The Walt Disney Company (also known as or simply as Disney) is a global media company that publishes video games through their affiliate company Disney Interactive Studios. Most of their video games are based on their movies and franchises, and only one, Spectrobes, is not based on a franchise.

The company has a Japanese division known as Walt Disney Japan Ltd.(JP)(CN)

Early History

The company was founded as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio on October 16, 1923 by Walt and Roy Disney following the bankruptcy of their previous company, Laugh-O-Gram Studio. For many years they created short films and movies featuring Mickey Mouse and other characters. One of their more notable movies include Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King. They have also created many theme parks, such as Disneyland, all of the parks at Walt Disney World, and others.

Disney's relations with Nintendo

In 1959, Hiroshi Yamauchi, then president of Nintendo, and Walt Disney Productions met and came to an agreement to manufacture playing cards with Disney characters on them.[1] The contract included much more than just playing cards, however. Nintendo was also given the rights to produce various products in Japan with Disney characters on them. This partnership ultimately resulted in Nintendo being accepted in the Kyoto Stock Exchange and the Osaka Stock Exchange due to the overwhelming popularity of the products. Interestingly, the first Nintendo TV adverts centered around Nintendo's Disney themed playing cards. Products included in this interesting and, for Nintendo, unprecedented arrangement are:

  • Disney playing cards: Certainly the most noteworthy product Nintendo manufactured were the playing cards that featured several Disney characters including Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Bambi, Sleeping Beauty, Lady and the Tramp, Peter Pan, and the 101 Dalmatians.
  • Board games: Many Disney themed board games were released, most of them centered around Mickey Mouse and his friends. Other Disney properties that got the board game treatment include Peter Pan, The Sword in the Stone, 101 Dalmatians, The Seven Dwarfs, Lady and the Tramp, and others. A Disneyland Game based on the California theme park was also released.
  • Disney Fricker: Disney themed rice seasoning that was very successful in Japan, surprising considering Nintendo's terrible track record when it came to food related products.
  • Alarm Clocks: Several Disney themed alarm clocks were released by Nintendo that featured Bambi, The Seven Dwarfs and Lady and the Tramp.


After the release of the SNES game Uniracers, the now Disney-owned studio Pixar (note: at the time they were not involved with Disney) sued Nintendo, claiming that the main character (a unicycle) was too similar to a character that was featured in a Pixar short (developers of Uniracers claimed that the similarities are due to the fact that both are meant to look like a unicycle). Pixar won the lawsuit and Nintendo of America was forced to remove the product from stores.

Walt Disney and Shigeru Miyamoto comparisons

Miyamoto has been referred to as the "Walt Disney of video games" by multiple press outlets. The following are just some of whom have labeled with this title.

  • New York Times (various comparisons to Walt Disney)
  • San Francisco Chronicle, October 2008 ("Shigeru Miyamoto, 55, has often been described as the Walt Disney of video games.")
  • Telegraph, June 2008 ("If there is such a man as a modern-day Walt Disney, then he is surely Shigeru Miyamoto.")
  • Time Magazine ("Chief game designer for Nintendo, Miyamoto has been called the Walt Disney of electronic gaming.")

Disney's effect on Nintendo employees

  • Shigeru Miyamoto has on multiple occasions stated that he grew up watching animated Disney movies. In an interview with GameInformer in April of 2008, Miyamoto mentioned that he hoped people would maybe decide to purchase Wii Fit instead of go to Disneyland. In one interview in London, Miyamoto mentioned how he wondered why parents often allow their children to watch Disney movies without thinking twice about it but will often question a Nintendo video game.
  • Stamoi Asakawa has stated that Disney's Alice in Wonderland is one of his favorite animated movies of all time. He also stated that after graduating college in Japan, he wanted to get a job working at Pixar or work on a movie similar to The Nightmare Before Christmas (a Disney movie).
  • Keisuke Nishimori has stated that after watching Toy Story he wanted to get a job at Pixar, a now Disney-owned company.
  • Composer Toru Minegishi has stated that Alan Menken, the man who created the music for many of Disney's classic musicals, is one of his favorite composers. He stated that Disney's music helped him create the songs for The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.
  • Yoichi Kotabe has stated that he grew up watching Disney animation.
  • Hideki Konno, in an interview with Nintendo Power, was asked which 3D movies he was interested in. Among the movies he mentioned were Alice in Wonderland, Toy Story 3 and Tron Legacy . All three of these movies were distributed by Disney.

Notable creations

Video games

See also: Category:Disney games

Kingdom Hearts series

The Kingdom Hearts series is a crossover franchise between all Disney properties and a few Square Enix franchises (mainly Final Fantasy, but The World Ends With You has also made an appearance in Dream Drop Distance). The series is lead by Tetsuya Nomura and developed by Square Enix with creative freedom given to them by Disney. Disney otherwise does not get involved aside from some consultation. Sora, the protagonist in the series, is playable in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Disney characters are not present in the Sora DLC.


Over the years, Disney has bought numerous media companies including some of the world's biggest media franchises. These include:

  • Star Wars
  • Indiana Jones
  • Marvel
  • The Muppets
  • Various 20th Century Fox (now 20th Century Studios) franchises including Alien, Avatar, Anastasia, The Simpsons, Family Guy, Ice Age and more

See also