TRON, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Muppets and Epic Mickey were the topics of discussion today during the Disney Publishing Worldwide panel at the 5th annual New York Comic-Con which kicked off today in New York City.
Briefly touching upon TRON, preview pages of the prequel graphic novel TRON: Betrayal and The Art of TRON: Legacy were shared. Since the titles themselves as well as many of the other TRON: Legacy titles (mostly geared towards tweens) were made available to browse through at the Disney Publishing Worldwide booth, there wasn’t much more needing to be mentioned on the topic.
More juicy news could be found in the discussion regarding Pirates of the Caribbean: Six Sea Chanties. With a cover by Eric Powell of The Goon and the writing talents including those such as Bryan Q. Miller and Rob Kidd (author of the Young Jack Sparrow series), the described graphic novel anthology will consist of one main story and six short stories. Currently slated to be released on April 19, 2011, the graphic novel will serve as a prequel to not only Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, but will include stories going back as far as pre-dating the first film. Although it’s still early in development, stories are said to include dueling Jacks (Sparrow and the monkey that is), Barbossa and the skeleton curse. In preparation for the movie, Blackbeard and other yet-known characters will also be included in the stories.
Next on the docket was the multi-platform integration of books and the digital world. Going forward, it’s reasonable to expect that at least all of Disney’s original graphic novel properties will include some digital aspect. The first one talked about, whose introduction arrived in the way of a sample video, was the Muppets motion comic, debuting this fall. Based on Roger Langridge’s Meet the Muppets for BOOM! Studios, the Muppets motion comic will be made available on the Apple iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad, Microsoft Xbox Live, Amazon Video Store, Sony PSN and DVD. The sample video included a Muppet News Flash with the Newsman, a commentary by Statler and Waldorf and a brief appearance by Kermit the Frog.
Epic Mickey was the property on which most time was spent and it was here that it was first announced that there would be an Epic Mickey app for the iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad, which is expected to be released next week. Although it was previously announced that Peter David would be creating a 64 page graphic novel prequel for Epic Mickey as well as a digicomics version, the panel spent a great deal of time explaining the details in how the comics will be deployed. The app will be free and will contain some basic content such as the game’s trailer, character bios and the first of the six stories in the Tales from the Wasteland, presumably ‘Clocktower Cleaners.’ The remaining five stories can be purchased in-app as a bundle for $2.99. On November 30, with the game launch, the app will be updated to make way for additional items such as the graphic novel itself (in-app purchase for $3.99), motion comics (first free, remaining five for $1.99 each or bundled for $8.99).
Also mentioned and re-confirmed (as Amazon.com had once listed it) is that there will be an Epic Mickey: It’s Your Call book which is Disney’s answer to the Choose Your Own Adventure type books of yore. Don’t expect to see it anytime soon though, I was told it won’t be released until summer 2011. Also coming in summer, although I don’t believe it was mentioned at the panel, but was told to me later, is The Art of Epic Mickey which will be done in the same vein as the existing ‘Art of’ titles.
Lastly, but by no means least, was the re-announcement that Disney Publishing has teamed up with Fantagraphics to produce a series of the ‘definitive’ collection of Floyd Gottfredson’s Mickey Mouse comic strips. Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse: Race to Death Valley is the first title which is set to be released on May 18, 2011. In an effort to maintain the integrity of the original comics, the teams have gone to the Walt Disney Studio Archives and are ‘restoring’ the artwork to ensure that the integrity of the original colors and vision of the comics is maintained.
At the Disney Interactive Booth on the New York Comic-Con floor, both TRON: Evolution and Epic Mickey were offered as playable demos. I had the opportunity to play some of the Gremlin Village Ticket Booth level of Epic Mickey, which bears a remarkable resemblance to the Disneyland model’s Fantasyland. Not too much to report on that, other than it is pretty fun and forgiving to play and I learned that in the full game, there’s a full ride inside ‘it’s a small world’ available. Unfortunately in the demo mode, playing inside the attraction just ended the demo, so I’ll have to wait until November 30 for that one. I also received confirmation from a developer of the game that something mentioned during the Disney Publishing Worldwide panel was true. According to them, the endgame cinematic is very emotional and — if I heard things correctly — it’s even said to make Warren Spector shed a tear.
Make sure to read our coverage of the NYCC Epic Mickey panel here.
Disney Interactive and Junction Point Studios have just released this featurette focusing on the story development element of the upcoming Nintendo Wii release Epic Mickey. Featuring Junction Point’s Warren Spector, along with many of the developers, the featurette uses concept art and gameplay video to explain the game’s genesis, the storyline and how the player helps to shape the story by the choices they make. There’s even a bit of dialogue featured that takes place during an encounter between Mickey Mouse and his brother Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.
MINDstyle has been promoting Epic Mickey in a very vague way as of late and with the other merchandising for the game going on, particularly through Hot Topic, it’d be of little shock if MINDstyle were to produce vinyl adult toy collectibles (ATCs) in support of the game. In fact, it might even be more shocking if they weren’t (or at least Medicom which is producing the VCD of Mickey in the collector’s edition of the game).
Enter Animatronic Donald Duck. I’ll be honest, this may not be news, but this is the first time I’ve personally seen any form of these animatronic Disney characters since the initial concept art was leaked. According to the blog entry from MINDstyle:
‘The Mad Doctor has been fiddling with these classic Disney characters and scattering them everywhere, while Oswald has been attempting to put them back together out of loneliness. One of the choices that Mickey can eventually make is whether he wants to put Donald (and, presumably, the likes of Goofy and Pluto as well etc.) back together. In Epic Mickey, the animatronic Donald and other animatronic versions of Mickey’s friends were constructed for Oswald the Lucky Rabbit so that he could have friends like Mickey’s in his efforts to try and mimic his brother’s life.’
Disney Interactive Studios and Junction Point Studios have recently released this gameplay video from Epic Mickey titled Dark Beauty Castle.
In what appears to be a tutorial level, Gremlin Gus (who was incidentally the result of a joint venture between Walt Disney and noted childrens author Roald Dahl) instructs Mickey on the use of using both the paint and thinner, not only to battle enemies (or help other characters), but also to manipulate the environment, sometimes by using both tools in conjunction with each other. Along the way, Mickey also picks up some tickets and tv tokens which allow him to distract enemies temporarily by plopping down a television in front of them. As a reward for saving a gremlin, Mickey also receives a golden trading pin.
Disney Interactive Studios and Junction Point Studios has just released the second portion of the opening cinematic we first shared with you a couple of weeks ago. In the new footage, Mickey Mouse awakes to find himself in the laboratory of the Mad Scientist who is hard at work at experimenting on the world’s most beloved animated character. The Mad Scientist doesn’t realize who he’s up against however when Mickey finds a way to make even the Phantom Blot do his disappearing ink act. The cinematic also shows Oswald the Lucky Rabbit as he encounters Mickey in the flesh for the first time, although the rabbit-mouse relationship exploration is tabled as its apparent that Oswald simply wants out of the situation.
The collector’s edition of Epic Mickey is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com.
Disney’s ‘Epic Mickey’ to be Available in Limited Edition Collectors Edition with Wii Skin, Collectible Figure, Bonus DVD and More
Disney Interactive Studios today announced that the internationally acclaimed upcoming video game Disney Epic Mickey will also be released as a Collectors’ Edition in limited quantities. Available for pre-order beginning today in North America and alongside the standard edition at retail this holiday, the Collectors’ Edition of Disney Epic Mickey will include the full version of the game, a five inch collectible Disney Epic Mickey figurine, Wii™ console skins and remote faceplate, and a bonus DVD with behind-the-scenes video and more. With its innovative style of gameplay using paint and thinner to dynamically change the game world, Disney Epic Mickey is one of the most anticipated titles of 2010.
“We’re thrilled to roll out this Collectors’ Edition featuring so many unique items including the collectible Disney Epic Mickey figurine and content that will surprise and delight gamers and Disney fans alike,” said Graham Hopper, executive vice president and general manager, Disney Interactive Studios. “The addition of the bonus DVD with behind-the-scenes video and more will enhance and expand the overall Disney Epic Mickey experience.”
Disney Epic Mickey is an action-adventure platforming game for the Wii console that sends Mickey Mouse on an epic journey of creativity and discovery. As Mickey, the player is propelled into Wasteland, an alternate world made up of Disney’s long forgotten characters and attractions, and is given the power to wield paint and paint thinner to dynamically change the world while determining Mickey’s path to becoming an epic hero.
Through the use of this unique paint and paint thinner, the key components of animation and Mickey’s tools for impacting his world, players will have the ability to shape how the story unfolds as they discover the concept of “Playstyle Matters” – an innovative style of gameplay created by Disney Interactive Studios’ Junction Point, led by industry luminary Warren Spector, where players creatively tackle different challenges in the world to explore all the possibilities and storylines – but with consequences for their chosen actions.
Disney Epic Mickey will be available this holiday season exclusively for Wii. The Disney Epic Mickey Collectors’ Edition will retail at an MSRP of $69.99 and the standard edition will retail at an MSRP of $49.99.
The collectors edition is now available for pre-order at Amazon.com.
Epic Mickey: New Gameplay Video Shows Transition Levels Based on Classic Animated Shorts, ‘Gremlin Village’
The video below highlights many of the transition levels in the upcoming Epic Mickey for Nintendo Wii from Disney Interactive Studios and Junction Point Studios. Previously released footage included levels from Walt Disney animated classic shorts such as Steamboat Willie and Plutopia. Here, we get a good look at other levels such as Alpine Climbers and Clock Cleaners. In addition, there is some gameplay from Gremlin Village, the area loosely based on Fantasyland, which we told you about earlier.
For more information on Epic Mickey, follow this bookmark.
G4 has just posted this video clip of Warren Spector providing an update on Epic Mickey from Disney Interactive Studios and Junction Point Studios. In the interview, Spector basically geeks out as he talks about being a life-long animation fan and talks about all of the animators from Disney and Pixar who they have consulted with on the project as well as the involvement from other business units such as Disney Consumer Products.
He also spends a bit of time talking about the music which was scored by Jim Dooley (evidently there are plans to release the soundtrack itself on audio CD in mid-September). Dooley has won an emmy for his scoring of the ABC cult-hit Pushing Daisies.
As far as new gameplay goes, here Spector introduces us to ‘Gremlin Village.’ Where Ventureland was based on Adventureland in the Disney Theme Parks, Gremlin Village is inspired by Fantasyland and features attractions such as Dumbo, Mad Tea Party and ‘it’s a small world.’
As a bonus, we even get treated to some footage of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.
Disney Interactive Studios along with Junction Point Studios released the first half of the opening cinematic film to their upcoming Nintendo Wii title Epic Mickey earlier today at GamesCom 2010 in Germany.
The clip sets up the premise of the game in which Mickey is forced to return to the Cartoon Wasteland, a world loosely based on Disneyland in which forgotten ideas and things have gone to live for the past eight decades. In the clip, which takes place at the time the Wasteland is created, Mickey is seen letting loose the Phantom Blot on its inhabitants, the leader of which is recognized as Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. As Mickey’s fame and popularity exponentially rise in the real world, forgotten Oswald is left with the mess his more-famous contemporary has left behind. Until it’s time for Mickey to enter the Wasteland and witness first hand what has happened as a result of his actions. Then, armed with nothing more than a paintbrush and paint thinner, it is up to him to decide whether he will either try to set what once went wrong or to forge his own trails of glory, no matter the cost.
For those wondering, Mickey Mouse does not speak in the game, nor do any of the other characters (except of course for the narrative you hear in the clip). Junction Point creative director and lead designer for the game Warren Spector has said that the reason for no dialogue is twofold: first, logistics of employing of the voice actors just wouldn’t have panned out and — perhaps more importantly — Spector has noted that Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, another key character in the game, was born in the silent film era so he never had a physical voice and it would be unfair for Mickey to talk when others couldn’t.
At E3, Performance Designed Products (PDP) unveiled some of its offerings for late this year which includes custom licensed controllers for Disney’s ‘TRON Evolution’ for the PS3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii as well as what is reported to be a TRON-themed iPad case complete with light-up elements.
PDP also revealed its peripherals planned for ‘Epic Mickey’ from Disney Interactive and Junction Point Studios: a paint-brush themed housing for the Wii Remote and a Wii Remote recharger-slash-sculpture featuring Mickey facing the Phantom Blot.