Kingdom Hearts IV should mine Disney’s TV History
We kinda knew that Kingdom Hearts IV was at least in the pipeline in terms of being developed, but given the huge amount of time between Kingdom Hearts II & III and all the games in-between, it was definitely a very pleasant surprise to see footage of Kingdom Hearts IV recently and it seemingly being the next game in the series and hopefully coming our way in the next couple of years (the optimistic side of me wants to say holiday 2024).
Now there are actually far more than three games in the Kingdom Hearts series, and while you do visit some Disney worlds multiple times in the franchise, by the time we are getting to the fourth proper entry a lot of the most beloved properties in the Disney canon have pretty much been covered with the exception of major acquisitions such as Marvel and Star Wars and more recent Disney hits like Encanto that honestly may have to wait for later entry to be included. But there is one long-running area Disney has an incredibly long and rich tradition beloved by many that has pretty much been ignored this entire time in the Kingdom Hearts saga and that’s the realm of television.
Arguably dating back to even before the much-beloved “Disney Afternoon” block of cartoons, Disney has a very long history of shows or even Disney Channel movies that could be a perfect fit or at least really interesting formats for Kingdom Hearts worlds. That goes for both animation and live-action. You’ve got a Gummi Ship in each major game which is the most universally loathed section of every game it’s present in, yet no world based in the world of the Gummi Bears. Chip and Dale are present (also as part of the Gummi Ship sections) but are far more famous to most for their Rescue Rangers days which aren’t even given a mention. Scrooge McDuck, how do you have Scrooge McDuck and no Ducktales?
So with Kingdom Hearts IV on the horizon and Square needing new worlds to explore, it’s time to take advantage of this area that’s basically been ignored up to this point. Heck let’s get some Disney channel original movie franchises in there too. Wouldn’t it be wild to see Sora hanging out with characters from Descendants or even High School Musical?
There are a couple of other good reasons for Kingdom Hearts IV to delve into the world of Disney TV shows (and DCOMs as the Disney Channel Original Movies are known). Firstly, Disney is historically pretty restrictive on what they allow with their bigger properties, but I’d bet they be a little looser with these properties.
Secondly, while these aren’t all the worlds in Kingdom Hearts games, many of the worlds in the series are fairly straightforward recreations of the movies they are based on and these are pretty much the least interesting ones in each game. By their very nature, TV shows (and movie franchises with several entries) can’t just retell a story in one world/level of a game, they have to do something different so it wouldn’t just be the exact same story you’ve already seen.
In closing, Kingdom Hearts IV should explore this virtually untapped rich and beloved area of Disney that isn’t getting any representation in modern video games as is alongside the big animated movies and major more recent acquisitions such as Star Wars and Marvel. It’s extremely unrealized potential that I hope gets at least some recognition not only in Kingdom Hearts IV but in other future games in the franchise as the Kingdom Hearts train shows no signs of slowing down in the near future with a whole new arc and multiple games on the way.
That’s all for today, I don’t think I’ll have another post this week but almost definitely next week so see ya real soon!