Friendly reminder that Atlantis: the Lost Empire was under consideration for KH1



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Happy Atlantis: The Lost Empire Anniversary, y'all! To commemorate this occasion, I thought it'd be a great time to remind everyone that this wonderful film was under consideration for the original Kingdom Hearts~

Back in October 2002, the Official U.S. Playstation Magazine did a special Q&A with key members of the development team, including Tetsuya Nomura (Director), Jun Akiyama (Event Planning Director + Scenario Writer), Tatsuya Kando (Animation Director) and Yuichi Kanemori (Battle Planning Director).

—What part wound up on the cutting-room floor that you most wanted to see make the game [character, level, gameplay idea, etc.]?

Nomura
: A lot! In the very beginning, we were thinking about 30 worlds. In my mind, it’s natural that you have a larger piece to work with, then go through the elimination process. So 30 might sound like a lot, but if you think about it, in the end, you really have to cut out a lot of things. If there was a small number from the very beginning, you never know how many worlds you’d end up with.

One world we cut was Atlantis. It would have been a great opportunity to actually promote Atlantis itself. But the movie has a lot of vehicles, and we just have the Gummi Ship. So it wasn’t really a good fit in this game, because it would only be to place those vehicles or robots and fight with them. There was no good connection to the other worlds, and the story just didn’t fit that well.
And now that I have your attention, here are some other interesting quotes:

On casting Haley Joel Osment:

—Why Haley Joel Osment?

Nomura
: Finding the right Japanese voice was a very extensive process, especially for Sora, Riku, and Kairi, the main three characters. We had many, many auditions to find the perfect people to fit those three characters’ images. Even with some of the other characters, we looked for the perfect matches, and we would call back actors several times to read the lines again. For the U.S. version, even before the Japanese Sora was cast, I already had Haley Joel Osment in mind. I hoped he would play the role, and I’m very happy he has done it. For the other characters, it was more of matching up their voices to the Japanese voices – to be as similar and to be as close as they can in English to the Japanese voices. When foreign movies, especially Hollywood films are shown in Japan, Japanese people can’t really judge the skills of actors and actresses from U.S. But his [Haley Joel Osment’s] skills are very apparent; it’s very clear that he’s a very good actor. I’m a big fan of his work.
Ideas rejected by Disney:

—Were there any ideas from Disney or Square that the other group didn’t agree with?

Akiyama
: We had quite a bit of freedom crafting the storyline by combining various worlds through a theme, but one rule we had to go by was that characters from independent stories do not cross over with each other – meaning Aladdin would not meet Tarzan. Within the game, each world is depicted like a planet floating in space and Aladdin would not travel with Tarzan [Goofy, Donald, and the Princesses of Heart were the exceptions]. However, there were a few ideas in the early scripts that got rejected – they all had to do with the “bathroom”. I don’t think there were any other strict guidelines other than that.

Nomura: I wanted to include Walt Disney in the game, but that got rejected!
Read the rest here.
 
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Zettaflare

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While having Atlantis in the first game would have been nice, I don't mind that it was cut. With today's technology that world will come out much better in the next saga.

What's also hilarious is that they wanted Walt Disney himself in the game 😂. What would he have done?
 

FudgemintGuardian

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A shame Atlantis didn't make it in the first game, but I'm happy with what worlds we did get. I also feel the first game wouldn't have done it justice from both a graphical standpoint and the length Disney worlds were.

WE BETTER GET IT IN THE FUTURE, DAMN IT!

What's also hilarious is that they wanted Walt Disney himself in the game 😂. What would he have done?
Maybe either being the mayor of Destiny Islands (given its significant anagram of "It's Disneyland") or possibly Kingdom Hearts itself.
 

Zettaflare

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A shame Atlantis didn't make it in the first game, but I'm happy with what worlds we did get. I also feel the first game wouldn't have done it justice from both a graphical standpoint and the length Disney worlds were.

WE BETTER GET IT IN THE FUTURE, DAMN IT!

Maybe either being the mayor of Destiny Islands (given its significant anagram of "It's Disneyland") or possibly Kingdom Hearts itself.
Oh wow, Destiny Islands really is an anagram for that phrase. That's pretty ingenious.

I think if Walt Disney was in he would have been the mentor to the heroes like Yen Sid
 
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Divine Past

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A shame Atlantis didn't make it in the first game, but I'm happy with what worlds we did get. I also feel the first game wouldn't have done it justice from both a graphical standpoint and the length Disney worlds were.

WE BETTER GET IT IN THE FUTURE, DAMN IT!

Maybe either being the mayor of Destiny Islands (given its significant anagram of "It's Disneyland") or possibly Kingdom Hearts itself.

He could have been Kairi's grandpa.
 

FudgemintGuardian

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Oh wow, Destiny Islands really is an anagram for that phrase. That's pretty ingenious.

I think if Walt Disney was in he would have been the mentor to the heroes like Yen Sid
It's always fun seeing someone finding out about the anagram for the first time. 😆

Makes me wonder if using Yen Sid was a workaround to using Walt Disney.

He could have been Kairi's grandpa.
*gasp!* What if he was originally going to be the one telling young Kairi the fairytale in the flashback instead of her grandma?!
 

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Had Atlantis been in the first game I think Rourke would have been an independent villain like Clayton instead of on Maleficent's council.

Would have made sense for the heartless to be attracted to the darkness and greed in his heart
 

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*gasp!* What if he was originally going to be the one telling young Kairi the fairytale in the flashback instead of her grandma?!

It's a shame Atlantis couldn't get in after all these years. Whatever Nomura's original ideas were, I wonder if they would've gone through as of KH3.
 

Face My Fears

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I never knew that Atlantis was considered for KH1. I'm glad it got cut though because I feel that KH1 has the perfect number of worlds and pacing. Also, I feel like Atlantis is a world that would be served better with the current technology.

I hope that they can go back to Disney giving them that much freedom. I'm fine with Aladdin never meeting Tarzan or whatever arrangements could happen, if the flow and use of worlds can return to KH1 style I would be so thankful.

I wonder what those rejections related to the "bathroom" were?
 

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Whoa, Atlantis being considered for Kingdom Hearts is news to me. Though to be brutally honest, most of the worlds in Kingdom Hearts were from the Disney Renaissance and Disney's Silver Age. Having a Post-Renaissance Disney world for the first entry probably wouldn't have thematically worked as well.

As a summary, here are the worlds considered for Kingdom Hearts that have never made it into the final games:

The Jungle Book
Atlantis: The Lost Empire
Treasure Planet

These worlds all seem like perfect candidates for Kingdom Hearts IV. They're all environmentally distinguishable worlds and have been considered at one point to be part of a Kingdom Hearts game.
 

SomeKHFan

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As a summary, here are the worlds considered for Kingdom Hearts that have never made it into the final games:

The Jungle Book
Atlantis: The Lost Empire
Treasure Planet

These worlds all seem like perfect candidates for Kingdom Hearts IV. They're all environmentally distinguishable worlds and have been considered at one point to be part of a Kingdom Hearts game.
I disagree with them being in KHIV, except for maybe the Jungle Book, as I feel they would go for the real iconic or big name movies for that game. The Jungle Book is the only one of those three properties that would be more popular with a widespread audience. I feel properties like The Incredibles, Zootopia and Moana would be more likely.

I do feel Atlantis and Treasure Planet could be possible for whatever game will be between KH3 and 4 though.

And I am now thinking Walt Disney is one of the two potential individuals being the mater of Masters. The other is Piglet.
 

Alpha Baymax

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I disagree with them being in KHIV, except for maybe the Jungle Book, as I feel they would go for the real iconic or big name movies for that game. The Jungle Book is the only one of those three properties that would be more popular with a widespread audience. I feel properties like The Incredibles, Zootopia and Moana would be more likely.

I do feel Atlantis and Treasure Planet could be possible for whatever game will be between KH3 and 4 though.
I'm personally under the assumption that the game between Kingdom Hearts III and Kingdom Hearts IV is a Union Cross HD remake. The mobile game can't last forever, and there's too much lore involved for it to be trapped in a mobile application.

And with the world selections, Zootopia and The Jungle Book are different enough. Zootopia is a metropolis and The Jungle Book is a Jungle. They can both make it into the same game and feel different enough.
 

SomeKHFan

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I'm personally under the assumption that the game between Kingdom Hearts III and Kingdom Hearts IV is a Union Cross HD remake. The mobile game can't last forever, and there's too much lore involved for it to be trapped in a mobile application.

And with the world selections, Zootopia and The Jungle Book are different enough. Zootopia is a metropolis and The Jungle Book is a Jungle. They can both make it into the same game and feel different enough.
While possible, I can also see Nomura wanting to create a new story leading up to KH4, maybe about Riku and how he came to be at the Shibuya in the Secret Movie. Riku is his favourite character if I remember correctly.

And I agree both TJB and Zootopia could be used. Zootopia could fit the city setting and have Sora transform to a Humanoid animal form while TJB would be an Indian Jungle setting and Sora doesn't actually need to transform there, as there are other humans in the world.....could even travel to that human village.
 

Face My Fears

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Whoa, Atlantis being considered for Kingdom Hearts is news to me. Though to be brutally honest, most of the worlds in Kingdom Hearts were from the Disney Renaissance and Disney's Silver Age. Having a Post-Renaissance Disney world for the first entry probably wouldn't have thematically worked as well.

As a summary, here are the worlds considered for Kingdom Hearts that have never made it into the final games:

The Jungle Book
Atlantis: The Lost Empire
Treasure Planet

These worlds all seem like perfect candidates for Kingdom Hearts IV. They're all environmentally distinguishable worlds and have been considered at one point to be part of a Kingdom Hearts game.
Toy Story was actually also considered for KH1. It was actually in the document that was used to pitch KH1 (if I remember correctly). The world was visible on the map, I think it was where Wonderland was.
 

ultima-demi

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I disagree with them being in KHIV, except for maybe the Jungle Book, as I feel they would go for the real iconic or big name movies for that game. The Jungle Book is the only one of those three properties that would be more popular with a widespread audience. I feel properties like The Incredibles, Zootopia and Moana would be more likely.

I do feel Atlantis and Treasure Planet could be possible for whatever game will be between KH3 and 4 though.

And I am now thinking Walt Disney is one of the two potential individuals being the mater of Masters. The other is Piglet.
I don't see why every world needs to be big/iconic movies. KH2 had a nice balance so i don't see why that needs to stop. With Disney being more involved and more restrictive with these new properties, having so many movies like that wouldn't be so good.
 
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Kingdom Hearts needs to back away from using only blockbuster films. That led to a lackluster world lineup with no surprises, although that may have to do with the fact that the world’s were leaked a year ahead of KH3 by SE’s own failure to close a private FTP.

But really, they need to revisit the 2D films while having a healthy mix of newer stuff like Zootopia and Moana. The series could help bring attention to older films for newer generations while bringing in new stuff.
 

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While I agree it would be good for KH to use a combination of big name and lesser titles for future numbered KH games, I feel Disney is going try and have most of the world be their bigger titles, especially after the success of KH3 which is the best selling game in the series and had sold more copies than Battlefield 5 by the end of April, with B5 having been confirmed to have sold 7.3 million copies earlier this year.

I would like to see lesser used properties used for numbered KH games, like Atlantis, TP, TENG and The Black Cauldron, but I feel Disney will put pressure for their big name properties to be used because of the wealth they can bring in.

Admittedly, the original story lines for TS, MI and BH6 I liked better than the stories of Tangled or Frozen...... This made me feel that the Disney staff should be more involved with original stories for worlds rather than trying to have Sora and crew be involved in the movie story and be barely involved. It will be original stories for Pixar worlds anyway.
 
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