Disney Plus may get an exclusive Kingdom Hearts series

kingdom hearts
(Image credit: Square Enix)

If you've been following Disney Plus, then you know it could use a few more exclusive shows. While everyone loved The Mandalorian, it hasn't had a big breakout hit since then, and it could probably use one. The House of Mouse may be planning to rectify that with what is arguably the most bizarre property in its arsenal: Kingdom Hearts.

Yes, the most convoluted video game series ever created may be getting a Disney Plus adaptation, according to Emre Kaya, a reporter for The Cinema Spot. (Hat-tip to Eurogamer for the initial report.) There's not a ton of information yet, but Kaya shared what he knew: Square Enix is in charge of the production, and it will be CG animated rather than live-action.

Skyler Shuler, editor-in-chief of The DisInsider, also shared what he knew about the upcoming project. Kingdom Hearts will be a Disney Plus series, rather than a one-off movie. The regular Disney voice actors who participated in the video games (Jim Cummings, Bill Farmer and Tony Anselmo, in particular) will probably reprise their roles. He also claimed that the project will be animated in CG.

While the sources in question are reliable, it's worth pointing out that Kingdom Hearts projects have failed to materialize before, including another TV series back in 2015. Those who have played Kingdom Hearts already know the problem: the story is just too complicated for a general audience. 

What started out as a breezy Disney/Final Fantasy crossover grew and expanded into a morass of incomprehensible titles, full of time travel, parallel dimensions, digital avatars and people living inside each other's hearts like Russian nesting dolls.

Still, it's also not hard to see why Disney might be eager to produce a Kingdom Hearts series. It's essentially a free pass to draw from its extensive backlog of characters and settings, then mash them together in any way that seems interesting. 

From Frozen and Tangled, to Toy Story and Monsters Inc., to Aladdin and The Little Mermaid, to Tron and Pirates of the Caribbean, Kingdom Hearts really does have a little something for everyone. And that's doubly true if the show can retain the Final Fantasy connection to draw in the "angsty teen" demographic.

In fact, one interesting tidbit from Kaya's tweet suggests that Disney originally tried to produce the series itself, then handed duties over to Square Enix, which is producing a pilot using the Unreal Engine. Square Enix's storytelling sensibilities are a little weird, especially by Disney standards, and might produce something a little more offbeat than traditional Disney Plus fare.

In any case, Kingdom Hearts is one of those series that could almost certainly work as a TV show - but it could also almost certainly fail. The beloved characters and clever concept are usually at war with the convoluted internal mythos. We'll see which side wins out if Disney decides to pick up the show for a full run.

Marshall Honorof

Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.