Mickey Mouse to rediscover his ‘inner rat’

Mickey Mouse is to get a makeover to heighten his appeal to youngsters of the video-game generation nurtured on computer-generated graphics and interactivity.

For decades, the Walt Disney Company has kept Mickey Mouse’s appearance and character largely unchanged, afraid that even the smallest alteration might damage a brand that earns the company $5 billion a year in merchandising sales.

But as US sales of Mickey merchandise are declining, the squeaky clean rodent is to be “re-imaged” and will acquire a cunning and cantankerous streak when he appears in a new Disney video game, Epic Mickey, next year…

Epic Mickey, designed for the Nintendo Wii console, is set in a cartoon wasteland inhabited by forgotten and retired Disney creations. Players can choose to be a co-operative, helpful Mickey or they can opt for a more destructive version who starts to resemble a rat.

Warren Spector, creative director of Junction Point, a Disney-owned game developer working on Epic Mickey, said the game would be edgy and unexpected. “By putting the mischievous Mickey in an unfamiliar place and asking him to make choices – to help other cartoon characters or choose his own path – the game forces players to deal with the consequences of their actions. Ultimately, players must ask themselves, ‘What kind of hero am I?’ Each player will come up with a different answer.”

Mickey Mouse gets to be a lot more like Walt Disney. Opportunistic, egregious and greedy.

One thought on “Mickey Mouse to rediscover his ‘inner rat’

  1. Cinaedh says:

    That photo is exactly how I always pictured Mickey Mouse in my own mind. Perhaps that’s why, as a kid, I never ‘got’ the whole Disney thing?

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