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Lost Kingdom Hearts TV Pilot Revealed

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Kingdom Hearts has been a thing for twenty years. When you think about it, it’s remarkable that an American entertainment giant and a Japanese video game studio would retain a partnership for that span of time. Business deals like that usually only last a few years before being passed to someone else. But in KH, Disney saw something special….that apparently still isn’t good enough to spin off into other media.

A Kingdom Hearts TV series sounds like the biggest no-brainer ever. How come Disney’s never even thought about it? …It turns out they once DID think about it…back at the very beginning.

Animation producer Seth Kearsley has just uploaded the full animatic to a lost TV pilot based on Kingdom Hearts. Kearsley was hired to board the entire 11 minutes, and made substantial rewrites to its script. The animatic was produced in 2003, mere months after the first Kingdom Hearts game hit shelves.

Just in case Disney has a problem with it and shoots it down, here’s a summary of what happens: we first get a scene that recaps the start of the game, with Sora, Kairi and Riku lounging around their beach home and dreaming of adventure. The Heartless arrive and abduct them all. Then Sora snaps out of his dream and stares at a photo of his friends. It’s revealed he’s now on a Gummi Ship traveling through the Disneyverse.

Riku is now with the villains, working for Maleficent as she seeks to spread the Heartless’ influence. She’s made Agrabah her next target and, specifically, the magic lamp in the Cave of Wonders. She send Riku there….and at the same time, Sora, Donald and Goofy arrive at the city square.

Sora is excited to see Riku again and believes they are on the same side, with the same goal (finding Kairi). They fight a lot of Heartless monsters while Goofy bumbles around and stumbles into victories by accident. Riku tells Sora he’s headed to the Cave of Wonders because the lamp could help them find Kairi. Sora agrees it’s a good idea.

The lion head was expecting a specific “Diamond in the Rough” but figures Sora is good enough. He lets the party through. Riku runs up to the lamp and the moment he touches it, a portal opens on the wall and the Heartless emerge. Riku suddenly turns evil, yelling that his friends are the real enemy. Sora struggles and prevents Riku from keeping the lamp…but then just leaves it there. I guess he assumes the Heartless won’t try this again?

Maleficent is displeased that Riku failed to get the lamp, but pleased he has made a connection with Sora, as the boy may be easily manipulated. The final scene is in the Gummi Ship where Sora vows to bring his friends back.

Kearsley says in a behind-the-scenes video that the Kingdom Hearts show probably would have been what you’d expect from an early-to-mid 2000s Disney action series. No serialization whatsoever, just episodic adventures that don’t rock the status quo. KH would have fit this mold better than most, but Disney could definitely make a more faithful series today.

So how about it?