I've heard people compare Nintendo to Apple as of late, but here's an article from the New York Times which basically compares Shigero Miyamoto to Walt Disney. And Mario to Mickey Mouse—apparently Mario is only second to Mickey as the most recognized fictional character around the world (I guess they both have white gloves!). A fun article; give it a read. This was something of particular interest to me:
"Just as a film is not measured by the quality of its special effects, a game is not measured merely by its graphics. This concept is lost on many designers, but not on Mr. Miyamoto. And just as a film buff might prefer to watch an old black-and-white movie instead of, say, “Iron Man,” even Mr. Miyamoto’s earliest games hold up as worthy diversions."
via Cartoon Brew