Miyamoto Wants Nintendo as Big as Disney, But Parents Still a Huge Obstacle

Famed developer and creator Shigeru Miyamoto wants Nintendo's Mario to dethrone Disney's Mickey Mouse as the top global mascot.

In a new piece from Japanese publication Nikkei, Mario creator and famed developer Shigeru Miyamoto stated how he wants the gaming company Nintendo as big as Disney one day and for Mario to take over as the most recognized global icon. However, the biggest obstacle standing in the way of that goal — at least as Miyamoto puts it — are parents themselves.

According to Miyamoto: “Many parents want to keep their children from playing video games. But these same parents have no problem allowing them to watch Disney movies. This contradiction bothers Miyamoto and could thwart his plans to topple Mickey. We cannot seriously challenge [Disney] unless parents start feeling comfortable about their children playing Nintendo.”

Miyamoto feels his character can just about hold its own against Disney’s Mickey Mouse — the entertainment giant’s iconic mascot — in regards to its cultural impact and financial success. But he still thinks he has a long way to go before Mario becomes as thoroughly ingrained in minds of billions around the world as Mickey has, a journey that may take generations.

Back in October, Shigeru Miyamoto was selected as a Person of Cultural Merit, a Japanese award honoring people who have made outstanding cultural contributions to the country. His interview with the media took place around the same time as the awards ceremony.

It looks like Nintendo has already taken strides in expanding its offerings due to its long term project: a Super Mario-themed Super Nintendo World, which received new images showing that the theme-park is still under construction.

Universal Studios Japan released a teaser trailer for the upcoming park back in 2017. The trailer shows Mario making his way around the park, traversing pipes and collecting coins and ultimately hanging from the goal pole while the park operates beneath him. The iconic flag sits atop a platform that seems to mirror the iconic castle at Disney’s Magic Kingdom and gives attendees a point of reference while the travel throughout the park.

If you’re concerned that you’ll have to get a flight over to Japan to experience it, back in 2016, Nintendo revealed plans to introduce Universal Studios theme parks around the world, including Orlando, Hollywood, and Osaka.

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Allisa James

Senior Weekend Staff Writer for DualShockers. Loves JRPGs, artbooks, and anime.

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