Today marks the 20th anniversary of Square Enix and Disney’s Kingdom Hearts franchise, and the developer marked the occasion by announcing Kingdom Hearts 4. The new game marks the start of the franchise’s new “Lost Master” arc, picking up where Kingdom Hearts 3 left off: Sora’s in a modern day Tokyo-alike called the Quadratum, with a new companion named Strelitzia by his side. (Donald and Goofy, meanwhile, are on the search for Sora, or at least someone who can help find their friend.)
Normally, this would be the part where we ask you what Disney movies would make for a good world in the Kingdom Hearts franchise. And while we would be interested in hearing your suggestions—after KH3 featured Frozen and Big Hero 6, I personally feel like we could expect worlds based on Raya and Soul—I think it’s a little more interesting if we think about what Disney shows would make for good additions to Tetsuya Nomura’s universe-hopping franchise. Thus far, KH has only brought Sora and friends to the world of Disney movies. While we’ll certainly see plenty of those in KH4 , it’d be nice for some of Disney’s recent small screen efforts to get some love.
The network’s had a solid streak of animated series for a few years that have vibrant, fun worlds which could be pretty compelling and fun to experience through an interactive medium. I think of something like Gravity Falls and The Owl House as pretty good picks for a Kingdom Hearts game, since both shows play with themes of friendship, growing up, and fighting to save someone’s soul much like the action-RPG series does. (That, and it would be pretty funny for Sora to beat up Bill Cipher.) At the very least, it would be an unexpected swerve, and potentially a fun one that opens the door for those who may not know these shows exist.
And of course, there are the Star Wars and MCU series over on Disney+. Using a show like The Mandalorian or the upcoming Spider-Man MCU cartoon would be an easy way to bring in those respective IPs without feeling the need to cram in as much from them as possible. And again, there’s something fun—and yes, admittedly cynically corporate—about the idea of Sora hanging out with Ahsoka Tano or Din Djarin, to say nothing of any of the characters from the Skywalker Saga.
Think some Disney shows deserve KH love? Think there are better movies who would fit the franchise better? Should we just forsake animation and pluck Sora and friends into the world of one of the live-action remakes? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below.
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