Whilst there's a lot of popular Disney picks to potentially go with, I feel the main issue is that we might find ourselves in similar trappings to other Disney rosters from the off. There's a lot of iconic "things" to represent overall - be they the ever-popular Disney Princesses line, Mickey Mouse and his cartoon-origin pals, or even some of Disney's more unusual properties like the Medfield College collection. However, I felt a really solid pick for an opener would be someone inspired - iconic, but unique. Someone practically perfect in every way.
Character Name: Mary Poppins
First Appearance: Mary Poppins (1964)
A representation of a genuinely under-represented aspect of Disney's library - namely live-action media and musicals - Mary Poppins is the magical nanny that arrives one day in London, riding clouds and eventually caring for the Banks children. With a touch of magic and her own natural skill, she ends up guiding those around her on a better path, eventually leaving on the wind once more to many more of her most unusual adventures. Amongst other places, she appears to have arrived in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
's Toontown and even as a townsperson in Disney Infinity
, perhaps indicating her relative importance.
Mary herself could have an incredibly unique moveset that really wouldn't be replicable by other characters. Whilst movement tools such as her umbrella spring to mind as obvious inclusions, I think her having an incredibly unorthodox moveset utilising her magical abilities would be wonderful. Whether it be her opening her carpetbag and revealing her hatstand, which springs forward and hits her opponent - or perhaps sprinkling a spoonful of sugar that stuns enemies around her - she'd have a very unique playstyle overall.
Of course, Mary Poppins isn't a character originally made by Disney - like much of Disney's catalogue, her original film was a loose adaptation of written works (in this case by P. L. Travers.) However, this hasn't stopped her - and others! - becoming much more well-known for their Disney incarnations, so I feel she'd be a reasonable inclusion.
Nintendo's library is quite interesting to give thought to. Given it's already been represented through the Super Smash Bros.
series, perhaps there'll be a little bias that comes about because of that. Nonetheless, I've been considering this role and I think I've come to a solid conclusion. This one feels like it'll be a blast.
Character Name: Donkey Kong
First Appearance: Donkey Kong (1981)
Arguably one of Nintendo's first icons, Donkey Kong - the banana-loving gorilla hero (and sometimes villain!) - feels like a natural inclusion into a fighting game like this. With a lengthy and storied history within Nintendo's catalogue - be it as an icon of a new arcade contender in the early 80s, a trailblazer of the collectathon genre in the 90s, or a beloved, tough-as-nails platformer icon in the modern era - Donkey Kong's got a lot to work with, and a personality to match. Few characters in Nintendo's catalogue have anywhere near the pedigree that this guy has - he's the leader of the bunch for a reason, after all.
In terms of moveset, I feel like a grappler would suit him fairly well, but it would still be cool for him to represent aspects of his appearance across the board. Seeing him pick up a barrel and smash it on his opponents' head, for instance, could be really fun - but it's important to try and make a balance between his appearances overall. Nonetheless, he's an iconic and logical pick for a roster like this, who feels like he's important enough to be obvious, but not quite obvious enough to be a "well, duh." pick.
This might seem like a bit of an odd point, but I think a total of 50 characters - 25 in each side - feels like a solid foundation. It's a big number,
especially for a traditional fighting game - but Disney and Nintendo both have a lot to work with. (I personally feel Disney might have a little too much
to work with given their library now includes Marvel, FOX and Star Wars... but maybe we'll look into that later down the line.) I think 25 on each side allows for plenty of "obvious" picks to get in whilst also leaving just enough space for some less obvious but still cool inclusions, and maybe an oddball on each side to boot. This isn't taking into account DLC yet, though. I feel we should cross that bridge when we come to it.