You might know by now that I keep the focus here on theme parks, which means that I ignore much of the non-theme-park stuff the Walt Disney Company cranks out. But the Epic Mickey app shows that this game will have a strong theme park flavor. The game takes place in the "Wasteland," a Bizarro-Disneyland whose primary resident is not Mickey, but Walt's original toon creation: Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.
According to the back story in the apps, the wizard Yen Sid, from Fantasia's "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," created the Wasteland as a home for Oswald and other mostly-forgotten Disney characters, including Oswald's love, Ortensia, as well as Horace Horsecollar, Clarabelle Cow, Pete and The Mad Doctor. Oswald's also created an animatronic Donald and Goofy, from spare parts he's scavenged from his Magic Kingdom.
The name of the game space, of course, evokes T.S. Eliot's 1922 elegy of death and disorder, "The Waste Land." This Wasteland looks like Disneyland, but with several twists. This "Partners" statue on the Hub, for one, is not of Walt and Mickey, but Walt and Oswald. And over in what ought to be New Orleans Square looks to be a twisted take on Pirates of the Caribbean, with a giant Oswald looking much like Disneyland's old Skull Rock.
The app includes a free online comic, which reveals what surely will be some gameplay tips for Epic Mickey in the course of telling a quick story about Oswald and his animatronic friends within the Wasteland. (Oswald can remove his foot and rub it for luck, for example. It's a rabbit's foot. Get it?) I also found the comic refreshing for its almost Universal-like dig at the "It's a Small World" theme song. Snarky, self-deprecating humor from Disney? Sign me up!
Do note that you'll have a hard time reading the comic on the iPhone app. I had to switch to the iPad version to see the detail. Additional comics are available for $2.99. I'd hope for some game tips within those, as well.
Given all the theme park references, if this game is a success, I can't help but begin to envision potential "Epic Mickey" theme park attractions. Would Disney really go there?
Epic Mickey ($49.99) releases for the Wii on November 30. Anyone else looking forward to it?Tweet
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