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Seth Kearsley reveals Kingdom Hearts Animated Series Pilot Animatic



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Oracle Spockanort

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I like how we're all just ignoring the fact that Maleficent straight yeeted Jafar out of a space door.

All in all, I think this would have made for a cute little TV adaptation, but I don't think it would have been a great show. First of all, it seems like the pacing of the story that they're going for here is way too sped up (and yes, I know it's just a pilot proof-of-concept, but even still, the fact that they go straight from Destiny Islands to Agrabah and have Riku's transformation happen so fast is still weird).
Second, the problem with doing a TV adaptation of a game like KH is that you have so many degrees of replication. You're already recreating the events of pre-existing Disney animated films for the game, but now you're also going to reverse translate that back into a TV adaptation of a game that adapts movies? Maybe most people wouldn't mind, but that would just feel pretty off to me.

I'm ultimately glad this didn't get made, partly because it looks kinda mediocre especially compared to other 2000's cartoon shows of the time (and yes, I'm taking into account the 0-budget pilot status of this footage). But also because, I'm glad it didn't screw up the production of the game series in any way. Having this tank would have been a major blow to the game's longevity, while having it succeed would have pressured Nomura to follow the storyline of the series more than the absolutely batshit crazy ride we've actually gotten over the years.

Really neat piece of KH history though. Glad we finally got to see it and know that it was real.
I mean, you are heavily underplaying the fact it was a pilot. That is exactly why it behaves the way it does and makes certain choices. It was about selling the idea of the show to Disney. Actual proper plotting and pacing would have come once staff could have been brought on board for it.

This would have never been how the actual show would have played out. And as noted by Seth himself, he was assisting other people with their own pilots unrelated to this, so he didnโ€™t have a ton of time to work on it.

This was one dude working on a 11 min pitch for free. Youโ€™d be shocked to see some proof of concept pilots that existed back then for some of the best shows.

Itโ€™s like having no knowledge of KH at all, pointing at the weird lion boy Sora with a chainsaw and some of those weird concept worlds like vague barn world and going โ€œprobably wouldnโ€™t make a good game.โ€ Well, yeah. Itโ€™s proof of concept. We donโ€™t know how it would have ACTUALLY been.

But it is all we can go off of. I donโ€™t think we need to speak about the merits of if this particular rendition would have worked or not because weโ€™ll never know. We canโ€™t even speak to if this would have prematurely hurt the series or helped it. There isnโ€™t enough info for that.

I know its an animatic but its hilarious to me how animatic Sora looks okay and animatic Riku is going to be the new fandom meme.
 

Elysium

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I watched 8 minutes of it, I still need to watch the last 3 minutes, but it was interesting that only David Gallagher was back of the original trio. TBH, I wish this had happened now that I've seen what they were going to do with it, just because they deviated and gave us more stuff with Sora and Riku together.

The stuff with Donald and Goofy was pretty good, too. I love how Maleficent threw Jafar out, it took me by surprise since she seemed to get along with him better than the others in the game.
 

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I watched 8 minutes of it, I still need to watch the last 3 minutes, but it was interesting that only David Gallagher was back of the original trio. TBH, I wish this had happened now that I've seen what they were going to do with it, just because they deviated and gave us more stuff with Sora and Riku together.

The stuff with Donald and Goofy was pretty good, too. I love how Maleficent threw Jafar out, it took me by surprise since she seemed to get along with him better than the others in the game.
? Hayden was back, too. The only one who didnโ€™t reprise their role was Haley because he wasnโ€™t available.
 

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The face are pretty funny ๐Ÿ˜† And the gags and action feel in line with how the characters would act in the game. Plus Riku interacting with Donald and Goofy was nice to see, as was Goofy being something like a father figure in the SDG trio. Also, Jiminy narrating like itโ€™s an entry in his journal is a very nice touch ๐Ÿ‘Œ

I can see why in hindsight it wouldnโ€™t have been picked up, but I genuinely hope this can lead to a series happening later down the line.
 

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First Saban's Sailor Moon pilot and now this??? The exhuming of archival material has made my year. Now we just need the final pieces of V-Cast. lol

I honestly thought I was going to cringe the whole time, but I didn't! Maybe it's because I already know this won't be a thing? I mean, the animatics are rough (and of course they are), but I still pause whenever I see that type of animation involved with Disney animation. Not that hey haven't produced crap over the years, especially with the mountain of '90s & '00s direct-to-home video material under their name. It was surprisingly charming to watch though. Some of the interactions were great. Goofy's gags when "accidentally" defeating the Heartless. Gold.

I'm wondering how manipulated or straight up controlled (a la Terra) Riku is by this version of Maleficent.

"You're not a hero Sora, you're just a kid." For a hot second, I thought Sora was going to pop off about being the child of Destiny. Still odd that he's pretty cocky about being a hero?

Anywhoozles, Bobby Edner mimicked a convincing HJO. It was good to hear Hayden and David as usual. Though Hayden sounds a bit more mature than KH1!Kairi. This was made, what 1-2 years after they recorded the first game? Which makes sense. Her voice deepened quite a bit between 1 and 2.

I like how we're all just ignoring the fact that Maleficent straight yeeted Jafar out of a space door.

The best part, tbh. I had to digest that a bit.

- - -

Truly though, more excited to see this instead of KHIV news. I mean, I never thought we'd see this thing. So cool. <3
 

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First Saban's Sailor Moon pilot and now this??? The exhuming of archival material has made my year. Now we just need the final pieces of V-Cast. lol

I honestly thought I was going to cringe the whole time, but I didn't! Maybe it's because I already know this won't be a thing? I mean, the animatics are rough (and of course they are), but I still pause whenever I see that type of animation involved with Disney animation. Not that hey haven't produced crap over the years, especially with the mountain of '90s & '00s direct-to-home video material under their name. It was surprisingly charming to watch though. Some of the interactions were great. Goofy's gags when "accidentally" defeating the Heartless. Gold.

I'm wondering how manipulated or straight up controlled (a la Terra) Riku is by this version of Maleficent.

"You're not a hero Sora, you're just a kid." For a hot second, I thought Sora was going to pop off about being the child of Destiny. Still odd that he's pretty cocky about being a hero?

Anywhoozles, Bobby Edner mimicked a convincing HJO. It was good to hear Hayden and David as usual. Though Hayden sounds a bit more mature than KH1!Kairi. This was made, what 1-2 years after they recorded the first game? Which makes sense. Her voice deepened quite a bit between 1 and 2.



The best part, tbh. I had to digest that a bit.

- - -

Truly though, more excited to see this instead of KHIV news. I mean, I never thought we'd see this thing. So cool. <3
Yeah, about 1 year after KH1 would have been recorded. Also I donโ€™t think they were given much direction for these scenes really so I think she was just doing a basic read?

Bobby was great! Kind of makes me wish that heโ€™d play a character in the series one day. (Or just add Vaan idk)
 

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I'm wondering how manipulated or straight up controlled (a la Terra) Riku is by this version of Maleficent.
I think Seth said, and correct me if Iโ€™m wrong, that Riku was supposed to be full-on possessed by Maleficent once he got his hands on the lamp, with initial plan to have her voice layered over his until the folks up top said it was too scary.

So she definitely had some degree of mental control over him, on top of manipulation.

Also, can I say how crazy it is that itโ€™s only been a day, and the pilot already has over 200K views?
This was a good day for KH fans๐Ÿ˜„
 

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Itโ€™s sort of interesting that I havenโ€™t seen any reaction by Japanese fans about this. Just browsing Twitter and itโ€™s been maybe a handful of people who have seen and reacted to this.

And of the few itโ€™s just โ€œoh wow neat!โ€
 

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I think Seth said, and correct me if Iโ€™m wrong, that Riku was supposed to be full-on possessed by Maleficent once he got his hands on the lamp, with initial plan to have her voice layered over his until the folks up top said it was too scary.

Interesting. I need to look for that interview. I read it back when I'm sure, but need refreshing. I always thought it a little bizarre that she would have this power and not use it more often.
 

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I wish David Gallagher (and Riku) was allowed to exude this sort of playful cockiness in the games, more often! I hate the idea that for one to mature, they must sink deeper and deeper into monk-like stoicism in perpetuity. Was nice to get a cumulative minute of our precious cocky Riku back.
 

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I wish David Gallagher (and Riku) was allowed to exude this sort of playful cockiness in the games, more often! I hate the idea that for one to mature, they must sink deeper and deeper into monk-like stoicism in perpetuity. Was nice to get a cumulative minute of our precious cocky Riku back.
The problem is having Japanese staff sitting in on the dubbing. They donโ€™t let them go for it because they want to match the cadence of the Japanese dub. Itโ€™s stupid and leads to all of the stilted dubbing we get. Riku sounds very playful in Japanese.

I def miss jerk Riku, though. He doesnโ€™t need to be a total jerk, just snarky. They even took Replikuโ€™s snark away.. Why wouldnโ€™t they make him them snarky? Itโ€™s a good combo with awkward.
 

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I def miss jerk Riku, though. He doesnโ€™t need to be a total jerk, just snarky. They even took Replikuโ€™s snark away.. Why wouldnโ€™t they make him them snarky? Itโ€™s a good combo with awkward.

โ€œKingdom Hearts: A story of the battle between light and snark.โ€

Seriously though, it seems like every character except Axel/Lea loses their edge when they turn โ€œgood.โ€
 

Rydgea

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โ€œKingdom Hearts: A story of the battle between light and snark.โ€

Seriously though, it seems like every character except Axel/Lea loses their edge when they turn โ€œgood.โ€

Even Kairi, who was much more spunky in the original game is... well what we have now. Donald remains the king of sass.
 

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What I liked:
  • Kairi kicking the heartless. Why didn't Nomura have her do this in KH2 instead of running into battle and then doing nothing!?
  • Jafar calling Maleficent "queen" then shooting him out of the Hollow Bastion penthouse.
  • Maleficent wanting to use the lamp from Agrabah OUTSIDE of Agrabah. I never understood why no one attempted that OR took objects from DISNEY worlds out of them (like Triton's trident).
What I didn't like:
  1. WASTING "SIMPLE & CLEAN (REMIX)" ON A STUPID/RANDOM RACE UP THE STAIRS IN THE CAVE OF WONDERS!? WTF!?
  2. The fight music in Agrabah being some generic crap instead of using the actual Agrabah fight theme.
  3. The animation was a complete trainwreck.
  4. The idea of Sora "being a hero" and having him come to that realization in the span off 11 minutes is weird.
  5. Sora having the keyblade on Destiny Islands.
  6. Erasing Riku being the actual keyblade wielder and opening the door to darkness (this takes away most of Riku's character in KH1 and future games).
  7. Kairi did nothing as per usual (except kicking a heartless, which I feel like if she only did that in the actual game series, she would be more well received).
  8. The whole premise of what is going on is completely ignored. It's just random dark creatures (heartless) appear from "nobody knows" and Sora and friends get taken from their world. Maleficent's goal isn't even explained.
  9. Sora just knows how to fight... ugh. I actually liked Leon sparring with him, it makes Sora more credible going into other worlds.
There's probably more that I could include, but honestly I'm just glad to actually see it after being a rumour for years. It definitely did not deserve to be made. They need someone that understands adaptation and the KH series to work on the DISNEY+ show.
 

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People are speculating how this show could have changed the course of the games if it had been picked up, but just imagine the impact on the fandom.

In one corner you have the show-only fanatics. In the other you have the game purists. And in the middle you have the people who enjoy both and others who just want the flame wars to die down.
 
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