• Mario vs Mickey Mouse: Who Is More Popular Nowadays?

Mario vs Mickey Mouse: Who Is More Popular Nowadays?

Luiz Alberto H.

Created: Mar 25, 2024

Last Updated: Mar 26, 2024

Mario vs Mickey Mouse: Who Is More Popular Nowadays?

Mario vs Mickey Mouse. A battle for the ages. Both are amongst the most well known characters of all time, but who is the most popular one in the year of our lord 2024? Is it our friendly Italian plumber created in Japan, or the Mouse that has been the main face of Disney for decades?

This is a hard one. Let’s take a look at Mario first, shall we?

Mario enters the rink

Mario has been a huge success for ages. Compared to Mickey, he is rather young, debuting in his first ever videogame in 1981. He was even called Jumpman back then, and had to save the princess from a giant gorilla named… Donkey Kong. Since then, his name was finally unveiled as being Mario for Super Mario Bros in 1985 and the little guy has been a huge success since then. Oh, except for his first ever movie in 1993. We don’t talk about that.

universal-super-nintendo-world-mario-kart.jpeg

Mario is a powerful brand. He has been the face of some of the best games of all time, like Super Mario Bros 3, Super Mario World and Super Mario 64. He has driven karts in Super Mario Kart, he has participated in the Olympics and he has even been fighting all sorts of crazy characters in Super Smash Bros. His games are often praised by players and critics alike. Not only that, he has been so popular that Universal even decided to enter a partnership with Nintendo for Super Nintendo World in Hollywood and, soon enough, in Epic Universe.

Oh, his recent movie was also a huge success, raking in billions at the box office. It was such a triumph that Disney's CEO, Bob Iger, publicly congratulated Universal. This came at a time when Disney was facing challenges with its own movies at the box office, and it’s still happening up to this day. I guess people really love the Mushroom Kingdom.

Let’s say that Mario is having a pretty good time.

How is Mickey doing in 2024?

What about Mickey Mouse? We all love that charismatic guy, c’mon. Mickey Mouse debuted in 1928 in the classic cartoon Steamboat Willie. Yeah, that was more than half a century before Super Mario! Since then, he has been the face of awesome cartoons and movies, like Fantasia and Mickey's Christmas Carol. He has also been the official mascot of Disney, putting his face in front of every Disney park across the world. It’s kinda crazy that he has been popular for such a long time, and people still easily recognize those beautiful ears.

Chef Mickey's Disney world (5).webp

We don’t see much of Mickey Mouse outside the theme parks nowadays. I’d say that, when it comes to theme parks, he is still the king. People just link the idea of roller coasters, dark rides and fun shows with Disney… and Disney is all about theme parks and fun for the entire family. He is still extremely popular when it comes to taking pictures at Magic Kingdom, or watching him fight Maleficent at Hollywood Studios’ Fantasmic.

I do wish Disney did more with Mickey outside their theme parks. Sure, there are new Mickey Mouse cartoons nowadays, and they even use the artstyle that we also see in Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway. They are fun, short 5 minute stories which are great for kids. Let’s not forget, though, that the competition in TV is incredibly fierce nowadays, since Mickey has to compete with popular IPs like Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig, Bluey, cartoons from Nickelodeon and much more.

It's interesting that we don't see the same dynamic in the video game industry, despite new games launching every day. Nintendo is almost synonymous with family-friendly entertainment, and this is reinforced by their focus on designing games with families in mind. That's why the Nintendo Switch isn't as powerful in terms of hardware. Nintendo prioritizes their first-party titles and emphasizes quality above all else. While new family-friendly games are released nearly every month, none come close to the iconic status of Mario in terms of sheer influence and popularity.

The future is bright for both of them

Will we see more of Mickey in the videogame space, or expanding more and more to streaming services and movies? I honestly don’t know if, outside of theme parks, Mickey is powerful enough to attract a new audience to movie theaters nowadays. Disney did make a new deal with Epic Games recently, and we are supposed to see a “Disney World” inside of Fortnite sometime soon. Here is my idea…

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Make a Disney multiverse inside Fortnite, or a complete new Massive Multiplayer Game based on it. Disney has incredibly powerful IPs, so it would be fun to see Mickey, Goofy, Hercules, Woody, Princess Elsa, Cinderella, Jasmine, Maribel, Asha and everyone else in a single, ever-evolving world. Seriously, put them in a game where multiple players can join, get quests and just chill with each other. Fortnite has been a multi-billion dollar franchise for a while, and it’s grown so powerful that live concerts and movie trailers are held inside the game! Why can’t Disney make something like this? Create their very own world in a virtual setting, and let people watch Disney+ there, or put new trailers for movies with their friends and so on. Just don’t go crazy with microtransactions, Disney… please.

With all that said, I’d definitely say that, with kids, Mario is more popular nowadays. It’s hard to not find a kid that doesn’t have a Nintendo Switch and hasn't played Mario Kart at least once. Mickey is mostly related to theme parks and we do see him in some cartoons, and there is a chance we will see more of him now that Disney plans to invest billions in their brand and have that new deal with Epic Games.

Mario and Luigi Plush

You also can’t go wrong with any of them. Both Mario and Mickey are synonyms of entertainment and good times, and it doesn’t matter if we are talking about theme parks, games or movies. I’d certainly take a picture with any of them… or invite them for a beer. Yeah, a good idea for sure.

Oh, after all that was said and done…*ahem*... Mario, how about inviting Mickey for the next Super Smash Bros? Yeah, Mickey and Mario exchanging blows, now that’s something I’d pay to see.
 

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