The Art of Epic Mickey is a good example of what happens when Disney goes experimental. Epic Mickey, the Wii game, is unlike other Disney creation. It's a take on dark fantasy, with Mickey as the lead.
It's a 160-page hardcover book published by Disney Editions. The concept art features character designs, environment art and scene illustrations.
Character designs are wonderfully weird. You can see the cyborg versions of Goofy and Donald Duck or the strange ships made of Snow White's dwarfs. Some of the designs are influenced by the Misfit toys in Toy Story.
I'm intrigued mainly by the background art for the dystopian world created by the forgotten Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. The setting is bleak, the houses that are always leaning towards you and the various strange places. The art direction is unexpected and a surprise coming from Disney. It reminds me of how classic fairy tales are twisted in Shrek and the re-imagined world of Alice in Wonderland in Alice: Madness Returns.
The book also talks at length on the game production. It's interesting to read especially on the challenges of fitting the Mickey Mouse as a character into the game. There's also a lot on how they came up with the ideas for characters, the story and the setting.
This art book should appeal to fans of the game and artists into twisted dark fantasy art, albeit retaining strong influence to cartoon style in some areas.
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