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Walt Disney’s original cartoon creation, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, will be playable for the first time at E3 2012 at the Disney Interactive Media Group booth. He’s starring alongside his “brother” Mickey Mouse in Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two from developer Junction Point.
Available for this fall across all platforms for the first time, this sequel returns players to Wasteland, an alternate world filled with 80 years of forgotten Disney characters and theme park attractions. The new cooperative gameplay will focus on Mickey’s magical paint brush that allows him to wield paint and thinner and Oswald’s powerful remote control that allows him to command electricity.
What separates this game from just about anything else out there is that it’s been designed as a musical. At many points throughout the adventure, characters will advance the plot by expressing themselves in song, with all-original music and lyrics. In addition to this distinctive musical approach to storytelling, players will hear tunes and instrumentation that change based on their personal choices, ultimately allowing each player to “conduct” their own unique soundtrack. Disney Interactive has enlisted the help of Emmy award-winning composer James Dooley and noted lyricist Mike Himelstein to create these musical gameplay elements.
The magic of Disney will not only resonate through the game’s musical numbers, but also through the introduction of authentic Disney Character Voices talent who provide player direction through genuine character dialogue. In Disney Epic Mickey 2 all characters — most notably Frank Welker’s Oswald The Lucky Rabbit, whose voice will be heard for the first time — will communicate by speaking to the player.
The success of the original Nintendo Wii exclusive game has given Disney a new character to market in Oswald, who could ride his interactive success to television and film.
“Whether Oswald shows up in other media is not for me to say,” said Warren Spector, creative director and vice president, Junction Point. “If I had my druthers, he’d be as big a star as Mickey already. I would love to see Oswald cartoons, and more Oswald t-shirts and more Oswald merchandise, but already you’re starting to see some of that. In Japan in particular, Oswald is huge. There are whole sections of stores devoted to Oswald merchandise. There are Oswald little vinyl figures you can get now. There are Oswald baseball caps and hats. We’ve got to get him in the movies, though. Unfortunately that’s a little above my pay grade. But maybe someday.”
Launched in November 2010, Disney Epic Mickey marked the first time that Oswald the Lucky Rabbit appeared in a new Disney story since 1928. Walt Disney’s first beloved cartoon character, Oswald once starred in 26 cartoons and is regarded as one of the most popular silent cartoon characters of the 1920’s. Disney eventually lost the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit due to a clause in a contract with cartoon distributor, Universal. In February 2006, The Walt Disney Corporation was able to regain rights to Oswald, bringing him back to the home of his creator.
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