The Dreaded Pirate Sack Sparrow Makes a Splash in LittleBigPlanet December 22

Captain Sack Sparrow. © SonySony and LittleBigPlanet developer Media Molecule recently made good on a promise from earlier this year by announcing they’ll be launching exclusive Disney-themed downloadable content beginning December 22 with the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise (there have also been hints of Disney/Pixar’s The Incredibles content coming down the pipeline as well.

The Pirates of the Caribbean expansion is being released in conjunction with the ability to introduce water into the game. A premium level kit, available for $5.99 US, includes: water and related gear; 5 POTC-themed levels; a cannibal costume; 4 music tracks; 1 level background; 8 materials; 14 decorations; 27 objects; 133 stickers; and 11 PlayStation trophies.

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iPhone App Review: The Muppets Animal Drummer

The Muppets Animal Drummer for iPhone by Walt DisneyTitle: The Muppets Animal Drummer (link)
Publisher:
Walt Disney
Released:
December 15, 2009
Cost:
$1.99
iTouch?:
Yes
Pros: The Muppets; good graphics; great music and sounds; fun, addictive and simple gamplay
Cons: None
Review: From Disney Interactive Studios, Enorbus and the Muppets Studio comes The Muppets Animal Drummer, a rhythm based game that has its roots in the electronic board game Simon in which you must repeat Animal’s drumming sequence in (near) perfect rhythm, so it differs from the Dance Dance Revolution genre in that you must remember the sequence rather than reacting to it in real time.

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Enter the Grid: Disney Interactive Announces TRON: Evolution the Video Game (Trailer)

TRON: Evolution from Disney Interactive StudiosBURBANK, Calif. — The digital world of TRON is awaiting a new participant. Disney Interactive Studios today announced the development of TRON: Evolution, the video game. TRON: Evolution is an action/adventure game being created for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and Windows PC. Developed by Propaganda Games, Disney Interactive Studios’ action and role-playing game studio in Vancouver, British Columbia, TRON: Evolution is scheduled for release in Holiday 2010 before the “TRON: Legacy” film arrives in theaters.

Set during the era between the two TRON films, TRON: Evolution conveys the story of significant events within the TRON mythology. The game features an epic adventure across a massive digital world filled with high-mobility disc-based combat and advanced light cycles.

TRON: Evolution is one of the keys to unlocking the TRON mythology. The game’s story takes place before the “TRON: Legacy” events and provides insight into the film’s past. As an integrated entertainment experience, the film will reference elements of the game’s story. Fans will want to play the game to learn more about the TRON mythology seen in the film, but each entertainment experience will stand on its own.

“We expect TRON: Evolution to be a premier action-focused game that both stands on its own and supplements a major event film,” said Dan Tudge, vice president and general manager, Propaganda Games. “Because Propaganda Games is based in Vancouver, which was the site of the film’s principal photography, we were able to leverage the proximity to continuously collaborate with the filmmakers and ensure authenticity between the two projects.”

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iPhone App Review: Prep & Landing

Disney's Prep & Landing for the iPhone by Walt DisneyTitle: Prep & Landing (link)
Publisher:
Walt Disney
Released:
November 19, 2009
Cost:
$.99
iTouch?:
Yes (WiFi/Internet required for some)
Pros: A couple of entertaining games/features
Cons: Long, frustrating gameplay with little payoff, promoted items missing
Review: On December 1, ABC will air its first ever original holiday special produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios. That’s the good news. The bad news is they want to charge you for downloading the promotional app and it falls way short on expectations and even promises.

After watching a surprisingly brief promo for the special, you are presented with two menu options. Kringle Academy is where you’ll find 3 mini-games and P&L Specialized Equipment is where you’ll find the ‘extras,’ which are often more entertaining than the games themselves, unfortunately.

As a  general rule with the game, sound effects are nil (Christmas carols are your only source of audio candy) and gameplay is exceptionally long with repetitive movements. There’s also no scoring system so you’re really only competing for ‘distance’ and colored rewards such as gold, silver and red (and other, ‘lesser’ colors) which seem to offer no benefit other than a virtual pat on the iBack.

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Bring Home the Beauty and Adventure of ‘The Princess and the Frog’ with New Video Games Made for the Entire Family

The Princess and the Frog for the Nintendo WiiBURBANK, Calif. — Video game players of all ages can now embark on an exciting, immersive journey through New Orleans, inspired by the highly anticipated Disney animated musical film “The Princess and the Frog.” The Princess and the Frog for Wii™, Nintendo DS™, and Windows-based PC are available today in retail stores nationwide. This holiday season, families everywhere will be able to live out their own fairytales when they join Disney’s newest princess, Tiana, as she, along with familiar characters from the movie and new friends, takes on challenges and pursues adventures in the vibrant settings of New Orleans and the bayou.

“The Princess and the Frog will bring families together as they celebrate memorable moments from the movie and interact with its beloved characters,” said Craig Relyea, senior vice president of global marketing, Disney Interactive Studios. “Young girls everywhere will feel empowered and inspired to dream just like Princess Tiana.”

The Princess and the Frog for Wii allows girls to be a Princess and experience Tiana’s magical world together with family and friends. In the game, players can explore more than 25 engaging mini-games designed for up to four players to join the fun and interact. From playing as a princess and mixing and matching outfits, to playing as frogs and racing each other, to numerous mini-games, there’s something for everyone.

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iPhone App Review: LUMA

LUMA by Walt DisneyTitle: LUMA (link)
Publisher:
Walt Disney
Released:
November 10, 2009
Cost:
$.99
iTouch?:
Yes
Pros: Quick, addictive play, good graphics and sound effects
Cons:
None
Review: I confess when I first read LUMA’s description and saw the game shots, I thought I knew exactly how the game was going to go. At first glance, the concept seemed like this network type game I had played on a PDA long ago where ‘cables’ had to be rotated in 90 degree increments in order to connect various ‘nodes’ together to complete a ‘network.’ Although LUMA’s premise is similar, Disney Interactive (and its Enorbus subsidiary) have managed to turn the simple concept on its ears and produce a quick and highly addictive logic puzzle game.

LUMA by Walt Disney (more…)

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‘JONAS’ and ‘Sonny with a Chance’ Video Games Invite Fans Onstage, Backstage and Beyond

JONAS for the Nintendo DSBURBANK, Calif. — In two of the Disney Channel’s biggest hits, “JONAS” and “Sonny With A Chance,” the storylines take viewers on and off-stage with the Lucas brothers to see how they live their everyday lives, and backstage with the hilarious cast of the “So Random” sketch comedy show. Two new Nintendo DS™ titles from Disney Interactive Studios will make those experiences come to life. Available today in retail stores nationwide is JONAS for DS, while Sonny with a Chance is currently being developed for release in spring 2010.

“Both JONAS and Sonny with a Chance will deliver fresh new interactive experiences for fans,” said Craig Relyea, senior vice president of global marketing, Disney Interactive Studios. “Filled with memorable moments with favorite characters, these DS games allow players to deepen their engagement with both shows with hours of lighthearted fun.”

JONAS for DS is inspired by the Disney Channel Original Series starring the Jonas Brothers, whose characters juggle everyday school and family life as it collides with the pop star world. The game lets fans play as three of the hottest rock stars on the planet, Nick, Joe and Kevin Lucas. Players help the band, JONAS, tear up the stage in six concerts, hang out with friends Macy and Stella, and visit locations such as the brothers’ firehouse and school as seen on the TV show.

JONAS also features popular tunes sung by the Jonas Brothers on the show, including “Live to Party,” “Keep It Real” and “Why,” which players can jam to in performance mode. In addition, players can customize the brothers’ outfits for cool looks in school and in performance mode. In story mode, players collect musical notes to power up their guitars and then strike the right guitar chords to overcome obstacles.

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CONTEST: Win a Copy of the ‘Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure’ Video Game for Nintendo DS

'Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure' for Nintendo DS by Disney Interactive StudiosAs the leaves continue to change color, Tinktober rages on and it’s time for another contest! This time, Disney Interactive Studios has graciously provided us with five copies of the upcoming Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure video game for the Nintendo DS.

In Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure, Tinker Bell’s greatest adventure yet takes place in Autumn, as the fairies are on the mainland changing the colors of the leaves, tending to pumpkin patches, and helping geese fly south for the winter. The rare Blue Moon will rise, and when its light passes through the magical Fall Scepter that Tinker Bell has been summoned to create, Pixie Hollow’s supply of pixie dust will be restored. But when Tinker Bell accidentally puts all of Pixie Hollow in jeopardy, she must venture out across the sea on a secret quest to set things right.

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THQ Goes Full Throttle with the Launch of Disney/Pixar’s Cars Race-O-Rama

Cars Race-O-Rama for Nintendo Wii by THQAGOURA HILLS, Calif. — THQ Inc. (NASDAQ:THQI) today announced that Disney•Pixar’s Cars Race-O-Rama, the company’s third installment in the highly successful Cars video game franchise, has shipped to retail outlets throughout North America across six game systems, including the Wii™ video game system, Nintendo DS™, the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, PlayStation® 2 computer entertainment system and PSP® (PlayStation® Portable) system. Cars Race-O-Rama is now available for the suggested retail prices of $39.99 (Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation3 system), $29.99 (PSP and DS) and $19.99 (PlayStation 2). The game is rated E for Everyone.

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Disney Interactive Studios Releases ‘Disneyland Kart Racer’ for Verizon Wireless Customers

SAN DIEGO, BASKING RIDGE, N.J., and BURBANK, Calif., Oct. 7  — From CTIA WIRELESS I.T. & Entertainment 2009® in San Diego, Verizon Wireless, builder and operator of the nation’s most reliable wireless voice and data network, and Disney Interactive Studios today announced that “Disneyland Kart Racer” is available on Verizon Wireless phones.

“Disneyland Kart Racer” puts Verizon Wireless subscribers in the driver’s seat as they race through some of the most popular Disneyland Park attractions. Disney fans will recognize popular race environments inspired by Disney attractions such as the water boats of Pirates of the Caribbean, the rocket ships of Space Mountain, the crazy cars of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and the mining carts of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. “Disneyland Kart Racer” features eight different tracks modeled in dazzling 3D and wacky power-ups and weapons along the way.

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