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Epic Mickey Opening Cinematic

Here’s the opening cinematic for the upcoming Wii game, Epic Mickey, from Warren Spector and Junction Point.

(Thanks, Gibbs Rainock and Tim Thomsen)

  • Tedzey

    Well, that wasn’t what I planned this game to look like. I thought this was around the concept of what if Mickey Mouse were to commit suicide. I guess it was too dark for disney to pull off and made it more kid friendly. Still think its an okay concept, and would love how they incorporate Oswald, the gremlins, and I HOPE THEY INCLUDE CHANTICLEER (Not the lame Don Bluth version from Rock-a-doodle!)

    • Kyle Maloney

      From what I understand they designed the early artwork to be extra dark and twisted so that when Disney asks them to tone it down they could still get away with more than usual. They do similar things for movies.

      Also, you have to understand that the styles will change a lot depending on how you play. when you use the thinner the characters start looking crazy. the paint is for more of the normal style. Its up to you how dark you want it to get.

  • Matt Petersen

    Looks pretty good!! I am actually excited for the release of this game!!
    Hopefully, this game will put Mickey back on the map for the younger crowd!

  • it’s interesting to note how the old animation cheat on mickey’s ears looks when translated to a 3d model like this.

  • Gerard de Souza

    That Yensid sure tires easily.

  • Gerard de Souza

    Is that an extreme updated version of the comics’ Phantom Blot?

    • Stephan

      Yuhuh! The old version should be in there too!

  • @Tedzey The game was never once about Mickey committing suicide. It was always planned to be a love letter to Disney’s animated history.

  • Sam

    I kind of expect more out of this.. The animation isn’t very polish at all, nor was the rendering as great as Kingdom Heart’s. Cool effects though.

  • So, this takes place in 1983?

    • Chris Sobieniak

      Well, it’s a more sedated time at that. 1984 would’ve been a nice pivotal year to pick as well.

  • James

    If you’re going to write about a video game it should be a good one like Pokemon.

  • FP

    There is some borderline amateur animation in the piece.

    Is this pre-rendered, or rendered real-time using the game engine? If it’s pre-rendered, it’s technically deficient in many ways. If it’s real-time, it’s almost adequate.

    I don’t game at all. Is this typical of intro quality?

    • This is a pre-rendered piece I’m pretty sure and as far as other game animation goes, I’d say this is well above average. Games tend to use a lot of mocap.

      • Kyle Maloney

        I’d say the beginning looks to be in real time to me, but Im not so sure towards the end. my guess is its prerendered, but using in game assets, which explains the low poly models. But I wonder why there isn’t more effects though if its pre rendered. I mean, there’s no motion blur, higher poly models, more advanced lighting, etc.

        Still, I’d say it is above average for video game animation. could be better though.

        Regardless, I can’t wait to play it.

  • uncle wayne

    Ditto, Gene! I think it’s great that they reTAINED the oooold Rule (from Day 1) that….no matter what the angle….the ears retains thier complete roundness ….even in CGI! I love, also, the look-back at those early Mickey days. A beautiful job!!

    • I also kinda like the way that the ears slide around on the skull when his head tilts and turns, so they look right in profile or straight on.
      in the shots where the head is lit dimly and doesn’t show too much rim-light it feel very much like it would in 2d and doesn’t stand out as odd.

  • Steve

    Interesting. I wish, at least the first 46 seconds had been traditionally hand drawn.

  • Gerard de Souza

    Dare I say I did not think the character animation was that bad. My only crit are the hands animation on Yensid and Mickey when doing delicate…or should be delicate gestures when painting holding the brush, for example.

    My beef in general with spfx nowadays is the synthetic preset animation appearance. Would be nice to see some frame by frame control on the spfx…does that make sense?

  • TheGunheart

    I have to agree with Sam. The high quality cinematic models from Kingdom Hearts had much better and more convincing animation and rendering than this.

    That said, it strikes me as a pre-rendered cinematic that still uses the in-game resources, if that makes any sense.

  • Su

    I was a little skeptical, I always thought DIS was always into making cheap-lacks-creativity-movie-based games but after seeing this intro I’m starting to take some of that back.

    Can someone fill me in why the studio wanted the game to be so dark? Not that I’m against it, I just don’t really buy into the whole “for older gamers” because a lot of successful young adults games aren’t dark (Like the first Kingdom Hearts)and although a lot of Disney movies during that time frame was dark, it wasn’t ‘that’ dark. There is Pinocchio but that’s the only one I can think of off the top of my head.

    • Stephan

      Its the programmer’s decision. This is a game led by him as he is an auteur of the format.

    • Stephan

      And damn, do I love Kingdom Hearts.

  • celia

    It appears that Mickey is a southpaw! Who knew?

  • ziggyStardust

    I like how mickeys ears are always facing the camera its very 2d ish

    • That was the thing that made me smile. They got the ears right!

  • JD

    I prefer the Freddie Moore Mickey to the dot eyed one. But, that’s just me. I know they’re trying to go all nostalgic.

    • Scarabim

      I love the “dot-eyed” Mickey. That, by far, is his best look, cute and retro-cool. I wish Disney would use it in a new production.

  • n00b

    I’m probably the only one who has mixed feelings about Mickeys ears…
    some angles just don’t seem right.

  • Rooniman

    I’m looking forward to this game.

    I don’t understand why everybody thinks the animation is bad, I think it’s pretty good. It nice to look at.

  • Warhead

    It seems they used the ingame engine for this one. The character animation is quite nice, however. The small touches like Mickey’s ears always facing the same way is reminicent of the earlier shorts. I excited for this game, since we finally get a Disney game with some credebility behind it (Warren Spector).

  • Mark

    Wow–that was pretty lame. ugly airpbushed look reminiscent of bad ’80’s Disney VHS video covers.

    And the animation is piss poor—lacks any character. At the VERY least, you’d think they’d attempt to capture the “look” of the early Mickey color shorts.

    I do like the approach to the ears, though. That’s about it.

    Why can’t they get someone who understands animation and story to design these dumb games? And WHY do they all have to look so ugly?

    • DonaldC

      …but they got actual Disney animators to work on it.

      • Mark


  • DonaldC

    Now THIS looks like a good Disney game.

  • Scarabim

    I agree! At times the animation looks a bit too much like the stuff you see on the CGI Garfield show, but overall, that trailer is pretty amazing. My fave moments are Mickey pushing through the mirror and his struggle with the Phantom Blot as he’s being pulled into the wasteland.

    I’ve seen other clips, though, and Oswald looks a bit disappointing, I’m afraid. It’s his mouth. Why does it look like a Muppet’s? Oswald’s mouth doesn’t look like that in any of the drawings of him I’ve seen.

    • I wonder if the designers were influenced by early non-Disney Oswald cartoons? Many are available online. In 1929-1930, the early Lantz/Bill Nolan Oswald shorts often give him a wider mouth with a huge tongue—and it’s that model that I see in the Epic Mickey footage.

  • Scarabim

    I do think the shading around Mickey’s muzzle looks a little odd, and his mouth looks odd at times. Sometimes I think that, when turning a 2D character into a 3D character, CGI animators follow the rigs too closely; maybe they should “cheat” more to get expressions that match those on the actual 2D character (as per my comment about Oswald’s mouth). I’m sure it’s more difficult than it seems, but it’s still worth a try.

    • I agree about Mickey’s mouth, especially when we see his face in frontal view (like the moment right after he’s pushed through the mirror at ca. 0:50). Compare it to any classic cartoon title card of Mickey’s face, and you’ll see some big differences: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8FzGOOQNDY&feature=related

      For starters, the nose shouldn’t be pointing upwards as much, and we should always be able to see his smiling cheeks (as the beautiful title card demonstrates). (As a side note, the shading underneath his eyes somehow makes it look like the top of his face was sewn on.) The more I look at this, the more I keep thinking they messed up his frontal face design. They should have cheated the rigs to get the appealing design right.

      • From the moment I’ve seen Mickey’s 3D model for this game the shading underneath his eyes bothered me! I thought for sure others on Cartoon Brew would agree. You’re the first in this thread. I’m glad someone else feels the same way…

  • RS

    The way they handled the ears is cool, but his super slow blink is driving me nuts.

  • Freddy Moore’s brilliant Mickey cannot be duplicated. The charm is gone here, and he is off-model; it simply is not the same character. He also looks bloated, heavy, & his movement is awkward . Today’s 3 year olds won’t know the difference, but anybody can see how off-the-wall this Mickey is. Go back to Frank & Ollie’s 12 principles: he is unappealing here. And frankly, what’s the point?
    It’s already been done, and a million times better, nearly 65 years ago. Who cares about “cool special effects” in CGI if the main character looks weird? Do CGI effects “save” poorly designed & rendered bad rip-offs of classic characters? Are they kidding?

    • GhaleonQ

      Uh, I think Spector overrates his knowledge of Disney, but the answer is obviously, “People can play a 3-d game starring Mickey Mouse with this one.” There’s holding to fine animation standards and then there’s needless, scattershot belligerence.

  • simon

    That’s about as good as cinematic animation gets on the wii! Of course it can’t compare to real Mickey animation, but for what it is it looks pretty great. Looks like a way better version of that old Sega Genesis Mickey game!

  • Hal

    Looks better than most game animation to me – pre-rendered or not, its definitely using the game assets to blend straight into gameplay. I thought that by the end, the spirit of old Mickey came through just fine and set up the game nicely. The weird ink demon grabbing him out of bed was genuinely dynamic. Here’s hoping its a good kids game, that’s the target.

  • SMW

    I think for a Wii game and knowing the extreme limitations you have on this platform it looks really good. We all have to remember that more than just a image this is a game and the most important thing is game play. If I was a kid I would love to play this game, it looks really good better than a LOT of games out there. Its not fair to compare it directly with a 2d cartoon its not the same challenges on this platform. Most important thing is to see how fun it is to play, if its not fun then no mater how good it looks it will fail. But if its fun as player you are way more forgiving of looks because your gaming experience will be totally worth it. 2d cartoons are not interactive games are.

  • Rick R.

    I’ll accept expert opinion on the animation quality, but I think everyone is missing the point that this looks to be the most interesting thing done with Mickey since Walt was alive.

    I saw the game at E3, and Mickey has to save people or be a bully, fix things up or wreck them, and it left me wanting to get a Wii just to play this title.

  • That was cool, I’m totally going to get this game!

    And whoever says that the animation was piss poor obviously hasn’t seen piss poor.

  • mickey’s ears were great

  • Bill

    CGI Mickey looks okay but like almost all CGI his movement is too smooth and floaty, and he does indeed have a strange mouth thanks to lips that are too thick.

    The models weird too, he looks a little taller, straight lined, and skinnier which was probably done to make him easier to pose in their CG program.

    Just make it a hand-drawn 2D platformer guys.




  • Patrick

    I really like the ear cheat thing!

  • Eric Spector

    What’s with the creepy portrait on the easel in Mickey’s bedroom @ :36 is that Mickey’s mother or something?

  • Rebecca

    I just like the entire concept of the game! I don’t think it’s fair to really compare it to Kingdom Hearts. Square Enix has been around (counting its time as Square Co.) since 1983. Junction Point was founded in 2005. So, I think they’re doing pretty good for such a young company! The ear cheat translating into 3D is pretty cool!

  • Isaac

    Amazing how the hand-drawn images in the time-lapse sequence are more fun and more cartoony than anything else in the game. The 3D models are barely expressive in comparison to those hand-drawn images, and yet, this videogame is more alive than nearly every other videogame I’ve seen.

  • Randy Koger

    Dang….that is amazing, and love how the Disney universe seems to be covered in this game.
    I’m buying this one…..it seems fresher and more alive than about 3/4 of what I have played on my Xbox 360 and PS3 lately.

  • http://www.gametrailers.com/video/gt-pop-block-epic-mickey/703254

    Gametrailers put a frame by frame analysis .. including side by side nimations with old mickey cartoons

  • Man… CG makes everything look “fake” This pales in comparison to the crisp-drawn-lines and beautiful gouache paintings of the original “Thru the Looking Glass” cartoon.

    That’s just me though.