Kingdom Hearts Animated Series?



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I remember hearing about Seth Kearsley pitching a Kingdom Hearts animated series to Disney for a third time a while back before KH3 came out, but I never heard anything about it after. All these original series the company is making now has got me thinking: do you think a KH series on Disney+ is possible/likely? I'm really hopeful!

Sorry if this has already been asked, I haven't really come on the forums since KH3 released.
 

Zettaflare

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I could see it happening in the future. Disney could want to ride on the success of KH3 and an animated series would help capitalize on that.

They already have a original book for kids coming out
 

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I remember hearing about Seth Kearsley pitching a Kingdom Hearts animated series to Disney for a third time a while back before KH3 came out, but I never heard anything about it after. All these original series the company is making now has got me thinking: do you think a KH series on Disney+ is possible/likely? I'm really hopeful!

Sorry if this has already been asked, I haven't really come on the forums since KH3 released.
Seth Kearsley was rejected the last time I heard but I also heard he was going to try another pitch. I highly doubt Nomura will let it happen under Kearsley considering Nomura was pissed af when he found out about the initial project in the first place.

Fairly certain Nomura didn’t know Disney had even tried to get any animated series off of the ground without him way back in the day until Kearsley shared his work from it.

That said, I think it is very possible one will happen one day in the future. Disney+ definitely opens the doors to a lot of content that wouldn’t normally get approved by Disney.

Also, Disney has been paying way more attention to Kingdom Hearts now that KH3 has been a huge success.

As for what the show would be...like damn. That’s a scary thought.

There are so many ways it could go:

1) a complete reboot of the series that streamlines a lot of the story to make it more digestible by a wider audience while adding in new content

2) a completely original story detached from the main storyline

3) Nomura makes it canon because Nomura made the concerts canon for goodness sake and it is connected to the main storyline
 

Face My Fears

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NO!

As much as I love KH, there's a reason that it was made for the video game medium. Its story is meant to be told in video game form. I wouldn't mind a series that succinctly goes into details about certain aspects of the series that we didn't get in the games, but I just feel like adding a TV series to the canon might make an even bigger mess.
 

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NO!

As much as I love KH, there's a reason that it was made for the video game medium. Its story is meant to be told in video game form. I wouldn't mind a series that succinctly goes into details about certain aspects of the series that we didn't get in the games, but I just feel like adding a TV series to the canon might make an even bigger mess.
We already have novels and a manga series. I’m not sure how an animated show would mess up the series.

The games already don’t explain everything and we have to read supplemental interviews and documents to get the full picture about the series. An animated series would actually allow the story to flow better and give it room to breathe.
 

Face My Fears

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We already have novels and a manga series. I’m not sure how an animated show would mess up the series.

The games already don’t explain everything and we have to read supplemental interviews and documents to get the full picture about the series. An animated series would actually allow the story to flow better and give it room to breathe.
The manga and novels never really added anything major or answered any questions we were dying for answers. The Ultimania interviews do that, yes, but I think for a game that everyone complained you needed to play around 10 games to get the full picture -- add that you have to watch a TV show as well? I also think that KH would totally lose its magic if you watched Sora in Disney worlds. The beauty of KH is actually experiencing those worlds and you being in control of how you interact with them. Why would I watch Sora in Disney worlds playing through a poor rehash of the movie plot when (if I'm looking for something to watch) I can just watch the film? I think an animated series would fall flat and lose the magic of KH. Not many people paid attention to the manga/novels, but if they put a KH series on Disney + it would be under major scrutiny and on a huge platform to fail and also disappoint. I'd rather not have KH be on a list of failures from Disney + and I personally think an animated series would flop because it would lose the magic KH had as a game.
 
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I personally agree with Oracle Spockanort, I honestly think a show could clarify and improve upon the original story. My hope would be that the Disney worlds take a bit more of a back seat and the convoluted plot and lore get more time to be explored and explained, and most of all I'd want it to focus on character relationships and interactions more than anything. With a TV show, we could spend more time exploring Sora, Kairi, and Riku's relationship without taking time away from gameplay, and scenes like the Keyblade graveyard in KH3 could be expanded upon and fixed. The way I see it, Kingdom Hearts as a series has always had an amazing plot, lore, and characters, but it's suffered from poor writing and rushed scenarios. I'd hope that if it gets the go-ahead, Disney would make sure it's well-written and a worthy addition to their lineup.
 

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I’m gonna go by each part of your response because there is a lot to unpack.

The manga and novels never really added anything major or answered any questions we were dying for answers.
They never needed to. They don’t exist to answer burning questions about the series, but to serve as a supplemental piece of entertainment for fans. Each thing contributes something different to the Kingdom Hearts series. The novels add more insight to the history of characters that didn’t get developed in the games like Vanitas or Replica Riku for example. It also lets us get more into the minds of our favorite characters to better understand their motivations and feelings during the events of the series.

The manga exists to be a fun, humorous, non-canon retelling of the games. The manga is quirky, fun and purely for entertainment.

Should these things not exist because they add nothing to the series? No. They stand on their own and are both an entry point into the series in their own unique way and also serve as another way fans can enjoy a series they love.

The Ultimania interviews do that, yes, but I think for a game that everyone complained you needed to play around 10 games to get the full picture -- add that you have to watch a TV show as well?
I think you are assuming too much about what the TV show would be and what content it could potentially cover.

The reason people complained about needing to play almost 10 games to get the full story of KH was that prior to the PS4 ports, all of the games were spread out on a bunch of different consoles. You had to have either already owned those consoles or bought them specifically to play those games, and so it created a huge barrier of entrance for fans. If you weren’t rich or lucky or frugal enough to buy these consoles, you were missing out on experiencing these stories.

When the ports came out, the issue was that it required tons of time to play through all of the games. If you weren’t setting aside time to play them or didn’t already play them in the past and could speed through them, it was a huge time investment that some people weren’t willing to make.

A TV show is a different thing entirely. The barriers of entrance for them is not so massive. Millions of people are going to get Disney+. It’s guaranteed, and for those who don’t, they will either have friends who let them use their account or there will be some illegal options for them to make use of online to be able to watch whatever shows and movies they wanted to see from the service. This is already a cheaper option than buying a $300 USD video game console and a $60 USD game.

The time investment that would need to be made would be way less than the hundreds of hours necessary to invest in the games. People binge watch series like nothing these days, or it can be put on in the background and watched passively.

I also think that KH would totally lose its magic if you watched Sora in Disney worlds. The beauty of KH is actually experiencing those worlds and you being in control of how you interact with them.
I mean, I can’t put down what you think is part of the charm of KH. That is a very subjective view, but I do feel the need to defend the medium of television and animation.

A good team of writers, planners, designers, and artists can most certainly bring a world alive without the viewer being an active participant of navigating that world. It’s an absolute disservice to any creative talent to think that they couldn’t bring the universe of Kingdom Hearts to life in a way that would still capture the feeling of exploration and discovery in a passive medium.

Why would I watch Sora in Disney worlds playing through a poor rehash of the movie plot when (if I'm looking for something to watch) I can just watch the film?
This brings me back to my point before. You are already assuming too much of a potential animated show. We don’t know what one would cover and how it would tell its story.

I think an animated series would fall flat and lose the magic of KH.
And again, I can’t argue against a subjective opinion but I will defend the medium you are arguing against. Animation is a form of magic all on its own. KH is inspired by that very medium. The whole series a love letter to one of the greatest animation companies in the world, and you think that people employed by said company couldn’t embody the magic of KH?

Not many people paid attention to the manga/novels,
That is false. If the manga and novels weren’t profitable, they would have been canned a long time ago.

but if they put a KH series on Disney + it would be under major scrutiny and on a huge platform to fail and also disappoint.
That’s the risk KH takes every time it puts out a new game, though. To be concerned about KH being under scrutiny when it’s been in this position for years and HAS disappointed many—even now at this very moment people are on FB and Twitter complaining about the series on the official account posts—is a concern you will always have. This will never change.

Your worry about it failing on Disney+, but it could very well fail when the next game releases or the game after that, or fail because Disney and SE end up having a Sony-Marvel level breakup.

I'd rather not have KH be on a list of failures from Disney + and I personally think an animated series would flop because it would lose the magic KH had as a game.
You are already assuming it would fail, and that’s really sad because it sounds like you don’t have confidence in Kingdom Hearts as a franchise and its ability to carry its story and message into a new, unexplored medium.
 
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If it's as charming as the manga, I would be all for it. There are so many gag reels I want for Kingdom Hearts that a potential anime could play with. Most involving Organization XIII. I want to see RAX try and recruit a fourth member to their sea salt addiction club. Like they try and brainwash every other member to join them on the clock tower leading to hilarious ice cream eating scenes with every other member at least once. I so want them to drag Larxene up there and for her to hate ice cream. If a anime could do stuff like this on a few episodes I would love it forever.
 

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If it's as charming as the manga, I would be all for it. There are so many gag reels I want for Kingdom Hearts that a potential anime could play with. Most involving Organization XIII. I want to see RAX try and recruit a fourth member to their sea salt addiction club. Like they try and brainwash every other member to join them on the clock tower leading to hilarious ice cream eating scenes with every other member at least once. I so want them to drag Larxene up there and for her to hate ice cream. If a anime could do stuff like this on a few episodes I would love it forever.
Xion & Pluto's relationship is all I want for manga charm on the RAX trio. Like....please.
 

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I’m gonna go by each part of your response because there is a lot to unpack.



They never needed to. They don’t exist to answer burning questions about the series, but to serve as a supplemental piece of entertainment for fans. Each thing contributes something different to the Kingdom Hearts series. The novels add more insight to the history of characters that didn’t get developed in the games like Vanitas or Replica Riku for example. It also lets us get more into the minds of our favorite characters to better understand their motivations and feelings during the events of the series.

The manga exists to be a fun, humorous, non-canon retelling of the games. The manga is quirky, fun and purely for entertainment.

Should these things not exist because they add nothing to the series? No. They stand on their own and are both an entry point into the series in their own unique way and also serve as another way fans can enjoy a series they love.



I think you are assuming too much about what the TV show would be and what content it could potentially cover.

The reason people complained about needing to play almost 10 games to get the full story of KH was that prior to the PS4 ports, all of the games were spread out on a bunch of different consoles. You had to have either already owned those consoles or bought them specifically to play those games, and so it created a huge barrier of entrance for fans. If you weren’t rich or lucky or frugal enough to buy these consoles, you were missing out on experiencing these stories.

When the ports came out, the issue was that it required tons of time to play through all of the games. If you weren’t setting aside time to play them or didn’t already play them in the past and could speed through them, it was a huge time investment that some people weren’t willing to make.

A TV show is a different thing entirely. The barriers of entrance for them is not so massive. Millions of people are going to get Disney+. It’s guaranteed, and for those who don’t, they will either have friends who let them use their account or there will be some illegal options for them to make use of online to be able to watch whatever shows and movies they wanted to see from the service. This is already a cheaper option than buying a $300 USD video game console and a $60 USD game.

The time investment that would need to be made would be way less than the hundreds of hours necessary to invest in the games. People binge watch series like nothing these days, or it can be put on in the background and watched passively.



I mean, I can’t put down what you think is part of the charm of KH. That is a very subjective view, but I do feel the need to defend the medium of television and animation.

A good team of writers, planners, designers, and artists can most certainly bring a world alive without the viewer being an active participant of navigating that world. It’s an absolute disservice to any creative talent to think that they couldn’t bring the universe of Kingdom Hearts to life in a way that would still capture the feeling of exploration and discovery in a passive medium.



This brings me back to my point before. You are already assuming too much of a potential animated show. We don’t know what one would cover and how it would tell its story.



And again, I can’t argue against a subjective opinion but I will defend the medium you are arguing against. Animation is a form of magic all on its own. KH is inspired by that very medium. The whole series a love letter to one of the greatest animation companies in the world, and you think that people employed by said company couldn’t embody the magic of KH?



That is false. If the manga and novels weren’t profitable, they would have been canned a long time ago.



That’s the risk KH takes every time it puts out a new game, though. To be concerned about KH being under scrutiny when it’s been in this position for years and HAS disappointed many—even now at this very moment people are on FB and Twitter complaining about the series on the official account posts—is a concern you will always have. This will never change.

Your worry about it failing on Disney+, but it could very well fail when the next game releases or the game after that, or fail because Disney and SE end up having a Sony-Marvel level breakup.



You are already assuming it would fail, and that’s really sad because it sounds like you don’t have confidence in Kingdom Hearts as a franchise and its ability to carry its story and message into a new, unexplored medium.
I have confidence that KH could do great as a TV series, but I always ask myself the question of "why that medium?" and "do we need it?" when it comes to art. I look at the live action Disney remakes and question those as nothing more than cash-grabs or popular films being turned into Broadway musicals or even books being adapted into TV shows. In my opinion, the medium that the creator chose for it is the medium that works best for it. Sure amazing things can come out of an adaptation (like the Marvel films being born from the comics), but the comic book medium is where those characters and stories are best suited. To me, KH is best suited to being a video game. The novels, manga and whatever else is nice and all, but we were introduced to the world of KH through Sora and experiencing that world through him (playing as him). I honestly believe that is why video game films/TV shows don't work out most of the time because at the end of the day, the medium we know the characters/story from is vastly different.

My biggest concern with a KH animated series is whether it's canon or not and what stories it will tell. The games are already loaded with lore and tons of characters/stories that didn't get told. Knowing Nomura, he may decide somewhere down the line that there was a reason for that and use it. What if the animated series locks him into some "canon" version of events that he doesn't agree with? I can handle the KH games retconning themselves, but it'll be an even bigger mess if the animated series retcons the games then the games retcon the TV series.

I guess if Nomura comes on board with the series, I may believe in it and trust that it can be good. I mean, as much as I'm commenting on it now, if it happens I'm going to watch anyway since it's KH. I think the best way to approach this would be like an anthology series. Each episode can focus on one character and flesh out their backstory some more. Per KH law, it can be XIII episodes and do:
  1. Master Xehanort
  2. Ventus
  3. Terra
  4. Aqua
  5. Lea
  6. Mickey
  7. Riku
  8. Kairi
  9. Namine
  10. Roxas
  11. Xion
  12. Maleficent & Pete
  13. Sora
 

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Am I the only one who wants to see the worlds actually branched out in this TV show? Y'know have the Disney aspect actually matter to the plot? (Before you say it...AFTER 1 & in between worlds in 2 didn't matter to the plot.) Every KH game always portrayed the KH universe as 'literally only 3-4 worlds exist in the KH Universe' like literally. Instead of having original characters reside in Disney world Square YEETS them into either Radiant Garden, Destiny Islands, or THE DISTANT PAST. No. Make the series non-canon and alter locations to Disney worlds that fit original characters, as well as find SOME WAY to make those Disney worlds matter. There's more to the Disney worlds than shoddy play-by-play retellings of their existing films. I think something like that was thouht of in a concept art of a cancelled KH series idea, involving Agrabah, but the memory fades from me.
 

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1) a complete reboot of the series that streamlines a lot of the story to make it more digestible by a wider audience while adding in new content
At this point, I'd be pretty darn ok with Disney going all Big Hero 6 on KH & making a show/film with the faintest of resemblances to the source material.
 

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I would personally like for the show to avoid being a rehash of the series, if only because that would kind of be the equivalent of watching all the cutscenes. Sure, a show would be more streamlined and cohesive, and it would solve the issue of playable events (mostly fights) being omitted from the movies, but it would still be superfluous and repetitive, in my opinion. I'd prefer it if Disney+ made a spinoff title, something lighthearted and fun. Maybe, if they don't want to have to contract non-Disney game VAs, they can keep it simple and make a show about royal life at Disney Castle, or explore Mickey's apprenticeship under Yen Sid.

One concern I have is the art style; KH has a very distinct visual style, and I remember being quite offput by KHUx's style the first time I saw it. My hope is that the style of the show can capture the charm of the games and illustrations, without being a straight imitation/recreation (which I know is unrealistic, given KH's dedication to pretty game graphics). I'm not a fan of the flat, angular, papery(?) style of the Tangled and BH6 shows, so I really hope the hypothetical KH series doesn't get stuck with that.

They stand on their own and are both an entry point into the series in their own unique way and also serve as another way fans can enjoy a series they love.
Also, Spockanort has a really good point here. I actually read the manga before I was able to play any of the KH games, so I guess I can't be too harsh on any potential TV show.
 

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I would actually like to see short stories about topics that were hardly touched upon. How did Aqua and Terra come to Eraqus? What was the daily life of an Organisation member like - the Demyx diaries? How well did Sora, Riku and Kairi at school? When did Isa and Lea meet? What kind of journey did Seifer and his gang go on?

Sweet, lighthearted little stories that don't touch the main lore a lot or provide crucial information, but are just .. fun to watch. I'm kinda exhausted from the "complex" as in "unnecessarily convoluted" storytelling of KH, so this would be a nice entry.
 
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I know several people who are kinda interested in KH as a series and think KH3 looks fun but aren't willing to commit to fifteen years worth of games or to try to understand the notoriously complex lore. For people like them, I think a TV adaptation would be a perfect way to enter the series, and it could potentially explain the lore in a better, simpler way. If Disney decides they want to capitalize on the series, by making a show out of it they could broaden the fanbase by exposing it to non-gamers too. I think it'd be a great idea. The worst thing that could possibly happen is it primarily gets watched by the existing fans, cos tbh, a lot of us will obsessively play, watch, or read anything related KH.
 

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I personally agree with Oracle Spockanort, I honestly think a show could clarify and improve upon the original story. My hope would be that the Disney worlds take a bit more of a back seat and the convoluted plot and lore get more time to be explored and explained, and most of all I'd want it to focus on character relationships and interactions more than anything. With a TV show, we could spend more time exploring Sora, Kairi, and Riku's relationship without taking time away from gameplay, and scenes like the Keyblade graveyard in KH3 could be expanded upon and fixed. The way I see it, Kingdom Hearts as a series has always had an amazing plot, lore, and characters, but it's suffered from poor writing and rushed scenarios. I'd hope that if it gets the go-ahead, Disney would make sure it's well-written and a worthy addition to their lineup.
I agree with this except I rather the (hypothetical) TV series not get caught up and overdo it with the lore. I'm honestly past tired with the convoluted plot and constant exposition that has swallowed the series and characters almost entirely whole. In fact if the lore just stuck to the background simplicity of the KH1 era, and explored instead authentic relatable character dynamics and interactions, then it would automatically be superior to some of the games plots.

Something I'm curious about though, if this ever actually happened would the original VA's come back to voice their characters? I few characters not having their voices I could live without (like Kairi and Aqua and most of the secondary characters, heck even Sora I wouldn't mind being replaced) but a few others not having them would feel a bit off and wrong.
 
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