Disney has been releasing childrens books with an accompanying narration since 1965 when the first Read-Along books were published by Disneyland Records. That tradition continues to this day with the re-release of the Aladdin Read-Along, coming out in advance of the upcoming Diamond Edition Blu-Ray. I had the original book and cassette tape release as a kid back in 1992 and it was nice getting to relive those memories today.
The audio has been upgraded from cassette to CD, but is still the same high quality production from 23 years ago. Master voice artist Jim Cummings (aka Winnie the Pooh, Tigger) is the narrator while the original voice cast from the film plays their characters, including Robin Williams as Genie. A “magic dust” sound is your child’s queue to turn the page.
While the audio is the same, the artwork has been completely redone. The images are much more on-model than the book I had as a kid and the text layout is easier on the eyes as well. In comparison with the original release, there are a few pages that more accurately represented the text in the previous version, but overall the new artwork is an improvement.
While many kids today will no doubt prefer the Storybook Deluxe app versions of these read-along stories, it’s convenient to have them in a paper format that can be taken anywhere. This softcover book is fairly small and the CD conveniently fits inside a plastic sleeve inside the cover. The entire story takes 18-minutes to read, a convenient length for a parent looking to momentarily entertain their child. And these Read-Along’s are great to help strengthen reading skills.
Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.