'Epic Mickey' to benefit from Disney history

Epic Mickey isn't just influenced by Disney's iconic mouse cartoons, but by a number of the studio's other franchises, from Peter Pan up to Pirates of the Caribbean. That's what Warren Spector, creative director of the upcoming Wii game's development studio, told an audience at the Paris Games Week, October 27-31.

As well as taking inspiration from Peter Pan (1953) and the Pirates of the Caribbean series (2003 onwards), Spector mentioned The Jungle Book (1967) and in particular the art style of Alice in Wonderland (1951) as touchstones.

Mary Blair, an artist who worked for The Walt Disney Company on both Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland, was singled out for particular praise as the game's animated cut-scenes were shown during a live demo.

Even Mickey's forgotten predecessor, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, features in the game - but he himself has been manipulated by the Phantom Blot, an inky threat that Mickey must overcome using both paint and paint thinner.

Like another Wii game, de Blob, it focuses on the use of paint as a method of restoring vitality, and Spector highlighted the centrality of player choice in Epic Mickey - players choose what sort of hero they want to be, deciding whether to tackle levels peacefully or aggressively, by destroying or liberating enemies.

Disney characters aren't strangers to that sort of role-playing mechanic, as many have been featured in Kingdom Hearts series, published by Square Enix.

Co-incidentally, Square Enix are now busy promoting the February 2011 successor to one of Warren Spector's most influential games, Deus Ex.

Disney's Epic Mickey for Nintendo Wii is due out in European regions on November 25 and in North America on November 30 for €49 / $49.

http://disney.go.com/mickey/#/video_games/disney_epic_mickey
http://www.parisgamesweek.com

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