Epic Mickey is a Wii-exclusive title developed by Warren Spector's team at Junction Point Studios in collaboration with Disney Interactive.
The story is set in a world crafted by the wizard Yen Sid to house Walt Disney's oldest and forgotten characters. Mickey, however, accidentally spills paint thinner on the page containing the world and is subsequently pulled inside. As he progresses in this world, Mickey can use paint and thinner to alternately fix the world and help those that need it or erase his enemies and proceed on a more self-serving path.
Mickey's appearance in the game changes depending on how the player chooses to play. By performing helpful deeds Mickey will become more colorful and his appearance will be more akin to his modern look. By behaving in the self-serving manner of a scrapper, however, Mickey will lose color, becoming black and white as his appearance morphs to resemble his earliest appearances.
The gameplay features a mixture of quest-based hubs where players can interact with NPCs and embark on quests, and also 2D side-scrolling-based segments which are visually inspired by classic animated Mickey Mouse shorts.
The main villain is actually Disney's first ever cartoon hero, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. The once respected hero of Disney has long been forgotten, and he blames Mickey Mouse for replacing him as Disney's spokesman. Oswald decides to gather the residents of the dark world in order to proceed with his revenge on the mouse who made him forgotten.
An interesting note regarding Oswald's inclusion in the game is that Disney did not own the rights to the character when development began. Walt Disney abandoned the rights to him after a falling out with Universal regarding budgets for his Oswald cartoons. The Walt Disney company reacquired the rights to Oswald from NBC/Universal by trading away the contract of sportscaster Al Michaels.
Another main villain, which will be manipulating the environment of the Disney universe, will be a new enemy of Mickey named the Phantom Blot. After Mickey inadvertantly unleashes this monster, it begins to wreak havoc on the world of Disney by disassembling it with black ink and making the colors of the world run together.
Also known as Dr. XXX, the Mad Doctor is yet another villain in Epic Mickey. He created the robotic Beetleworx, as well as robotic friends to accompany Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. The character first appeared in a 1933 animated short called "The Mad Doctor," which was based on the plot of kidnapping Pluto and placing his head on a chicken's body to see if it the end result of a puppy hatching from an egg would bark, crow, or cackle. In Epic Mickey, he resides at Dark Beauty Castle and is trying to escape the wasteland by removing Mickey's heart.
He also appeared in Mickey Mania for the SNES and Sega Megadrive.
The Cartoon Wasteland is where Epic Mickey takes place and is home to forgotten Disney characters like Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, the Mad Doctor, and the Shadow Blot. Locations here are based on various retired or rejected theme park rides, and there are four main hub locations: Mean Street, Ventureland, Bog Easy, and OsTown.
Based on Main Street USA, a popular section of the Magical Kingdom in Disney's theme parks, Mean Street is the central hub of the Cartoon Wasteland. Mean Street became the way it is now because, according to Gremlin Gus, the Blot's arrival also brought with it a wave of thinner, destroying the place. An iconic part of Mean Street is a statue of Walt Disney holding Oswald the Lucky Rabbit's hand instead of Mickey's. Residents of Mean Street include Horace Horsecollar, Big Bad Pete, Gilda, Gremlin Markus, Casey, Laralee, Paulie, the Usher, and Oswald himself.
When Captain Hook betrayed his pirate crew, those landlubbers decided to hide out in Ventureland, another hub world where Mickey can pick up quests. Smee requests that Mickey find three ship parts so that the Projector Screen for Tortooga can be fixed. Depending on previous actions taken, some quests and residents will or will not be available.
Bog Easy is based off of New Orleans Square, which is a themed land found exclusively at Disneyland and home to known rides like The Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean. In Epic Mickey, it's surrounded by a bayou. Here, Mickey will find the Lonesome Ghosts, a group of ghosts driven out of the Lonesome Manor by a maddened pipe organ. Now they spend all their time scaring local residents. The hub's name of "Bog Easy" is also a play on "Big Easy," a nickname for New Orleans.
One of the more iconic locations in Epic Mickey, OsTown is Oswald the Lucky Rabbit's take on Mickey's Toontown, a themed land in Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland; however, in Japan, it's just called Toontown. Mickey's wasteland home can be found in OsTown.