10 Disney Characters The Rest Of The World Likes More Than Mickey Mouse – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Mickey Mouse has been the undisputed mascot of Disney since his initial conception in 1928, but the rest of the world couldn’t care less.
Mickey Mouse has been the undisputed mascot of Disney since his initial conception in 1928. What Disney fans may not know, however, is that unique and memorable Disney characters have been created in different parts of the world, introducing new characters that rival, if not surpass, Mickey’s popularity.
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Depending on a Disney Park’s country of origin, cultural relevance can often influence new character creations, as Disney attempts to appeal to a larger demographic. For those unfamiliar with these popular icons, don’t worry, even diehard Mouseketeers will be surprised by these Disney characters the rest of the world likes more than Mickey Mouse.
Duffy the Disney Bear was briefly introduced at Disney World in 2002 as “The Disney Bear.” Since the iconic bear’s introduction, his popularity has grown astronomically, especially in Japan. In 2005, Tokyo DisneySea added Duffy as a full-time “walk-around” character, with photo ops throughout the day.
Duffy is described as Mickey’s stuffed animal; however, as his popularity rose, his backstory and characteristics began to evolve as well. Interestingly, the lines to get a photo with Duffy are usually longer than those for Mickey at Tokyo Disney Resort. The character became so popular that parks had to limit how many stuffed bears patrons could buy to ensure they didn’t sell out.
Following Duffy’s overwhelming popularity, Disney began introducing other new and unique characters to expand upon the lore and maintain their characters’ relevance. In 2014, Gelatoni, an Italian cat with a beret, debuted at Tokyo Disneyland.
While on a cruise, Mickey and his stuffed bear Duffy visit Italy, where they meet Gelatoni. Duffy learns that Gelatoni can paint with his tail and the two become fast friends. Like Duffy, Gelatoni became immensely popular with fans, especially in Shanghai.
Donald Duck is a Disney icon, universally recognized around the world as Mickey’s short-tempered yet loyal friend. However, some Disney fans may not know that Donald’s popularity has surpassed Mickey in many European countries, especially Sweden.
Over the years, Donald has become a cultural phenomenon in Sweden. Every Christmas, for more than 60 years, Swedes watch a Donald Christmas special called Kalle Anka och hans vänner önskar God Jul (From All of Us to All of You) complete with a live host portraying Walt Disney, or “Uncle Walt.”
StellaLou, another of Duffy’s friends, was first introduced in 2017 as part of Tokyo DisneySea’s Easter celebration. According to her backstory, she first met Duffy while practicing her dancing near DisneySea’s iconic S.S. Columbia.
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Like Duffy and Gelatoni, StellaLou is now a full-time walk-around character at some of the Disney Parks and has become a notable fan favorite. Most recently. StellaLou made her debut at Aulani, a Disney resort in Hawaii, where she learned how to Hula dance with her friend ‘Olu Mel.
Considering Disney’s Ratatouille is set in Paris, it’s no surprise that everyone’s favorite culinary rat, Remy, is exceptionally popular in France, especially Disneyland Paris. In addition to having Ratatouille walk-around characters, Disneyland Paris also has a unique ride dedicated to film, L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy or Ratatouille: The Adventure.
Not only do they have a ride, but Disneyland Paris also features a Ratatouille themed restaurant called Bistrot Chez Rémy. The fine-dining restaurant cleverly includes “oversized” fixtures, allowing patrons to experience dining through Remy’s eyes.
One of Duffy’s more recent friends, ‘Olu Mel, was first introduced in 2018 at Aulani Disney Hawaii Resort. Like Gelatoni, ‘Olu Mel has become remarkably popular at Shanghai Disneyland, even though he only debuted less than a year ago.
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A walk-around character version of ‘Olu Mel debuted in Shanghai Disneyland in 2020 during their A Month with Duffy & Friends event and has since become a staple at the park. Following suit, Hong Kong Disneyland introduced the walk-around ‘Olu Mel that same year to celebrate its 15th anniversary.
Tippy Blue, a mail delivering seagull, first appeared at Tokyo DisneySea’s Mediterranean Harbor. After overhearing Duffy’s concerns about traveling without Mickey, Tippy volunteered to hand-deliver their letters, allowing the pair to stay in touch.
Though not as popular as Duffy or his friends, Tippy Blue makes several appearances at Tokyo DisneySea, most notably as the narrator for their live show, My Friend Duffy, and as a statue in the park. He even has a line of merchandise allowing fans to get their Tippy Blue souvenirs and collectibles.
CookieAnn, who debuted at Hong Kong Disneyland in 2019, added a culinary aspect to Duffy and Friends. Interestingly, CookieAnn was the first of Duffy’s friends not to be introduced at Tokyo DisneySea. As such, the character has become particularly popular in her native Hong Kong.
Like Duffy and his friends, CookieAnn is also a walk-around character at some Disney Parks, consistently drawing big crowds. With the addition of a “baking” character, Disney was also able to include unique “CookieAnn inspired” food items at their parks.
ShellieMay, first introduced in 2011 at Tokyo DisneySea, was created by Minnie, intended as a friend for Mickey’s Duffy. When the two stuffed bears first met, Duffy offered his new friend a treasured seashell, shaped like a heart, inspiring Minnie to name her bear “ShellieMay.”
ShellieMay, whose popularity rivals even that of her counterpart Duffy, is a highly sought after walk-around character at Tokyo DisneySea. She currently makes several appearances around the park and has a dedicated meet and greet area.
It would be nearly impossible to discuss Disney characters more popular than Mickey without mentioning the groundbreaking popularity of Elsa. According to a recent study, Frozen is currently the most popular Disney movie in the world, with its sequel, Frozen II, being the highest-grossing animated film ever.
Frozen fans wait for hours at Disney Park meet and greets, with Elsa’s popularity far surpassing Mickey. Not only that, but Frozen merchandise recently drew in more than $100 billion in retail sales, exemplifying Elsa’s undeniable global popularity.
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Nicholas is a content creator with a background in marketing. He received a B.A. in Literature from UCSC and is a published author with a passion for storytelling through research-based writing. Nicholas is currently a List Writer for CBR.com (Comic Book Resources), who has loved comics for as long as he can remember. With a particular interest in DC and Marvel, Nicholas brings a unique and humourous writing style to CBR.


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