Disney Twisted-Wonderland is, as far as we’re concerned, not even remotely early with its Halloween festivities. If anything, it’s right on time. “Twisted Halloween: Terror Is Trending” is now live on English-language servers. For the next month, you can explore Nigh Raven College, collect cards of your favorite students in costume, and grab bonuses.
As you unravel the creepy new storyline, keep an eye out. As usual, the game drops references to lots of other Disney properties. Here are a few we’ve spotted so far!
Mushu from Mulan
Seven Disney classics get the royal treatment in Twisted-Wonderland, with cute anime boys inspired by their legendary villains. 1998’s Mulan is notably absent from the proceedings… likely because a lovable bishonen take on Shan Yu would be tough even for Yana Toboso. But fans of the film get some rep in the form of Diasomnia’s haunted display.
Malleus Draconia (the literal dragon boy inspired by Sleeping Beauty‘s Maleficent) is fascinated by all sorts of dragons. His most recent rabbit hole is the long, or Chinese dragon. Malleus even makes reference to Mushu’s existence in this world’s history—hence him receiving pride of place at the front of their display.
Savanaclaw, the Twisted-Wonderland house inspired by The Lion King, went with a decidedly piratical theme this year. They claim the inspiration came from a certain legendary captain. Not to question Leona and his fellow students, but we think there might be other inspo.
The students mention being fans of the adventures of “Captain Moustache,” clearly another name for Captain Hook. Peter Pan is another film with no regular rep in the game, unless you count the Tinkerbell-esque elemental fairies causing mischief. But between the ghost pirate theme and the raggedy costumes covered in sea life, we’re getting a strong Pirates of the Caribbean vibe. The game makes it clear that it pulls primarily (if not exclusively) from animated features, which would exclude the hit film series. But the similarities feel somewhat intentional. At least, we choose to believe they are.
Besides being the Hades analogue of Twisted-Wonderland, Idia Shroud is the local nerd—and super relatable about it. Ignihyde’s haunted installation is inspired (according to Idia) by Creepy Hollow, his favorite cult horror flick. And Idia himself puts together some top-tier Worbla armor to cosplay as the film’s big bad, inspired by the Headless Horseman. Though in Creepy Hollow, under the pumpkin head is a smaller pumpkin.
This is, of course, a throwback to The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, a 1949 animation inspired by the Washington Irving short story and narrated by Bing Crosby. But you’ll find other references scattered throughout. Another student declares of Idia, “He is the Pumpkin King!” (a nod to The Nightmare Before Christmas). And closer to home, you can spot Pain and Panic from Hercules hiding in the library’s projection mapping.
Still feeling spooky? Check out the lovely skeleton pals of anime.