Brash Entertainment has announced today it's doing the Tale of Despereaux video game for Xbox 360, PS2 and Wii, set to release alongside the film on December 19th. The movie and the game are both based on an an award-winning book by Kate Dicamillo — would that make this the first video game yet tied into a Newbery Award-winner?
I saw this game when I visited Brash in New York a little while ago — the build I saw was very early, and being unfamiliar with the film, I couldn't tell how well it captured the aesthetic, but it did look cute, showing some scenes of a tiny little mouse whose friend was unhappy with his distinct un-mousiness. Despereaux isn't really interested in scurrying around and chewing things up — he kind of just wants to save a human princess. Aw.
Definitely a kids' title, though. It's still interesting to see how cross-media proliferates, a game from a movie from a novel. Full announcement and screens after the jump.
BRASH ENTERTAINMENT PRESENTS A SMALL HERO ON A BIG ADVENTURE IN 'THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX' VIDEOGAME
Hollywood Based Publisher Developing Videogame Extension of this Holiday's Highly-Anticipated Animated Adventure from Universal Pictures, Based on Newbery Award-Winning Book
Los Angeles, CA., July 10, 2008 - Brash Entertainment today announced development for The Tale of Despereaux, an interactive game based on Universal Pictures' animated adventure of the same name. The game shares the fairy-tale look and feel of the upcoming film about a chivalrous mouse, full of courage and honour. The Tale of Despereaux game—created through a licensing agreement with Universal Pictures Digital Platforms Group—will release in conjunction with the film, which arrives in theatres on December 19, 2008.
Directed by Sam Fell & Rob Stevenhagen and produced by Gary Ross and Allison Thomas, The Tale of Despereaux features the voice talent of Matthew Broderick, Robbie Coltrane, Frances Conroy, Tony Hale, Ciaran Hinds, Dustin Hoffman, Richard Jenkins, Kevin Kline, Frank Langella, Christopher Lloyd, William H. Macy, James Nesbitt, Stanley Tucci, Tracey Ullman, Emma Watson and Sigourney Weaver.
The game will follow and extend the film's storyline in adventures spanning from the magical kitchen and colorful rooms of the castle to the dark dungeons of the rat lairs. An introductory training mode, mouse-centric unique abilities, upgradeable skills and objects, and a lot of courage, will help Despereaux face off against a multitude of animal enemies and human foes on his quest to save Princess Pea. Multiple difficulty settings will ensure that a wide range of adventurers can enjoy Despereaux's heroics again and again.
"Whether charmed by the book or newly introduced to the characters via the film, children of all ages can expand on their love for Despereaux with this title," said Mitch Davis, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Brash Entertainment. "We're excited and proud to be translating this classic into an exciting, engaging and enriching game. "
"With its focus on publishing film-based games, Brash was the clear partner to develop the interactive adventure that would accompany the film and bring Despereaux to life on gaming screens," said Bill Kispert, VP and General Manager, Interactive, Universal Pictures Digital Platforms Group. "The game's attention to detail will allow players to explore all the nooks and crannies of the whimsical Kingdom of Dor."
The Tale of Despereaux will be available for the XBOX™ 360, PLAYSTATION®2 computer entertainment system, the Wii™ videogame system from Nintendo, and PC, and is set to scurry onto shelves this winter.
About The Tale of Despereaux Film
Once upon a time, in the faraway kingdom of Dor, there was magic in the air, laughter aplenty and gallons of mouthwatering soup. But an accident left the King broken-hearted, the Princess filled with longing and the townsfolk without their soup. Sunlight disappeared. The world became grey. All hope was lost in this land...until Despereaux Tilling was born.
A modern fairy tale, The Tale of Despereaux tells the story of several unlikely heroes: Despereaux (Matthew Broderick), a brave mouse banished to the dungeon for speaking with a human; Roscuro (Dustin Hoffman), a good-hearted rat who loves light and soup, but is exiled to darkness; Pea (Emma Watson), a Princess in a gloomy castle who is prisoner to her father's grief; and Mig (Tracey Ullman), a servant girl who longs to be a Princess, but is forced to serve the jailer (Robbie Coltrane).
Tiny and graced with oversized ears, Despereaux was born too big for his little world. Refusing to live his life cowering, he befriends a Princess named Pea and learns to read (rather than eat) books—reveling in stories of knights, dragons and fair maidens. Banished from Mouseworld for being more man than mouse, Despereaux is rescued by another outcast, Roscuro, who also wants to hear the tales. But when the Princess dismisses Roscuro's friendship, he becomes the ultimate rat and plots revenge with fellow outsider Mig.
After Pea is kidnapped, Despereaux discovers he is the only one who can rescue her...and that even the tiniest mouse can find the courage of a knight in shining armour. In this tale of bravery, forgiveness and redemption, one small creature will teach a kingdom that it takes only a little light to show the truth: what you look like doesn't equal what you are.
About Brash Entertainment
Brash Entertainment (www.brashent.com) is a video game company focused on developing compelling, high-quality games based on theatrical properties. By collaborating closely with top creative talent from both Hollywood and the game industry, Brash delivers deeply satisfying games that extend the filmmakersʼ vision into the best possible entertainment experience for gamers. The company has long-term partnerships with leading Hollywood studios including Lions Gate Films, Twentieth Century Fox Licensing and Merchandising, Universal Studios Licensing, Vanguard Animation, and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Currently, Brash has more than 40 licenses and 12 games in production across all genres including kids, horror, action, and adventure games. Launched with significant investment from a group of investors lead by Abry Partners LLC, Brash is committed to opening creative avenues for filmmakers and game developers, and providing gamers with exciting new ways to engage with the stories, characters, and drama of their favourite movies.
About Universal Pictures Digital Platforms Group
Universal Pictures Digital Platforms Group (UPDPG) is responsible for global digital product development, production, licensing, distribution, and growth strategy for the extensive catalogue of Universal's properties across new and emerging digital platforms, including mobile, video game consoles, personal computers, and other portable devices. With a worldwide mandate to help shape the digital future of Universal Pictures, the Group has offices in Universal City, California; London, England; and Tokyo, Japan.
Universal Pictures Digital Platforms Group is a unit of Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Universal Pictures. Universal Pictures is a division of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80% owned by General Electric and 20% owned by Vivendi.