieving, Manipulating, Accessing, and Transferring Information On
>National Systems, Unleashing Practically Every Rebellious Human
>Intelligence, Gratifying Hackers, And Yahoos. -- Kevin Kwaku.
Steven: contact me if you want an alpha or beta tester. E-mail to
tim...@winternet.com if you want further information from me to consider
the idea! Timara G. Underbakke
[ Timara G. Underbakke ]
[ Aramit Technologies ]
[ Roseville, Minnesota, USA ]
[ e-mail: tim...@winternet.com ]
Why would a software product require 256 colors? I'm sure 65000 colors
includes those 256 it uses, and more...
>: Unfortunately, this is true; My wife teaches 3 and 4 year olds and has
>: bought lots of kids software. My favorite: The Edmark Living Books
>: which claim to require "at least" 256 colors but give an error message
>: when run at 65K colors and higher: "Living Books require a color
>: palette of at least 256 colors." Ugh.
>: > I guess that the programmers who write kid's software
>: > should grow up !!! :) :) :)
>Why would a software product require 256 colors? I'm sure 65000 colors
>includes those 256 it uses, and more...
Got me. I have a product (Alphabet Blocks) from Bright Star
(part of Sierra) that doesn't work in 256 colors or more.
I gives me the "at least 256 colors" and quits. I have learned
my lesson and will not buy software from companies that put out
junk like that.
Have there been any problems reported with the Mac version?
(Sorry, can't remember details.)