Disney Reveals First 'Epic Mickey' Screenshots

By Chris Faylor, Oct 28, 2009 11:24am PDT Following the recent confirmation of Warren Spector's long-rumored Wii platformer Epic Mickey, publisher Disney today unleashed a torrent of media and details.

Disney described the "edgy and unexpected cartoon adventure" as "an adventure-platforming game with light role-playing elements," explaining that "players use the Wii Remote to wield magical paint and thinner to re-shape the world around them."


Screenshots on the left, a smattering of artwork on the right.

Spector, known for his contributions to fan-favorite first-person shooter series Deus Ex, noted that "the core of this game is the idea of choice and consequence, and how that defines both the character and the player." Development is being handled by Junction Point, which Spector created in 2005 and then sold to Disney in 2007.

Due in fall 2010, Epic Mickey tells of how the iconic mascot "inadvertently devastates" a community of forgotten cartoon characters led by Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and incurs their wrath. More details, straight from Disney, follow bellow.

In the game's fiction, a sorcerer named Yen Sid creates a beautiful, whimsically-twisted world where Disney's forgotten and retired creations thrive. Originally, the powerful sorcerer from "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" in Walt Disney's 1940 film "Fantasia" was nicknamed "Yen Sid" by Disney animators, although never named as such on screen. In Spector's game, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit - Walt Disney's first cartoon star created in 1927 - becomes the earliest inhabitant of Yen Sid's Cartoon Wasteland after Mickey Mouse is created. Oswald makes the Cartoon Wasteland comfortable for other retired characters as they join him in this magical land. Years pass, and as Oswald dwells in the Cartoon Wasteland, he becomes resentful watching Mickey's popularity swell. When Mickey curiously stumbles upon Yen Sid's map, he makes an innocent yet terrible mistake and inadvertently devastates Oswald's comfortable world. Eventually, Mickey's mistake pulls him deep into the mysterious Cartoon Wasteland to face the destruction he unknowingly created.

Players use the Wii Remote to wield magical paint and thinner to re-shape the world around them. Paint's creativity and thinner's damaging effect give the player robust tools and empowers them to make choices about how they move through the world. Each player's decisions to use paint, thinner or both dynamically changes the world with consequences that affect the environment, interactions with other characters, and even Mickey's appearance and abilities.

"The core of this game is the idea of choice and consequence, and how that defines both the character and the player," says Spector. "By putting the mischievous Mickey in an unfamiliar place and asking him to make choices - to help other cartoon characters or choose his own path - the game forces players to deal with the consequences of their actions. Ultimately, players must ask themselves, 'What kind of hero am I?' Each player will come up with a different answer."

Blurring reality and fantasy, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit's role is as significant in the game as it was in real life. The Walt Disney-created Oswald appeared in 26 silent cartoons between 1927 and 1928 for Charles Mintz, who contracted with Universal for distribution. At this time, Oswald was primed to be Walt's first big animated star. When faced with daunting production costs, Walt asked for more money to ensure the quality of the Oswald cartoons. When a deal could not be reached, Walt lost the rights to Oswald and with the rabbit went much of Walt's staff. Among those who remained with Walt was animator, cartoonist and long-time friend Ub Iwerks, and together they created a new character named Mickey Mouse.

The initial concept behind Disney Epic Mickey originated within the Disney Interactive Studios' Think Tank. The Think Tank conceptualized Mickey as a cartoon character thrown into turmoil. Spector expanded and refined Disney Epic Mickey's concept and built the game for a broad audience fully utilizing the Wii and Wii Remote for accessibility and engaging gameplay.

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