Key to Success: 10 Disney Properties That Can Save Kingdom Hearts

Before Organization XIII, before 385/2 Days…heck, before Sora and Riku, the heart and soul of the Kingdom Hearts series used to be the Disney franchises that were woven together to form a bizarre, yet wonderful, RPG. Though there obviously needs to be a framework to tie everything together, what mattered most was interacting with Pinocchio, Cinderella, Aladdin and dozens of other beloved characters in new and exciting ways.

While I’m currently really enjoying Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, I can’t shake the feeling that the Disney ties have become almost an afterthought. I love ”The Hunchback of Notre Dame” more than most, but why are we revisiting Monstro the whale again? Why am I playing through a direct-to-DVD musketeers movie to which I have no emotional connection? It’s a major issue the series will face when it gets to that inevitable third installment. The good news is that there are still plenty of awesome Disney films and television that are presumably viable…

1. “Toy Story” – The biggest question that comes up whenever anyone discusses the future of the KH series is if and when Pixar will be brought into the fold. Though Disney still has its own in-house animation studio, Pixar is the king of the box office. It’s odd to not see it represented. Why not start with its most iconic movie? With three movies worth of material, there’s much to draw from with the “Toy Story” series, and seeing Buzz Lightyear launching himself in the air on his Hot Wheels ramp would be particularly nostalgic for twenty-somethings like me who grew up with the series. Also, you could finally have those “‘Toy Story’ quality graphics” Sony touted back when the PS2 was released.

2. “Wall-E” – You could make a whole list full of just Pixar movies, but I limited myself to two. Though “Finding Nemo” and “The Incredibles” could also be great, “Wall-E” sports a unique outer space theme that KH hasn’t really explored yet. For a series that’s becoming known for being talky, the quiet Earth landscape could offer a welcome respite. Also, it’d be amusing to see Sora as a blob-person in the back-half of the stage.

3. “Brave Little Toaster” – Appliances hopping around, singing Little Richard songs and being really cute. I don’t see how Square Enix could mess this up.

4. “TaleSpin” – “DuckTales” could be an exciting choice as well, but I’d prefer to explore the open skies. Disney’s movie legacy tends to overshadow its television output, but its afternoon lineup in the early 90s was unbeatable. With “TaleSpin,” you get air-surfing, aerial dogfights, cool Art Deco architecture and the best damn theme song a cartoon could ask for!

5. “Wreck-It Ralph” – I guess this one’s a wait-and-see, seeing as “Wreck-It Ralph” doesn’t hit theaters until November. Lots of potential meta-commentary in the movie’s video game parody worlds, and you’d theoretically get a chance to see Sora, Riku and company in 8-bit pixel art. Bonus points if any of those gaming cameos we’ve seen in the trailer survive the transition.

6. “Mary Poppins” – The KH games have highlighted a few live-action films, but those were often newer stuff like “Tron Legacy” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Perfectly fine, but why not draw further back from Disney’s rich history? Perhaps “Mary Poppins” would be tougher to adapt than others, but between the penguin waiters and umbrella levitation, I’m confident that Square Enix could figure out a way to make it work.

7. “James and the Giant Peach” – “The Nightmare Before Christmas” tends to get most of the stop-motion love, but this adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic should be surreal enough to make the cut. Flying over Antarctica inside a giant peach with insect allies – sounds like it would stand out under any circumstances.

8. “The Muppets” – Disney now owns the Muppet Studio, which means Kermit and crew are on the table. I’d rather they not pattern the level on the recent Jason Segel vehicle. Instead, take the action backstage for “The Muppet Show.” This worked to great effect in the recent LittleBigPlanet 2 Muppet level pack.

9. “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” – I have no great love for the movie, but the potential for a massive scale is huge here – giant bugs, giant marshmallows, giant grass! I think back to the “Honey”-themed Disney World ride from when I was a kid and get goosebumps. It’d be amazing to have that in game form.

10. Walt Disney World – Speaking of Disney World, why not include Disney’s flagship amusement park (with Epcot’s Figment as your guide)? This was the basis for at least one middling NES game, but current consoles could do Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion and other classic rides justice.

*BONUS* I know there’s no chance in Hell of this happening, but seeing as Disney has a great relationship with Studio Ghibli, why not get some Miyazaki in Kingdom Hearts? Even a Totoro cameo would be incredible!

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  • Mike

    Don’t really agree with any of these. I love Pixar movies but I don’t think they would fit in tonally with the established Kingdom Hearts universe like the Disney movies do.  I think Treasure Planet would fit in really well.  I would also love a Fantasia 2000 world considering how amazing the Fantasia world is in Dream Drop Distance.

  • Anytime

    Damn, theses ideas suck

  • Mike, I’d respectfully disagree. The Pixar stuff is jokier than some of Disney classic fair, but I feel like they have more of the soul and care associated with the Disney Renaissance than Treasure Planet or Chicken Little or other later-era Disney stuff.

    You’re right about the Fantasia world though. Just reached it today and it’s easily my favorite level. Never seen 2000, but I’d be on board just based on KH3D.

  • mrmosby253

    The brave little toaster is not a disney movie

  • matthew reaves

    I like alot of these movies, but on some of them when you don’t have a major villian, it can be hard to come up with something. Example: you listed the brave little toaster, but who’s the major villian here.There are are some specified to certain areas, but there isn’t one that is really behind anything big in the whole story so that makes it kind of difficult also don’t really want to be some household appliance.

    Although disney’s made lots of movies they’ve also made many shows like you listed tailspin I’m gonna list gargoyles

    I’d like to see Disney World, maybe not in the way your describing, but more how in the first game all the worlds were said to be one and have them join together again, of course there would still be some special cases that would require a different method to get to them like the tron world,steamboat willy, anything underwater like monstro or atlantica, and in space(in case they do Wall-E, or stitch)

    many of the locations are based off real world locations, and some are so choosing where to position them goes slightly off the real world globe

    In peter pan they used the clock tower in britain to get to never land, but there wasn’t much time actually spent in britain but there other movies that take place there but since Sora can transform and time travel, making a whole other world for these movies seems kind of strange so what I’m thinking of is shared space, in some cases it is a different world, but it’s not.

    Disney movies that took place in england: Peter Pan, 101 dalmations,The great mouse detective, The sword in the stone, Robin Hood,

    you shrink down and it would be the great mouse detective, time travel to get to either sword in the stone or robin hood, go down the rabbit hole to end up in wonderland, Never land the clock tower, and 101 dalmations i’m not really sure maybe just make their house and have it as a little trophy thing like it was in the first game finding the puppies again because I’m not really sure what you would do and don’t want to put to much in one place even though the the way i put it is kind of making it different places

    also although tarzan takes place in Africa,Jane and her father are from England so might see some cameo’s like them preparing to leave for Africa(this is an example they can’t really do much more more with this I’m guessing)maybe have us leave from england with them to get to Africa and that’s how we discover it

    Winnie the Pooh’s Cristopher Robin is english so cameo there

    pretty much my idea is ike an extension of the 2 worlds that were within other worlds in kingdom hearts 2 space paranoids in radiant garden, and steamboat willy in disney castle

    Holding multiple stories in the place they exist, rather than create a complete different planet this doesn’t mean you would not see different things in these stories.

    Travel further would still be necessary, because the world is vast

    these others I’m not so sure I’m just trying to put stuff down so maybe we can get a vague idea how close to put stuff together

    Snow White and the seven dwarfs: medievel germany

    Cinderella Early France

    Sleeping Beauty: France

    beauty and the beast: France

    little mermaid:Denmark

    Pinnochio: Italy(monstro would be in the water here)

    these are the ones not known i don’t think I I have to list the others
    aladdin,hercules,and mulan,are are all pretty obvious

  • matthew reaves

    I’m already ready for people to be mad at me for my stupidly long comment, but what ever I was wanting to to share some idea’s as well that’s the only reason for it

    I’d love Wreck it Ralph, but yeah it is rather new

    and like how tailspin is mentioned even if that weren’t a world I’d love seeing Baloo as a pilot ya know like how Scrooge Mcduck shows up in Hollow Bastion( not saying i don’t want it as a world)

    actually want some of studio ghibli’s stuff in there, but that aint gonna happen