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FIGHTING ON THE SILVER SCREEN

Fighters have taken over the video game scene. Next stop: The Movies! Capcom's world-famous one-on-one fighting game, Street Fighter II, is about to be unearthed in cinemas everywhere. The film adaptation is coming courtesy of Universal Studios with an assumed blessing from Capcom. Steven E. de Souza, blockbuster action director best known for Commando and Die Hard is confident that this picture will be one for the history books. De Souza started filming this project over in Bangkok, Thailand, kicking off the story in the midst of the Shadowloo Civil War. Evil General M. Bison, played on-screen by Raul Julia, kidnapped dozens of relief workers and has demanded $20 billion. Col. William Guile is out to stop him!


The complete cast list for Street Fighter goes down nearly the entire fighting roster, from Ryu and Ken to Dhalsim and Zangief. Jean-Claude Van Damme as Guile is a sight to behold. Preview images sent over for marketing purposes showcase just how true-to-life this casting has turned out. It's almost as if the folks behind this movie played the game, unlike those maroons in charge of last year's Super Mario oddity. With a giant helping of explosive action and its fair share of game-like brawling, we have no doubt players all over will have a roaring time upon Street Fighter's December release. It will be rated PG-13 for excessive violence, so you just know it will be a goodie. Get ready for a match you won't soon forget!


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It's Guile VS. M. Bison In This Glorious Showdown!


[Article from the October 1994 Issue of PPM]



THE LION KING ROARS TO THE TOP

Walt Disney Pictures is sailing atop the world following successive theatrical hits. The latest film in this lineage which brought you Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast, is, of course, The Lion King: The tale of a young lion prince destined to be King of the Pride Lands. The star of the show is the titular king to-be, Simba, played by both Jonathan Taylor Thomas of Home Improvement fame and Matthew Broderick AKA Ferris Bueller. Boasting an all-star cast and a musical score directed by the masterful Hans Zimmer, it's no wonder this picture was hyped to the moon and back. Simba and Co. were marketed so well in advance of the premier, in fact, that merchandise began flying off store shelves as early as April.


Riding high on its third consecutive month in theaters with an estimated $215 million under its belt, The Lion King can now safely be deemed an entertainment juggernaut. So much so that it launched Elton John to the top of the charts with his (extensively overplayed) "Can You Feel the Love Tonight". Disney animators were reportedly astounded by the popularity of the feature. In the eyes of the execs, movies about anthropomorphic animals underperformed next to people-driven pictures. Yeesh. Consider that theory debunked. Simba, Nala, and the rest are set to appear in the newest project from Virgin Interactive. The game will utilize the work of professional Disney animators and adapt Zimmer's orchestrations as well. Due out this fall.


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Hakuna Matata, It Means No Worries!


[Article from the August 1994 Issue of PPM]



KICK-BUTT POWER RANGERS

What happens when you combine five rowdy teens with legendary powers? Evidently, you have a media juggernaut. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers leapt forth from nowhere to claim the top toy spot among younger lads in 1993. The concept, for those wrinkly dudes too old to be persuaded by the bright marketing, is rather ingenious. Using footage from a Japanese fantasy series called "Super Sentai," stateside producers adapted and converted the show. The famed Power Rangers unleash their evil-thwarting assault whilst clad in face-covered helmets and costumes, so us Americans are none the wiser! Storylines have been altered to bring in English-speaking actors within a California-based setting, but the fights are oh-so Sentai.


Then there's the all-powerful moneymaker known as merchandise. Kids eat that stuff up! Action figures, PJs, home decor - you name it, Toys R' Us and other major retails carry it. The TV show itself is about to cross a milestone and reach its one-year anniversary. Fad though it may seem, Bandai America exhibits not one doubt that the flame will burn on, promising more adventures on the horizon for Zordon's young rangers and the Empress of Evil, Rita Repulsa. This begs the question, where are all the video games? Games, of course, take some time to develop, but rest assured the carts are on the way. Coming later this year for SNES and Game Boy is a somewhat secretive Bandai action-brawler. No doubt it will be accompanied by a fellow traveler on the Genesis and Game Gear as well. There's no escape from the craze, so you might as well enjoy the ride.


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"Go Go Power Rangers!"


[Article from the May 1994 Issue of PPM]


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