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Editorial ► Rumors of a Kingdom Hearts Disney Plus series are greatly exaggerated



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Oracle Spockanort

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We Got This Covered, a highly controversial and unreliable news source known to create numerous rumors for hits, claims their inside sources have told them that a Kingdom Hearts Disney Plus series is in development. Their rumor states that there are “no specifics” of what the project would be about, only that it would focus on Sora, Donald, and Goofy traveling to various Disney movie universes.

For all of the fans out there clamoring for a Kingdom Hearts television series, this sort of rumor would be extremely good news to hear—but it is likely untrue.

Since Disney Plus’ launch in November 2019, the streaming service has been developing and releasing brand new content for Disney, Star Was, and Marvel fans around the world. The streaming service has been a major success, touting a subscriber base of over 50 million users worldwide as of April 2020, and that number continues to rise in the wake of COVID-19. Despte the growing subscriber base, there have been many reports about Disney cancelling brand new projects or putting a number of projects on hold for creative differences and safety reasons.

This does not mean Disney is not producing new projects or could not have a potential Kingdom Hearts series in development, but Disney does not seem keen on creating any new Disney Plus series that might involve a lot of their intellectual property in one project.

Back on April 4, filmmaker Kevin Smith revealed that he had been working on a Kingdom Keepers series for Disney Plus up until it had been cancelled by an executive in charge of the streaming service. For those who are unaware of what Kingdom Keepers is, it is a series of books written by Ridley Pearson about a group of teens hired by Disney to serve as holographic guides at the various Disney theme parks by day, but at night battle Disney villains to keep them from taking over the parks. 

Kevin Smith stated on his Twitter account that the reason the Kingdom Keepers project thad been cancelled was because the Disney Plus executive believed there were too many Disney IP used in one project. 

Similarly, a Kingdom Hearts television series would also have to make use of many Disney IPs in order for the show to work. Much of the appeal of the Kingdom Hearts franchise comes from the variety of Disney film properties that serve as the settings for Sora, Donald, and Goofy's adventures. With a series that has utilized some of Disney's most iconic films like FrozenThe Lion King, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, it would not be hard to imagine a creative team butting head with Disney executives and even Square Enix over the direction of a Kingdom Hearts television series.

Over the years, Kingdom Hearts series creator and director Tetsuya Nomura has discussed the kind of communication with Disney it took in order to develop Kingdom Hearts III, noting that it involved a lot of back and forth with various Disney staff in order to receive approval for the game's story. 

If a Kingdom Hearts television series is potentially in development, it would not be the first attempt that has been made over the last 18 years. Multiple Kingdom Hearts animated series have been commissioned by Disney and pitched by various creators over the years by directors like Seth Kearsley and Kevin Monroe, but for numerous reasons these pitches never got off of the ground.

What are your thoughts on a potential Kingdom Hearts Disney Plus series? Let us know in the comments below!

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okhi12

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A staff member closes the other thread about the hypothetical Disney+ series because the source is unreliable, thus implying it's not worth discussing it any further.

Another staff member opens another topic in the news section inviting us to share our thoughts.

I'll quote Yozora: "None of this... makes sense to me".
 

Chaser

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A staff member closes the other thread about the hypothetical Disney+ series because the source is unreliable, thus implying it's not worth discussing it any further.

Another staff member opens another topic in the news section inviting us to share our thoughts.

I'll quote Sora and Yozora: "None of this... makes sense to me".
For the record, I am completely against giving that website publicity through this. I’d much rather people just ignore their article until an (hypothetical) actual announcement is made.
 

Zettaflare

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Oh we almost got a Kingdom Keeper series? That would have been awesome. And the reason they cancelled it is ridiculous.

The whole freaking KH series is about a bunch of Disney IPs coming together
 

Oracle Spockanort

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A staff member closes the other thread about the hypothetical Disney+ series because the source is unreliable, thus implying it's not worth discussing it any further.

Another staff member opens another topic in the news section inviting us to share our thoughts.

I'll quote Yozora: "None of this... makes sense to me".
Because I've been getting emails and messages all day about this and I'm tired of it so I wrote an editorial breaking it down. I think there is a difference here than @Launchpad's thread (sorry bby don't hate me)

I'd be on Chaser's side if I wasn't literally getting inundated with this stuff from friends and Twitter friends all day while I'm at work trying to...y'know...work.

But I do agree with Chaser:

For the record, I am completely against giving that website publicity through this. I’d much rather people just ignore their article until an (hypothetical) actual announcement is made.
 

okhi12

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For the record, I am completely against giving that website publicity through this. I’d much rather people just ignore their article until an (hypothetical) actual announcement is made.
Ok, that's understandable.

Because I've been getting emails and messages all day about this and I'm tired of it so I wrote an editorial breaking it down. I think there is a difference here than @Launchpad's thread (sorry bby don't hate me)

I'd be on Chaser's side if I wasn't literally getting inundated with this stuff from friends and Twitter friends all day while I'm at work trying to...y'know...work.

But I do agree with Chaser:
Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. I hope they give you a break. I'm not much into social media because I get annoyed very easily anytime I feel overwhelmed.
 
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legacier

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Kingdom Hearts is solely the intellectual property of Disney, so butting heads with Square Enix wouldn't necessarily be an issue. I guess we don't know for sure what agreements Disney and Square might have behind the scenes, but from here it looks like Disney doesn't have to include them if they don't want to. Kingdom Hearts V-cast can vouch for that.

That being said, "inside sources" doesn't exactly sound credible. If the idea has been discussed in the past then I guess that lends some credence to it, but I would still never trust a story that broke on a gossip site, especially one that I've never even heard of. Until we hear something from an official source, I'll consider this rumor to be total nonsense. And if it does end up being real... I just hope it isn't one of the two "projects" that Nomura vaguely alluded to.
 

Oracle Spockanort

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Kingdom Hearts is solely the intellectual property of Disney, so butting heads with Square Enix wouldn't necessarily be an issue. I guess we don't know for sure what agreements Disney and Square might have behind the scenes, but from here it looks like Disney doesn't have to include them if they don't want to. Kingdom Hearts V-cast can vouch for that.
They don't have to, but out of respect they defer to Nomura on anything Kingdom Hearts related. Nomura is implied to be the reason why the animated pitches years ago never went anywhere. If a Disney Plus series did go into development, I'm fairly certain Disney would ask Nomura for his input first. If they didn't it would be a pretty big blow to their relationship as partners developing this series.

Imagine it coming out that Disney left Nomura out of the process or didn't get his explicit approval? It would not be a pretty situation.
 

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Thank you for this article, the Kingdom Hearts fandom needs to be aware of the shadiness of We Got This Covered. They intentionally make stuff up with no validity just to drive clicks to their website.
 

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Wonder how involved Nomura would be in an animated adaptation? I imagine the writers behind the episodes would seek his input on certain things
 

Oracle Spockanort

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At first glance, I thought this was some random user who didn’t want a Disney+ series and was willing to make up excuses. My apologies.

But man…to get a KH animated ANYTHING one day…
Oh, I fuckin' want a Disney Plus series. The second the streaming service was revealed I was totally ready for an animated series. I want it to be a complete reimagining of the series. A reboot...its own little slice of Kingdom Hearts.

Even so, personally I believe Disney is going to be very conservative about their Disney Plus programming until they can really nail down a few projects that have been causing them problems.

Also their entire schedule is probably out of wack at the moment with COVID-19.

Not to mention the animation studios they rely on to produce their shows overseas not being open......

Oh we almost got a Kingdom Keeper series? That would have been awesome. And the reason they cancelled it is ridiculous.

The whole freaking KH series is about a bunch of Disney IPs coming together
Yeah, and it was gonna be by Kevin Smith so it would have been such a fun series. I still haven't finished the Kingdom Keeper books, but it's a nice series. It is also something that would be greatly improved upon if a good showrunner took it on.

Disney Plus execs worry me, honestly. There is nothing wrong with having a plethora of Disney IP in one place. It is pretty clear that the exec Kevin Smith was talking about had no idea what Kingdom Keepers was even about.
 

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I didn't even know Kingdom Keepers was a thing before this article. Sad that the fans of that couldn't get their show though now I wonder how much cross-over between Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Keepers fans there is.
 

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A series getting cancelled because there's too much Disney IPs? It didn't stop them with House of Mouse, and that was full of cameos from many different IPs, and this was before they acquired Disney and Marvel.

As far as how a KH animated series would work, here's my take: focus on the Xehanort saga and only the Xehanort saga for the main plot. To make it stand out from the games, I'd take elements from both the novels and manga and try to mix them in. Given how much material is in them, there's potential for character development not seen in the games alone. And much like how KH2's manga reworked some events(fighting Demyx in TWTNW rather than Hollow Bastion) maybe rearrange some events to make it flow better as a story.

The only thing I wouldn't do is make it Disney Plus exclusive. Not to say the service wouldn't get it first, but I'd want to provide alternate avenues for those who don't have access to it. Like, have the episodes air a week later on Disney Channel to provide incentives to get the service to be up to date.

But if we want a KH animated series of any kind, one thing is clear in my eyes: execs from both companies need to be in the pitch meeting to get them on the same page in order for this to work.
 

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A series getting cancelled because there's too much Disney IPs? It didn't stop them with House of Mouse, and that was full of cameos from many different IPs, and this was before they acquired Disney and Marvel.
That was a different time. Kevin Smith calls out the exec that was put in charge of Disney+

”Then a new exec was put in charge of the app and he killed KK. Said we used too much @Disney IP in one project”

That’s why Disney’s previous IP explorations, including House of Mouse, Once Upon a Time, and Wreck it Ralph using multiple IPs, were done. It was this new person brought in that decided on killing that series under that reason, and it’s that same person (outside of Nomura) that makes the idea of Kingdom Hearts becoming a TV series on Disney+ highly improbable.
 

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This whole recent thing of Disney not wanting properties to cross over reminds me of how Nomura was forced to turn the Disney summons into beings of energy due and not speak

I really hope something changes at the top during the next saga
 

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I didn't even know Kingdom Keepers was a thing before this article. Sad that the fans of that couldn't get their show though now I wonder how much cross-over between Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Keepers fans there is.
I mean, who knows? It was a pretty popular series at the time it released and the first book came out the same year as KH2. I’m sure the Venn diagram touches at the very least. It’s one of those early 2000s things that people probably remember if the happened to catch onto it.

A series getting cancelled because there's too much Disney IPs? It didn't stop them with House of Mouse, and that was full of cameos from many different IPs, and this was before they acquired Disney and Marvel.
Like Chaser said, that was a different time. Also, Disney Plus execs will also operate things differently than say Disney execs at Walt Disney Animation Studios. What might fly in one department won’t fly in another.

Every executive has an idea of what they believe a Disney project should and shouldn’t be. The company has a general philosophy and then it is up to each department to decide how they go about projects.

OUAT might have had a lot of freedom because of the type of relationship the producers had with the executives at ABC and Disney Television.

House of Mouse came under Eisner’s era from a time when Disney Channel was constantly having Disney Television Animation produce shows.

The only thing I wouldn't do is make it Disney Plus exclusive. Not to say the service wouldn't get it first, but I'd want to provide alternate avenues for those who don't have access to it. Like, have the episodes air a week later on Disney Channel to provide incentives to get the service to be up to date.
Disney Channel is not very accessible since you have to pay for cable service to access it. I do agree that it should air on Disney Channel and Disney XD, though. It should be as accessible as possible, but lol I don’t trust Disney Channel to do anything. That department has always been a weird one. They also really only focus on their live action sitcoms. Disney XD is probably the channel it would end up on if it aired on television.

But if we want a KH animated series of any kind, one thing is clear in my eyes: execs from both companies need to be in the pitch meeting to get them on the same page in order for this to work.
Yes, although I think there may be some complications with that. I think in general the only way this works is if it is a story removed from the main KH storyline or it is a complete reboot and similar to your idea they take in elements from the games, novels, and manga while also allowing the showrunners a bit more freedom to make their own unique take on the series.

The complication I see is that Nomura is very involved with the story. He tries to make every piece of story canon. He even made the orchestra concerts canon by having their own story segments that expand on Kairi’s feelings and Namine interacting with Terra. Now imagine a TV show being pitched...
 

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"Too much water" = "Too much Disney"

It's like this guy is disconnected from the reality of fans wanting crossovers.

So is Avengers "too much Marvel"?

Thanks for the editorial. Very well done.
 

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I have to seriously wonder why so many KH fans believed this news. I have to assume that they're either a) gullible or 2) insanely new to the franchise.

We should all know by now that something like this hasn't a hope in the world of happening and if it did wait for an actual substantial source. Plus Seth Kearsley has been relatively open about what he's been trying to do with a potential KH cartoon, and if that doesn't get off the ground I doubt anything else will.
 
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