Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Voice of Oswald

 "When it came to Oswald, I had a voice in my head and heard him talking to me all through the first game," says Spector.

He took that voice, along with scripts and Junction Point's character notes, to the Disney Character Voice Department, which works to ensure the official Disney characters sound the same across every medium. The staffers suggested Frank Welker, a voice actor with a 30-year career that includes Fred from Scooby Doo, roles on the The Smurfs, The Simpsons and Transformers — fans of the cartoon know him best as Megatron.

The Disney Character Voice Department strives to make characters consistant, meaning Welker will voice Oswald for all future cartoons, movies, games, or anything else Disney puts him in. Epic Mickey 2 has set the standard for Oswald going forward.

"It's amazing when you think about this media company that's the biggest in the world, and the most protective of their properties, deciding it was best to introduce this old character through a video game? Do you think that would have happened back in 1985?" Spector asks. "So now and forever, Frank Welker is Oswald."

Spector is a 30-year veteran of video game creation. He says it's hard to believe he was on The View and Good Morning America to promote Epic Mickey 2, a sign of how mainstream video games have become.

"When I started, no one cared. My mom cried when I dropped out of a PhD program to make games," he adds.

Of course, he's also working with the one of the world's biggest entertainment brands. Spector says his priorities have changed as he gets older. He wanted to make games that accomplished what classic Disney films and Pixar films could do: appeal to a mainstream audience of kids and adults. He said he feels Epic Mickey hit close to that mark.

"I had more fan mail than any game I had ever worked on. We were all amazed at the amount and emotion in the fan mail we got," Spector says.

Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two is out now for Wii U, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, Mac and PC, and a second player will be able to control Oswald along with Mickey Mouse.

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