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WDW's Adventurers Club lives on Disney Epic Mickey Digicomics

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WDW's Adventurers Club lives on Disney Epic Mickey Digicomics

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Greetings from kooky, crazy and crowded New York Comic Con.


Photo by Jim Hill

JHM will soon be posting multiple articles about what went on this past weekend at the Jacob Javits Center (with a particular emphasis on what was revealed at the TRON: Evolution , Marvel Television, Disney Comics and Disney Publishing Worldwide presentations & events). But - as kind of a Columbus Day treat - I thought that I'd talk about one special moment that occurred at Saturday night's Disney Epic Mickey panel.

Warren Spector (i.e. Creative Director of Junction Point & Disney Interactive Studios) was doing a brilliant job of getting the Disney faithful excited about this soon-to-be released Wii game. Talking about how thrilling it was to get to make a brand-new 7 minute-long Mickey Mouse short (which beautifully recreates the look of those classic Disney shorts of the 1930s) to serve as the opening sequence for Epic Mickey.


Warren Spector, Creative Director of Junction Point & Disney Interactive Studios.|
Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Spector also spoke about how exciting it was to be involved in the revival of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit's career. Better yet, to be given the opportunity to create a whole new back story for this forgotten Disney star who - at least in the world of this Wii game - is now Mickey's older brother. Who kind of resents the Mouse for coming along and then usurping his stardom.

To be honest, lots of big Disney Epic Mickey-related news was broken at Saturday night's presentation. Including the fact that voice acting veteran Frank Welker has been chosen to provide this Lucky Rabbit's voice.


Peter David, author of Disney Epic Mickey graphic novel & Digicomics
Photo by Jim Hill

But for those of you who are still mourning the loss of a certain Pleasure Island establishment, the really big news came when Peter David (i.e. the acclaimed author who's written the Disney Epic Mickey graphic novel & Digicomics that are being released in tandem with this new Wii game) asked the crowd in Room 1A21 "Who here is an Adventurers Club fan?"

When a mighty cry went up, David smiled and said "Then you're going to love the fourth story that I wrote for the Epic Mickey Digicomics. Which pays tribute to the Adventurers Club."


Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

How so? Okay. In order to tell you this story, I first need to give a little background on where Oswald has supposedly been living for the past 82 years (i.e. ever since Walt lost the rights to use his Lucky Rabbit character in any new cartoons and was then forced to create Mickey Mouse). Oswald - and many other Disney characters - have been living in the Wastelands. This special place that Yensid (i.e. the magician from "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" sequence in "Fantasia ") - deliberately set up so these Toons could then live out their days in a happy, safe place. Which is kind of a combination of Disneyland & Toontown from "Who Framed Roger Rabbit."


Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Anyway ... Oswald (because he's been keeping tabs on Mickey's career ever since 1928. So he's well aware of how popular the Mouse has become, who his friends are, etc.) has tried to replicate the Mouse's life in many ways. So where Mickey has great pals like Donald & Goofy, Oswald has had built animatronic versions of the Dawg & the Duck (Which - I know - sounds kind of creepy. But truth be told, these robotic versions of Goofy & Donald have good hearts. More importantly, they love Oswald and are just as loyal to him as the real Donald & Goofy are to Mickey).

Anywho ... Given that the Wastelands is a place where forgotten but beloved Disney things go ... Well, in Peter David's eyes, it only made sense that this was where the Adventurers Club would eventually wind up after WDW shut the original down in September of 2008.


Photo by Jeff Lange

But you have to remember that things are a little different in the Wastelands. Which is why the fourth Disney Epic Mickey Digicomic is set at the Misadventurers Club. Where - instead of competing for the Balderdash Cup - members of the Club now spin tall tales with the hope that they can then win the Rubbish Cup.

As David explained this story to me after Saturday night's panel had wrapped, this story is basically a valentine to the Adventurers Club. With this part of the graphic novel actually starting out with Oswald & Co. singing their version of the Adventurers Club theme song (i.e. "Marching along, we're misadventurers ..."). With the tale even ending with the last line of the club's motto (i.e. " ... but always dress for the hunt').


Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

What's more, the basic plot of this particular Disney Epic Mickey tale is a pretty faithful riff on the Adventurers Club's Balderdash Cup skit. With Oswald standing in for Otis Wren, Goofy playing Hathaway Browne and Donald channeling Emil Bleehall as they compete for the Rubbish Cup.


Photo by Jeff Lange

Which - I know - is going to thrill Adventurers Club fans. But wait. It gets better. As you click around the Disney Epic Mickey  iPhone / iPad / iPod Touch app (which should be released within the next 10 days), check out the costume that Clarabelle Cow wears. Which is clearly modeled after the outfit - sash & all - that Pamelia Perkins, the president of the Adventurers Club, used to wear when she led new member induction ceremonies.


Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Again, there are lots of great stories yet to come out of this year's New York Comic Con. But given that this is Columbus Day Monday (which proves that we - as a culture - like to pay tribute to great adventurers) ... Well, I only thought that it was appropriate that JHM post this story. So that you could learn about how Peter David made sure that the Adventurers Club would live on by resurrecting it in the Wastelands as Oswald the Lucky Rabbit's favorite hangout. And then be sure and pick up a copy of that Disney Epic Mickey graphic novel when it hits store shelves on November.

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  • Amazing! This game is part of what Disney has made the best in the last 5 years (with Princess & The Frog and the new Darkwing Duck comics)

    This game will make me buy a Wii (not the only reason, but still) I already hope they'll make more...

  • Such idiots they are for closing the Adventurers Club.

    Anybody fired over that debacle yet?

  • why would they get fired?

    The Club was losing money. At least having it sit there empty doesn't cost Disney any money.

    And Downtown Disney is as busy as ever. If anything, the guy will get a promotion and a bonus soon.

    I don't LIKE that, but that's the harsh reality

    :-{

  • Jim - It's Emil Bleehall...Not Bleehole.

  • "Disney Epic Mickey  iPhone / iPad / iPod Touch app (which should be released within the next 10 days)" -- how about an app for Android?

  • Dan at 10:19am - actually, the AdvClub was one of the few club that consistently DID pull a profit. It wasn't a huge one, but it certainly pulled its own weight better than, say, BET Soundstage.

    Also, the guy in charge of PI had nothing to do with the closing of the Club or even PI as a whole - that was the decision of Disney Corporate in CA. Until just a few days before they made the announcement that PI was closing, the AdvClub, as told to the performers by Meg Crofton, was "safe". But then the decision was changed by CA Suits who were over her head. Anyway, the guy in charge of PI was eventually put in charge of WDW Transportation, just a few months before the monorail accident where the 21y/o monorail operator died.

  • Darn it! I had my money on the resurrection of Adventurer's Club by Warren Spector when he finally got his hands on Ducktales! So close....

  • Susie Q, don't give up on the Club's resurrection.  Many, many rumors abound about its return.  Just keep up the faith and Kungaloosh!

  • Adventurers Club closed in September 2008, not 2009. Yes, it's been 2 years now and it and every other closed venue on PI still sit empty.

    If you want to visit Wastelands, just go to PI now.

  • In my experience, the Adventurer's Club is the only thing on Pleasure Island that people are still mourning the loss of. I think it was more a case of "location, location, location" that gave the Adventurer's Club the boot.

  • Always loved the Adventurers Club - and harbored a hope it would come to Anaheim, Ca.  Glad to see it getting the homage it so richly deserves!

  • Jim:  Thanks for the coverage and it was great chatting with you after the panel.  A small correction (and it's understandable since we were talking fast and on the fly):  Oswald actually has Otis T. Wren's part while the robotic Donald is Emil.  I'll grant you, Donald's character fits that of Otis more closely, but Oswald is the star and Otis has the larger role, so that's why I "cast" it the way I did.  

    PAD

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