Kingdom Hearts fans have been waiting for Kingdom Hearts 3 for a while now, and it has been teased that in 2018, they will finally be getting it. A couple trailers have already come out, which show off new moves, attacks, summons, characters, and even a couple new worlds in the form of Toy Story, Big Hero 6, and Tangled levels.
However, there are still plenty of other Disney movies that have yet to get the Kingdom Hearts treatment. We picked out a couple that would probably fit into the next Kingdom Hearts game–whether it ends up being the third instalment of the main series or another spin-off–well.
Atlantis: The Lost Empire
It is possible that this 2001 Disney film passed you by when it was originally released, but it’s rife with adventure. A steampunk story sees a group of adventurers leave the surface of the earth in 1914 for the lost city of Atlantis, deep underwater. Atlantis is guarded by mechanical monsters, explosive fireflies, and unpredictable tectonics, not to mention mutinous crew members. It’s easy to see Sora exploring Atlantis with main character Milo Thatch and princess of Atlantis Kida, balancing adventure and mystery, and to imagine that the Heartless and/or Nobodies would be just as interested in the mysterious powers Atlanteans can yield with their life crystals as the more deceitful members of Thatch’s crew. Kida would make an awesome companion, besides.
As there was already a Playstation One Atlantis game that got decent reviews upon its initial release in 2001, the developmental team would already have some groundwork lain for story modification, and an idea of what could and couldn’t work for this new outing. The unique art design would be great to see in updated graphics as well.
It is difficult to imagine Kingdom Hearts III without a Frozen world. The film did so well it almost immediately got a sequel greenlit after its theatre release. Even now, four years later, it’s hard to escape the merchandise and the music. It could attract tons of new, young players to Kingdom Hearts as well. You know, all those kids who missed the main games in the series because they were born after 2006. With the Frozen sequel due out in 2019, the level would also be potential hype for that.
Outside of marketing 101, this is another film that just fits the Kingdom Hearts mold. Hans could easily fall for some Maleficent or Nobody-style promises of power, and Sora could be the guide that teaches Elsa how to accept her powers instead of hiding from them… We bet you can almost hear Goofy’s needless interjections now. Oh, and Elsa accidentally creates an ice Heartless instead of just the regular snow monster from the film that would serve as the level boss. An upgrade on the Diamond Dust ice keyblade would be a given. And Elsa vows to keep her castle’s gates unlocked forever, doesn’t she? Sounds like a job for the guy swinging a giant weaponized key around to me!
Hear us out on this one: Disney owns Fox now, so they own their film franchises, right? That includes Blue Sky Studios, the animation studio that gave us the Ice Age series. The films center around Cenozoic mammals romping around a world that was frozen, but has since started to thaw and break apart.
The Kingdom Hearts games do usually involve one level where Sora gets transformed bodily, such as his merman transformation in Atlantea levels and his lion cub form in the Pride Lands level. Sora the sabretooth tiger? Hey, maybe. Goofy could be a sloth or, similar to his transformation in the Pride Lands to a tortoise, a glyptodon. Donald could be a dodo bird… Hmm. Can’t we dream?
Lilo and Stitch
Lilo and Stitch has already partially made it into the Kingdom Hearts series in 2010’s Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, for the PSP. However, the Deep Space level focused on the spaceship that the movie starts on, and it ends with Stitch pointing the ship towards a certain point in space. It would make sense to continue with the idea and put Sora in Hawaii.
The strong bond between Lilo and her sister Nani, not to mention Lilo and Stitch, would make all of their hearts rather appealing targets. Jumbo and Pleakley, the aliens who spend the movie trying to retrieve Stitch from Earth, could easily reprise their mostly comic relief roles from the original movie. Gantu, another alien in pursuit of Stitch, was demoted for his failures in Birth by Sleep, and he would most likely be ready and raring for a chance to redeem himself, as well.
Treasure Planet is another one of those early-2000s Disney movies that, despite an innovative concept and design, flopped commercially. However, just like Atlantis: The Lost Empire, it has a strong cult following today. It’s a cyberpunk take on Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel Treasure Island.
Just as Monstro from Pinocchio interrupted the Gummi Ship’s travels by swallowing it in the very first Kingdom Hearts game, the RLS Legacy could come into contact with the Gummi Ship as it travels through space. Sora, Goofy, and Donald are momentarily captured and forced to work, but they help the Legacy navigate through the supernova which devastates the crew in the film, and are allowed to leave. In the second half of the game, Sora and company could discover a new planet only to be reunited with the familiar crew. Or all of this could take place in one go, with Sora dropping off the good members of the crew in Traverse Town or Twilight Town at the end of the excursion.
Wreck-It Ralph might be too meta to handle, but hey, Tron made it into Kingdom Hearts. A level like Wreck-It Ralph would probably be handled in a similar way as Space Paranoids, where Sora is sucked into a computer. Maybe Ansem was really into restoring retro game cabinets when he wasn’t researching the Heartless! It would probably be impossible to include all the game cameos in the film due to licensing issues, but it could be an opportunity to throw in new Final Fantasy characters and maybe bring Tron back. Besides, the various worlds of Wreck-It Ralph host enough strong characters that Zangeif, Robotnik, Q*Bert and others wouldn’t really be missed.
As the movie hops from world to world in its own right, the story could be slimmed down to Sora arriving just about the same moment Ralph crash lands in the Sugar Rush game. He helps out Ralph and Vanellope, they make her kart, and Sora leaves happy… Then, in the second half of the game, he returns to find King Candy telling Ralph about Vanellope’s “glitch” status, and the story continues more or less as usual from there. Alternately, the level could start in a modified version of the Hero’s Duty game, and Sora and Ralph’s combined recklessness starts all the trouble. Maybe, instead of merging with a bug monster, King Candy could merge with a truly monstrous Heartless. At minimum, Vanellope’s “glitch” abilities would make her a cool Summon!
With the countdown to Kingdom Hearts III supposedly on, it is exciting to think about what worlds Sora and his friends will be exploring next, and how they will be adapted to fit the struggle against the Darkness. Are there any other as-yet unseen in Kingdom Hearts Disney movies that you can make a case for? We would love to hear your take on this, too!