In response to "Mickey's Epic" from The Escapist forums:
I think there's a couple issues with Kingdom Hearts being a "revival", though I confess I've never played Kingdom Hearts myself. I was in high school when it came out so the very notion of combining Final Fantasy (ignoring all the NES and SNES variants) with Disney (which I was in high gear to hate) was appalling. Part of me still wants to throw up a little bit at the sheer popularity of what is the penultimate figure head of "selling out".
I think the major issue here, however, is that the game attracted a large fan base not because of Disney, or at least not primarily, but because of the Final Fantasy element. If it was exclusively a Disney based RPG without a single sign of Cloud or Sephiroth, I guarantee you that it wouldn't have become nearly so popular. People were drawn into seeing their favorite Final Fantasy characters meet Disney characters, not the other way around.
In addition, just because Mickey is "a certifiable bad ass" doesn't mean his character has meaning. I still have trouble taking the later Harry Potter books seriously when they continue throwing childish and idiotic terms like "Muggle" around, attempting to say it with a straight face. I imagine there's a significant number of people with the same issue. The aesthetic I've gotten with Kingdom Hearts is that they're trying to take family entertainment aimed in particular towards children and make it "grown up", and no matter how "successful" you are at such a thing it will still have that aspect of it that is nothing short of silly.
Epic Mickey, on the other hand, didn't try to make Mickey become grown-up. There were mature themes, yes, but the characters were always mischievous in a child-like manner. Mickey was a bit of a rascal and his long-lost brother reacted as a jealous sibling might. It captured emotions that a child can understand and an adult can reflect nostalgically on.
In other words, Epic Mickey sought to give meaning to the character by taking what was already there rather than trying to pretend Mickey could be something he wasn't (in the case of Kingdom Hearts, a certifiable bad ass). Considering how many people that don't even care for Disney had wanted to play the game because of this, because it was a new and fresh interpretation of a character they thought they knew while staying true to the years of history, I think it grabbed an audience it wouldn't have before.
Whereas Kingdom Hearts only truly grabbed Final Fantasy fans first, and what few Disney die-hards continue to exist after.
In response to "Cast Member for Life" from The Escapist forums:
My family has a long history of Cast Members. I had an Uncle that started as a stilt walker in Epcot in the early 90s to an executive of the Walt Disney Franchise, which then got him a job with the State Department. Since then every nephew as would up at Disney in some form or another doing everything from the Jungle Cruise to Animating at Pixar.
So now that my biases are out the way, Disney is still by far the best place I've ever worked and it breaks my heart to see a lack of enthusiasm about it in my little sister's generation. I see the Mouse as one of my fondest memories and a symbol of all the fun I've had at Disney, but to her it's just some old cartoon character.
I would highly recommend working at Disney World to anyone, and the 9/11 crack down is a lot better than it used to be. If you see a flock of Goofy's in dark suits and ear pieces though... you may want to duck.