Why It Took Disney A Full Year To Approve Its Own Iconic Character For Its Own Video Game

Karyne Levy

The "Disney Infinity" video game is a huge moneymaker for Disney Interactive, the video game unit of Disney. In fact, the company projected that its revenues will reach $1 billion. 

"Disney Infinity" is an interactive open-world game, where you buy figures that then connect to the game and interact with each other. (Read more about how to play here.)

The executive producer behind "Disney Infinity," John Vignocchi, says that his favorite character in the game is Sorcerer's Apprentice Mickey, which was released earlier this year. 

"Sorcerer Mickey was without a doubt the hardest character to get clearance approval out of anyone who was in the first version of the game," Vignocchi told Business Insider. "Mickey as the Sorcerer's Apprentice is the most coveted character in the entire company."

He said that it actually took a full year to get the figure approved. In fact, he said, people within the company weren't too optimistic about getting it done at all.  

"For Captain EO, it's Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and the Jackson estate that you'd have to go through to get approval," he said. "So when we initially went around to corporate brand and inquired about incorporating the most iconic costume Mickey has ever dawned, their joke back to us was that it would be easier to clear Captain EO for you than it will be for Mickey as the Sorcerer's Apprentice. But we got it done."

And it seems like that year of hard work paid off. Sorcerer's Apprentice Mickey is one of the game's top sellers. 

Besides Mickey, other top-selling characters include Elsa from the movie "Frozen," as well as characters from "Guardians of the Galaxy." 

"With the releases of the 'Guardians of the Galaxy' movie, all of a sudden the 'Guardians' stuff just eclipsed everything," Vignocchi said. "Rocket Raccoon became the No. 1 preordered single figure, with Venom in second, and Groot in third."

Version 2.0 of "Disney Infinity," which includes Marvel superheroes, comes out next week. 

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