Attack of the Fanboy

Kingdom Hearts Nearly Had Its Own Animated Series, Storyboards Revealed

by Dean James


The Kingdom Hearts series is one of the most popular in gaming these days, with a number of games released on many different platforms, including two major releases on the horizon in Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX and Kingdom Hearts III. Looking back to 2002, we were just coming off the release of the first game with only a hint of a major franchise in the works due to the game’s ending. However, now it has been confirmed that Disney was also looking to push forward the franchise with an animated series.

Seth Kearsley, writer and director of the never to be animated series, has used his DeviantArt account to confirm rumors of such a series and even released some storyboards from it in the process. While these postings came from last year on his page, they were just recently discovered by most due to his discussion on a podcast about the series.

  • “This goes back to about 2002.  Only the first game had come out at this point.  I was hired by Disney TV animation to develop and direct an animatic for a possible Kingdom Hearts animated series.  I played the first game from beginning to end and was so excited to get this opportunity.  This would have been the perfect thing for me, especially because of my action/comedy background with Mummies.  It was dark.  It combined anime and classic disney characters.  Are you kidding me?  This was awesome.  I also had control of the script on this so it was INCREDIBLY DARK…but then so is the game.  The darkest moment in the pilot was when Maleficent possessed Riku after he snatched the lamp.  That’s the very last panel here.

    “You’ll notice a series lack of backgrounds in these boards.  There was a pretty good reason for that.  As part of the project, I was able to go to the Disney Animation Archives.  The episode took place on Agrabah, so I pulled actual production BGs from Aladdin and boarded with it in mind that I would use this backgrounds.

    “This is one of those projects I really wish I could go back and have another crack at.  Especially with the technology now.  Looking back at these drawings, I can’t believe how small some of them are.  I also can’t believe I inked them and did marker tones on all of them.  I must have been temporarily insane.

    “At any rate, the pilot animatic tested exceptionally well but it was decided there wouldn’t be an animated series because they planned on making many more games.  WHO KNOWS…there could be a Kingdom Hearts animated series at some point.”

The storyboards have been split into two courtesy of Kingdom Hearts Ultimania, which can be seen right here and here. Hopefully Kearsley is right and we will see a Kingdom Hearts animated series in the future, as it could be an excellent expansion of the series after Kingdom Hearts III. What would you like to see from a Kingdom Hearts animated series if we got one in the future?

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