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Insert Credit: “Disney Epic Mickey”

Insert Credit: “Disney Epic Mickey” (photo)

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Insert Credit endeavors to suss out where you should be allotting your video game allowance, sifting out a single title from many and crowning it as The One Game You Need to Get This Week. Don’t consider these reviews, gentle reader. Rather, think of Insert Credit as a mix of hands-on time, informed opinion and intuition.

For the week of November 29, 2010, you should insert credit into: “Disney Epic Mickey.”

Everybody’s been calling it “Epic Mickey” but the full name of the game includes the last name of the mega-entertainment company’s founder Walt Disney, but it also now stands for a brand. For some, it’s a saccharine, Pollyanna sensibility that’s become shorthand for safe, bland entertainment.

It’s easy to forget that there was a man behind the empire, a man full of the quirks and contradictions that we all possess. What “Disney Epic Mickey” restores is a bit of the variable universality to Walt’s most famous creation. Somewhere in his history, Mickey ossified into a smiling cipher, losing the mischief and wit seen in “Mickey & the Beanstalk,” “Fantasia” and other classic films. Junction Point’s work in the game restores some of that mischief and more importantly, leaves it up to the player as to what kind of Mickey Mouse they want to inherit.

The game mostly plays as a running-&-jumping platformer, but with one important difference. The magic brush Mickey wields dispenses paint that lets him restore the crumbled structures in the Wasteleand limbo where forgotten Disney characters dwell. It also shoots out thinner that dissolves those same buildings and other toons, too. The game tracks how much you recreate or destroy the Wasteland and its characters’ reaction to your Mickey change accordingly. But, it often feels like you’re fighting the controls in the game. The camera’s tough to steer and doesn’t always track the action well. Less patient players will find themselves frustrated by the imprecision of the Wii-mote for the aiming portions of the game, too.

Despite all that, Mickey still winds up being a hero in “DEM.” The very fact that Disney’s putting out a game where its big-eared moneymaker can be less than totally virtuous is laudable. Adults can get a Mickey that’s more complex and younger gamers can get a sense of what made him popular in the first place. “Disney Epic Mickey” may be a little rough around the edges but it’s a game that manages to add more depth to the title character than any other experience in years.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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