Walt Disney is a major force in the lives of modern kids, whether you like it or not.
Their brand is so omnipresent, so in your face, that it seems like they absorb it almost by osmosis. For example, why do kids love Mickey Mouse? How often do you actually see Mickey Mouse cartoons these days? How many kids have actually seen anything with Mickey in it aside from clips? When you go to any Disney park, obviously Mickey is a huge presence, and mouse ears are probably the single highest-selling piece of merchandise at the parks, with kids thrilled to wear them. But… why?
I've noticed it in my own kids. On Allen's third birthday, we took him to Disneyland for his first trip there. The whole ride down to Anaheim, Toshi worked to get Allen hyped up, telling him how cool Mickey's house was, and by the time we hit the parking garage, Allen was basically hovering a foot above his chair, like a hummingbird, superexcited, and when he saw the posts in the garage that you use to find your car later, he pointed and started to bellow "IT'S MICKEY! I SEE MICKEY! LOOK! THERE'S MICKEY! MIIIIICKKKEEEEEEEY!"
This is a kid who's never seen a single scene that Mickey Mouse even appears in, and yet he's acting like it's Shea Stadium 1964 and the Beatles just hit the stage.