Cartoon Wasteland: Remediating and Recommodifying Archival Media in Disney's Epic Mickey

Colleen Montgomery
2015 Media Industries  
The Walt Disney Company's multimedia empire understandably figures prominently in media industries studies of convergence, synergy, and cultural production in the age of the multinational conglomerate. While macrostructural, industry-based analyses are indispensable to understanding the industrial dimensions of Disney's cultural production, it is equally crucial to consider how the company's corporate strategies are brought to bear on the form and aesthetics of particular media texts-not only
more » ... ia texts-not only the most commonly analyzed media objects, such as movies and other filmed entertainment, but new media endeavors as well. Taking Disney's 2010 Wii video game Disney Epic Mickey as a case study, this paper thus examines how Disney's corporate synergy and remediation practices as well as creative participants' individual agency shaped the game's highly intertextual and digitextual design. Building on political economic analyses of Disney's corporate synergy, I discuss the ways in which Epic Mickey's redeployment of archival Disney media in a new-media, digital framework is shaped by Disney's broader reissuing and recommodification strategies. Drawing from media theory work on remediation, digitextuality, and prosthetic memory, I also argue that remembering and archiving, as discursive practices, are central to the game's formal/aesthetic logic and modes of user engagement. 2
doi:10.3998/mij.15031809.0002.105 fatcat:rx3xj6emabcm7jvwsrk7m3ua7e