Disney and Square Enix have confirmed Big Hero 6 is going to be in Kingdom Hearts III. The official announcement comes via a video message on the show floor of the Disney D23 Expo, a fan-centric festival celebrating the company’s diverse portfolio of entertainment properties. The Executive Producer of Kingdom Hearts, Shinji Hashimoto, graced the stage in person to share the “big” news at the convention, as well. Big Hero 6 is the first Marvel-inspired world to appear in the Kingdom Hearts franchise, extending the possible worlds Sora and his friends may visit in the future.
Producer Roy Conli, who won an Academy Award for his work on Big Hero 6, reveals Kingdom Hearts III will actually continue the events of the film rather than simply retelling them. This is exciting news for Big Hero 6 fans eager for a sequel. Conli also takes a moment to touch on the thematic parallels between the Disney film and the Square Enix game.
“Big Hero 6 is such a special film for me — and we always made sure that each action sequence had a very special meaning. The themes in Kingdom Hearts and Big Hero 6 match very well. For instance there’s friendship, really important to both stories, and then of course light over darkness.”
Hiro Hamada, the adolescent protagonist of Big Hero 6, struggles to overcome feelings of loss, grief, depression, and a desire for revenge. With that experience under his belt, going forward into Kingdom Hearts III, Hiro just might be able to relate to Sora and the gang, not just as a teen hero, but as an individual who has overcome his own darkness.
— Disney Interactive (@DisneyInteract) August 16, 2015
Just as the possibilities from a storytelling perspective are vastly tantalizing, the gameplay opportunities are equally so. The Tokyo-meets-San Francisco urban mashup that is Hiro’s home of San Fransokyo is a vast tech mecca for the characters of Kingdom Hearts to play in. In Kingdom Hearts II, players saw Sora, Donald and Goofy gear up in a Tron-inspired world that included fun light cycle mini-games and a brilliant battle against the Master Control Program. Similarly, it might be neat to see Sora and company in their own super hero armor, battling robots in the streets or flying around town on Baymax.
Unfortunately, unlike the Rapunzel announcement made at the Square Enix Press Conference just before E3 2015, its anyone’s guess how the world of Big Hero 6 will take shape in Kingdom Hearts III at this point. The announcement trailer does not show off any in-game footage or screenshots of the newly revealed world or its characters.
[Images courtesy Square Enix]