Senior Story Designer
Epic Mickey 2 is a platformer taking place in a whimsical world populated by Disney characters both classic and new. Every character, including the previously unvoiced Oswald, is fully voice acted. Oswald accompanies Mickey on his quest to once again save Wasteland, controlled by either the AI or by another human player. As the players journey through levels based on classic Disney cartoons, they experience a story centering around accepting yourself for who you are and finding your self-worth, even when others don’t see your value.
One of Walt Disney’s dreams was to give a voice to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. That was realized in Epic Mickey 2. Brian, Warren Spector, and Marv Wolfman spent a lot of time discussing Oswald’s voice and reviewing auditions because the person they chose would be Oswald’s voice for decades. They picked Frank Welkner because he brought a warm, streetwise voice that contrasted with Mickey while also fitting the Disney world. In addition to fulfilling Walt Disney’s vision for completing Walt Disney’s vision for Oswald, the game brought back many classic characters.
To prepare himself to write in Disney’s voice Brian spent a lot of time watching old Disney cartoons, many of which had music as their heart and soul. In fact, a number of classic characters and environments featured in the game were drawn from Silly Symphonies.
This connection to Disney’s musical past also resulted in the game’s main villain, the Mad Doctor, singing all his lines. The singing elements not only set the game apart from other platformers, but they help to recapture the feeling of classic Disney cartoons.
Much of the song writing involved Brian, Mike Himmelstein and Jim Dooley. It was great to collaborate with someone who was not only such a skilled composer, but also such a great lover of Disney. No one dominated the writing process. They created the songs for the game by bouncing ideas off each other, refining them until everyone was happy.
One of Brian’s favorite parts of designing the game was writing dialogue with Marv. Marv was the editor of the comic section of the Disney Adventure magazine and has written numerous scripts for Disney. Writing all the rhymes together was a fantastic experience, and it also led to Brian self-publishing his first book, Demon Dance.