• Introducing Image Options for ResetEra 2.0! Check the left side navigation bar to show or hide images, avatars, covers, and embedded media. More details at the link.

Why is Mickey Mouse so elusive?

Oct 25, 2017
2,321
#52
Yeah, but I would think Disney would want MM to transcend kids stuff only as well. Similar to Pixar, which pays attention to both kids and adults.
I think Disney has diversified itself incredibly well, to where each age group has properties that target them like a laser. It's also worth noting that, anecdotally, girls and women seem to stick with the Mickey and Friends products as they get older. I'd be interested in seeing data on that.

The Pixar example is a good and interesting one. I'd point to Cars as the flagship Pixar franchise as far as being a money maker goes, which actually kind of follows the Mickey strategy in that it is absolutely massive with little kids, whereas people like us see it as nothing more than those kind of sub-par boring Pixar outlier films.

I get a kick out of threads like this because I was in your exact same shoes a few years ago. I even responded to a similar thread at the old place in agreement, saying that it seems Mickey is relegated to just being the mascot of the theme parks and the corporation itself. Then I had a kid, and it was actually hilarious to see how blind I was to the whole thing. It amazes me how there is basically no spillover.
 
Last edited:
Oct 25, 2017
344
#54
You can't move a millimeter in the parks without seeing those fucking ears. And he's got the series of "all ages" cartoon shorts and the edutainment stuff for little kids. That's enough.
 
Nov 30, 2017
6,481
#55
There was a point in time in the 90s where it felt like Mickey was everywhere but actual animation/movies. Aside from the Runaway Brain short in 1995, it was kinda difficult to see him in anything animated. Even if you wanted to watch some classic Mickey shorts, your only real option was the Disney Channel, and even then, they were relegated to throwback shows like Ink & Paint Club and Mickey Mouse Tracks, which would come on at ungodly early times in the morning on the tail end of the Vault Disney block (I specifically remember Ink & Paint Club coming on at 5:30 in the morning in my area; I'd have the family VCR set to record it at that time)

Wasn't until Mickey Mouse Works in 1999(?) and later, House of Mouse that they started using him with a bit more regularity in newer stuff.
 
OP
OP
entremet
Oct 26, 2017
13,446
#56
I think Disney has diversified itself incredibly well, to where each age group has properties that target them like a laser. It's also worth noting that, anecdotally, girls and women seem to stick with the Mickey and Friends products as they get older. I'd be interested in seeing data on that.

The Pixar example is a good and interesting one. I'd point to Cars as the flagship Pixar franchise as far as being a money maker goes, which actually kind of follows the Mickey strategy in that it is absolutely massive with little kids, whereas people like us see it as nothing more than those kind of sub-par boring Pixar outlier films.
Boomer market?
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,192
#57
I never had the Disney Channel. So he was rather elusive. Is the Disney Channel popular, even in todays' cable cutting edge? The Disney Channel was also not offered in every cable package when I grew up, so he was MIA.
Disney offers their shows/properties on streaming services like Netflix and Hulu now, with Mickey having shows for younger children on Disney Jr.

Also you've been describing the period of time where the Disney Channel used to be a "Premium" channel for Cable Services in the US. This hasn't been the case for years, as Cable providers moved the Disney Channel to it's "Basic" services years ago. So while you yourself feel Mickey has been elusive since you and many others in this period did not have access to the Disney channel unless you paid for the channel, this hasn't been the case for many people growing up.
 
OP
OP
entremet
Oct 26, 2017
13,446
#59
The retiree-market is the "buying infinite shit for the grandkids" market, so everything is targeted to them technically.
LOL. You're right. I was thinking about the Cruise ships actually haha. But those seem more younger family focused.

Cruise ships are licensed right? Does Disney run those?
 
Oct 27, 2017
316
#60
When it comes to Kingdom Hearts, Mickey sure stopped being elusive after KH1. Watching him explain deep, nonsensical RPG lore in those games is wild and I love it.
 
Oct 27, 2017
7,838
Seattle
#61
I remember a time when Mario was, at his height of popularity, more popular than Mickey Mouse. People used that little nugget to convey how popular Mario had become. I believe this factoid was done around Super Mario Brothers 3 release in the US. That game was a juggernaut at the time.

But even as a long time Disney fan, I always wondered why the Mouse was so elusive. He never had a show in the super popular Disney Afternoon. Fantasia was the last animated feature movie Mickey Mouse. I remember seeing the Prince and the Pauper short when I saw The Rescuer Down Under in the theaters. It was surreal because it was a modern production, at the time lol, with Mickey Mouse starring in it.

Even with the first Kingdom Hearts game, he remains rather elusive there. He becomes more involved in later games. But playing KH3, I saw Mickey on screen way more than any other medium in the last 10 years lol. Yep in KH lol. Too bad he's attached to the crazy KH story lol.

I do know about the recent shorts, which is a nice thing. But overall, which is Mickey so elusive with Disney. Using the Nintendo analogy, it's if Nintendo were to put Mario in a some vault, no pun intended, for many years. Sony's closest mascot is Kratos, and he gets a lot of love too. Same with Master Chief and Xbox. But you could say that's apples to oranges since Disney is way more broad as a company--film, parks, TV, and so on.
You don't have kids lol. Mickey Mouse has children from 2-6 with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Mickey Roadsters. Got to get the Disney into the veins rightaway
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,433
Toronto
#63
I understand where OP is coming from. Mickey has been represented all over the place over the years as a brand ambassador for Disney, but from a North American perspective, there's relatively little story-based media featuring him. Donald and Goofy have appeared in all sorts of memorable cartoon shorts and have been featured in half hour cartoons, but with Mickey, although I know he's been in more, I can't remember much beyond Fantasia, Steamboat Willy, A Christmas Carol, and that one where Chip and Dale get stuck in his tree.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,321
#65
LOL. You're right. I was thinking about the Cruise ships actually haha. But those seem more younger family focused.

Cruise ships are licensed right? Does Disney run those?
I think Disney actually runs those, but I can't be sure. I do know that they are absolutely first class productions from what I've heard, so I wouldn't be surprised if that were the case. Same with their Hawaiian resort.

The target market for those is definitely young parents with money who say "wait a minute, we can go on a cruise with unlimited daycare??"
 
Oct 25, 2017
344
#69
Yes, Disney runs their own cruise line. Originally they were going to partner with somebody else, but they couldn't get the numbers to work out to please everybody. Good thing as DCL is one of the best things about modern Disney.
 
Oct 27, 2017
298
Venezuela
#74
A LOT of babies grow up watching Mickey Mouse everything via Disney Channel and Disney Jr. You think that doesn't stick when growing up?

They are also putting a lot of avengers stuff in babies programming. Mickey does a very important job still.
 
Oct 27, 2017
8,158
#75
I'm more curious on why the Looney Toones dissapeared all of a sudden. In the 90's they were kinda "cool" tons of reruns from their classics in CN, videogames, space jam, appeared in lots of clothes, even the tiny toons, but suddenly, they stopped being "hip"

Even the reboots feel like they don't know what to do with them, the Seinfeld-esque show always felt odd to me
 

Kylo Rey

Banned
Member
Dec 17, 2017
3,442
#77
Haven't played that one. My favorite Mickey game is still Castle of Illusion, including the excellent remake that came out a generation ago.
In this game Mickey travel to many movies he made from steamboat to prince and pauper. It was great.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,321
#78
I'm more curious on why the Looney Toones dissapeared all of a sudden. In the 90's they were kinda "cool" tons of reruns from their classics in CN, videogames, space jam, appeared in lots of clothes, even the tiny toons, but suddenly, they stopped being "hip"

Even the reboots feel like they don't know what to do with them, the Seinfeld-esque show always felt odd to me
Yeah this is a good question. Looney Tunes are the ones who seem elusive these days. I'd have to go out of my way to find Looney Tunes branded stuff for my son.

Maybe they're still around for like the late elementary/middle school aged demographic?

I remember growing up there was a WB store at the mall bigger than the Disney store, full of Looney Tunes stuff. Now, I guess there's probably part of an aisle at Target or something?
 
Oct 22, 2018
3,908
#79
ABC doesn't really do a lot of Disney stuff in general from my impression (I almost never watch much TV these days) but they've been putting out a lot of Mickey shorts these days, and you can find them on Youtube easily, though I think they're made for broadcast on Disney Channel.
On the other hand, Mickeys Mouse Works and House of Mouse were very easy to catch on ABC back in the day, though the latter was a big focus when they launched Toon Disney.

This may be a reaction to the Eisner years, and are doing this to keep their icons from getting overexposed or associated with the sort of cheap pablum that dominated the Disney-on-VHS era like The Little Mermaid 2: Electric Eel Boogaloo (ft. Ursula's Crazy Sister!)
 
OP
OP
entremet
Oct 26, 2017
13,446
#80
Yeah this is a good question. Looney Tunes are the ones who seem elusive these days. I'd have to go out of my way to find Looney Tunes branded stuff for my son.

Maybe they're still around for like the late elementary/middle school aged demographic?
Time Warner has had a lot of corprorate changes unlike Disney over the years. They've merged. Sold some interest. Got bought again and so on. Iger has been with Disney much longer.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,433
Toronto
#81
I'm more curious on why the Looney Toones dissapeared all of a sudden. In the 90's they were kinda "cool" tons of reruns from their classics in CN, videogames, space jam, appeared in lots of clothes, even the tiny toons, but suddenly, they stopped being "hip"
Ya, they were a staple of '80s syndication and sorta sunk like a rock by the end of the '90s. Their popularity was an echo phenomenon. They were the cartoons all the executives and content creators of the time grew up with and worshipped.
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,906
Boise, Idaho
#82
I'm more curious on why the Looney Toones dissapeared all of a sudden. In the 90's they were kinda "cool" tons of reruns from their classics in CN, videogames, space jam, appeared in lots of clothes, even the tiny toons, but suddenly, they stopped being "hip"

Even the reboots feel like they don't know what to do with them, the Seinfeld-esque show always felt odd to me
After Time Warner bought Turner Enterprises(the owners of TBS, TNT, and Cartoon Network/later Boomerang) they struck a deal to make the Looney Tunes exclusives of the Turner channels. Which meant long running airings of the Looney Tunes on Nickelodeon and ABC, among others, ceased in 1999. The Turner channels ran the Looney Tunes with much fanfare until about 2004, when after the disastrous failure of the film Looney Tunes Back in Action WB decided to "retire"(so to speak) the franchise, with the exception of DVD releases very little was seen and heard from the property for several years. Since then they have had new shows and the original cartoons have come back to Cartoon Network and Boomerang, but they are a bit more sporadic than they used to be. There are several reasons they aren't really relevant to todays kids, but I feel the big reason is the WB-Turner agreement. WB could've easily continued to license the cartoons out to different networks and platforms that would've kept the characters in the public eye, but I think forcing them to only be available on a few select platforms really hurt the brand.

Though to be fair the original Disney cartoons, the Mickey series, the Donald Duck series, Silly Symphonies etc, were all run on television until some point in the late 90s-early 2000s until they too disappeared. Unlike the Looney Tunes who have had hundreds of their cartoons released on easy to come by DVD sets, the Disney content was only available very briefly on limited sets that quickly became very expensive. And there's no corporate fuckery going on either like there was with the Looney Tunes/WB, it's just Disney is weird for some reason. I'm holding out hope all the old cartoons and the early television productions will be made available on the new Disney streaming service, but who knows.
 
Last edited:
Oct 27, 2017
8,158
#83
After Time Warner bought Turner Enterprises(the owners of TBS, TNT, and Cartoon Network/later Boomerang) they struck a deal to make the Looney Tunes exclusives of the Turner channels. Which meant long running airings of the Looney Tunes on Nickelodeon and ABC, among others, ceased in 1999. The Turner channels ran the Looney Tunes with much fanfare until about 2004, when after the disastrous failure of the film Looney Tunes Back in Action WB decided to "retire"(so to speak) the franchise, with the exception of DVD releases very little was seen and heard from the property for several years. Since then they have had new shows and the original cartoons have come back to Cartoon Network and Boomerang, but they are a bit more sporadic than they used to be. There are several reasons they aren't really relevant to todays kids, but I feel the big reason is the WB-Turner agreement. WB could've easily continued to license the cartoons out to different networks and platforms that would've kept the characters in the public eye, but I think forcing them to only be available on a few select platforms really hurt the brand.
Well that sucks, even though the cartoons where from far beyond my time, I still loved them as a kid in the 90's so it sucks to see an ip that even as a kid I realized that had a huge legacy all of a sudden became irrelevant
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,906
Boise, Idaho
#84
I honestly think the marketing for Mickey Mouse is pretty smart really. Walt realized way back in the mid 1930s that Mickey wasn't a long term bankable star, after the character of Donald Duck(a character that had more personality than Mickey) became the biggest Disney star. Since then Disney has marketed the character as more than a mere cartoon character, they turned him into a sort of mythical figure. And it worked. For decades Mickey has been the embodiment of the "Disney Magic", all that has to be seen is the familiar shape of his ears and the feeling of that magic becomes apparent to most people.

Mickey doesn't need to star in new cartoons or film productions, he can remain immensely popular just being the mascot for Disney and the "magic" the brand produces.
 
Oct 25, 2017
848
#85
After Time Warner bought Turner Enterprises(the owners of TBS, TNT, and Cartoon Network/later Boomerang) they struck a deal to make the Looney Tunes exclusives of the Turner channels. Which meant long running airings of the Looney Tunes on Nickelodeon and ABC, among others, ceased in 1999. The Turner channels ran the Looney Tunes with much fanfare until about 2004, when after the disastrous failure of the film Looney Tunes Back in Action WB decided to "retire"(so to speak) the franchise, with the exception of DVD releases very little was seen and heard from the property for several years. Since then they have had new shows and the original cartoons have come back to Cartoon Network and Boomerang, but they are a bit more sporadic than they used to be. There are several reasons they aren't really relevant to todays kids, but I feel the big reason is the WB-Turner agreement. WB could've easily continued to license the cartoons out to different networks and platforms that would've kept the characters in the public eye, but I think forcing them to only be available on a few select platforms really hurt the brand.

Though to be fair the original Disney cartoons, the Mickey series, the Donald Duck series, Silly Symphonies etc, were all run on television until some point in the late 90s-early 2000s until they too disappeared. Unlike the Looney Tunes who have had hundreds of their cartoons released on easy to come by DVD sets, the Disney content was only available very briefly on limited sets that quickly became very expensive. And there's no corporate fuckery going on either like there was with the Looney Tunes/WB, it's just Disney is weird for some reason. I'm holding out hope all the old cartoons and the early television productions will be made available on the new Disney streaming service, but who knows.
that movie really hurt looney tunes and the actors that starred in it :( i enjoyed it at the time tbh
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,906
Boise, Idaho
#86
Also merchandise wise Mickey has been everywhere the last couple years, last year was his 90th birthday and Disney had agreements with all sorts of tie ins for Mickey and Minnie. Tons of Mickey toys, the character was licensed to Hot Wheels to be painted on the cars, Band Aid and Kleenex both put out special editions of their products with Mickey on them and so on. If you went into a Target store last summer there were a lot of Mickey signs and standees throughout the stores.
 
Oct 30, 2017
3,235
#88
Disney Channel?

I'm talking about major movies and such. He's relegated to Disney Channel, which is like some purgatory for dead properties lol.
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on DC probably generated more revenue that any single movie would to be honest. Dat family $$

Also, producing movies costs millions and is a gamble/risk. MM is developed, just keep selling MM gear, shows, and other loot and keep winning Disney.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,321
#89
Also worth noting on this topic: Winnie the Pooh is one of the most valuable IPs in the world as well, and the last time they put out a Pooh movie (which I believe was supposed to be top notch), it completely bombed.

Interestingly, my son is also all about Pooh and specifically Tigger, and he's never seen any of the Winnie the Pooh shows or films. Like Dwebble said above, some properties are "above" movies.
 
Last edited:
Dec 4, 2017
1,889
#91
TV and movies? He’s quite elusive there, even if there should be some recent Mickey cartoons with a pretty wild artstyle.

But here in Italy there’s still a comic book that’s been coming out once a week since well before I was born and is well past issue 3000. The Mouse is alive and well here, and you can see him at any newsstand.
 
Oct 30, 2017
416
#92
Wait, in Europe? You mean they don't exist elsewhere? Those comics are basically my childhood and they're great.
I just assume the comics aren't that popular in US, considering Don Rosa is nobody there and Carl Barks is mainly known as creator of DuckTales. I'm under the impression that northern europe and Italy are the strongholds of duck/mickey comics.
 
OP
OP
entremet
Oct 26, 2017
13,446
#94
Also worth noting on this topic: Winnie the Pooh is one of the most valuable IPs in the world as well, and the last time they put out a Pooh movie (which I believe was supposed to be top notch), it completely bombed.

Interestingly, my son is also all about Pooh and specifically Tigger, and he's never seen any of the Winnie the Pooh shows or films. Like Dwebble said above, some properties are "above" movies.
Winnie the Pooh is popular? He seems so ho-hum? Kinda like Leave it to Beaver lol.
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,644
#96
I think Disney has diversified itself incredibly well, to where each age group has properties that target them like a laser. It's also worth noting that, anecdotally, girls and women seem to stick with the Mickey and Friends products as they get older. I'd be interested in seeing data on that.

The Pixar example is a good and interesting one. I'd point to Cars as the flagship Pixar franchise as far as being a money maker goes, which actually kind of follows the Mickey strategy in that it is absolutely massive with little kids, whereas people like us see it as nothing more than those kind of sub-par boring Pixar outlier films.

I get a kick out of threads like this because I was in your exact same shoes a few years ago. I even responded to a similar thread at the old place in agreement, saying that it seems Mickey is relegated to just being the mascot of the theme parks and the corporation itself. Then I had a kid, and it was actually hilarious to see how blind I was to the whole thing. It amazes me how there is basically no spillover.
Yeah, this too. Minnie is everywhere for my daughter. I put her in her "minnie chair" every day at Daycare, and she has her minnie teething rattle thing. My niece has minnie everything too.

If you didn't own a Nintendo system Mario was just as elusive tho
In the 1990s, mario was on a ton of kids stuff. TV shows, movies, breakfast cereal, back packs, notebooks, binders, marbles, many toys, etc. I didn't have a nintendo console since the NES (up to the Switch), but I was still very aware of Mario as a character.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,870
#97
If my kid’s school is anything to go by all the Disney regulars are loved. Mickey is everywhere from shirts to backpacks
 
Oct 27, 2017
7,838
Seattle
#98
My Daughter is also full blown Minnie, but I can start to see some of the Elsa starting to drift in. happening in this household. When some say Disney has you from the Cradle to the Grave, they aren't lying.