Every Pixar movie’s chance at Kingdom Hearts 3 glory

The games panel at Disney’s D23 Expo held exciting news for Kingdom Hearts fans, as a 2018 release window was finally revealed alongside a World based on the Pixar classic, Toy Story. This bombshell opens the floodgates for other potential Pixar representation in the beloved crossover series, giving fans plenty to speculate about as we await a closer-than-expected release date. But what other Pixar movies are primed for a visit from Sora and friends in Kingdom Hearts 3? We break down the animation great’s catalog to determine the best fits for the Kingdom Hearts series.

A Bug’s Life (1998)

Was a bug, little bug, hardly there.

Pixar’s second feature-length film is also one of its most underrated, overshadowed by the heights the studio achieved with later films. This insect adventure would make for an intriguing addition to the Kingdom Hearts universe. Fighting with Flik and the circus bugs against the grasshopper threat would would be a blast, and the film’s story would fit fairly easily alongside the heartless. I think these bugs would make a great fit for the series, but the movie’s popularity will keep it out of Kingdom Hearts 3.

The Verdict: Maybe

Monster’s Inc. (2001) & Monster’s University (2013)

Name a more iconic duo. I’ll wait.

Introducing some of Pixar’s most beloved characters and heartwarming stories, the Monster’s Inc. franchise is a perfect fit for Kingdom Hearts. Exploring the vast weirdness of Monstropolis with Mike and Sully would be a dream come true for fans of both properties, and the potential for monster forms of Sora, Donald and Goofy would be too tantalizing to pass up. What’s more, the movie’s themes of love and friendship are right at home in the Kingdom Hearts world. The movies are incredibly popular, leaving no barrier of entry to the series. Make it happen Square!

The Verdict: Sure thing

Finding Nemo (2003) & Finding Dory (2016)

Fish are friends…

Finding Nemo might be Pixar’s best movie, and Finding Dory does a great job of carrying on the legacy of its predecessor. It’s themes of determination and loyalty fit perfectly within Kingdom Hearts. There’s just one problem: Atlantica. The World based on The Little Mermaid is the among series’ worst because its underwater environments robbed the gameplay of the fast fluiding that makes it sing. The World has potential, but with so many other movies to draw from there is little incentive to try and tackle its challenges.

The Verdict: Pipe dream

The Incredibles (2004)

Superheroes without a franchise. Now that’s old school.

My personal favorite Pixar movie, The Incredibles seem destined for Kingdom Hearts. A 2018 release date for The Incredibles 2 that lines up with Kingdom Hearts 3’s release window makes for a likely pairing. A party consisting of Mr. Incredible, Frozone and the rest of the superpowered family would be among the series’ best, and would fill the void left by Marvel’s colorful cast. The only knock against its inclusion is its sharing the superhero theme with Big Hero Six, but I’d argue it’s different enough to feel distinct within the game because of a focus on powers and a comic aesthetic over gadgets and anime. Don’t let me down Nomura-san.

The Verdict: Sure thing

Cars (2006), Cars 2 (2011) & Cars 3 (2017)

Fast money.

Despite being a merchandising machine for the House of Mouse, there is one thing keeping this series from Kingdom Hearts greatness: cars don’t have hands, thus can’t wield Keyblades. A Lightning McQueen or Mater summon will have to be enough to appease Cars fans.

The Verdict: Pipe Dream

Ratatouille (2007)

Think Linguine maybe had one too many mushrooms?

Another underrated Pixar gem, Ratatouille’s tale of a rat’s culinary genius runs into a persistent problem with the studio’s films; the lack of a traditional villain. Like Finding Nemo and Cars, Ratatouille is a personal journey. While this makes for intriguing film, it results in an awkward fit for Kingdom Hearts. Would Sora explore the sewers and kitchen or the streets of Paris? How would the Heartless fit? For me, there are just too many questions when there are much more natural fits available, and Toy Story already has the shrunken gimmick reserved. Your time will come, little chef.

The Verdict: Pipe Dream

Wall-E (2008)

I wanna be, where the people are…

Pixar’s tale of loneliness and love is one of the studio’s crowning achievements, but it falls into a similar trap as Ratatouille in that it lacks a central villain that fits well with Kingdom Hearts, focusing instead on destructive ideals. While it makes more sense than Remy’s adventure, with the human’s ship providing an intriguing playground for Sora and pals, it’s charm comes from Wall-E rising above his purpose in the name of his love of Eve, not from its conflict. Again, I think the questions surrounding its inclusion make it easier to save Wall-E and roll with more natural fits for Kingdom Hearts 3.

The Verdict: Maybe

Up (2009)

What’s the airspeed velocity of an unladen townhouse?

Unpopular opinion: Up is vastly overrated. Its utterly brilliant opening minutes dominate the conversation while the rest of the film’s odd plot is conveniently forgotten. Regardless of how I feel about the movie, it makes for a surprisingly fun fit in Kingdom Hearts. Paradise Falls would be an interesting locale to explore, and Sora fighting alongside Dug would be a hilarious combination. Charles Muntz and his army of canines also make for great antagonists, despite the film’s personal story. I like Up’s chances in future Kingdom Hearts games, but with the studio just now getting in on the action it seems likely that the movie will take a back seat to more popular franchises.

The Verdict: Maybe

Brave (2012)

Does anyone actually care? No? Ok then.

Cars 2 notwithstanding, I’d argue that Brave is a low point for Pixar. It isn’t a bad film, per se, just kinda bland. On paper, the movie looks like a decent fit for Kingdom Hearts. Merida can be easily imagined as a party member, and the plot could revolve around Sora, Donald, and Goofy assisting her quest to restore her mother’s human form. At the end of the day, however, the movie just does not have the relevance to stand out in a loaded Kingdom Hearts 3 lineup. Sorry Brave fans, I just call it like I see it.

The Verdict: Pipe Dream

Inside Out & The Good Dinosaur (2015)

Reacting to their box office results, perhaps?

Pixar’s latest original films, Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur are ultimately too new to make the cut for Kingdom Hearts 3. I think it is safe to assume that 2014’s Big Hero Six (itself released one year after Kingdom Hearts 3‘s reveal) is the most recent film in the game, and it was 2 full years into development, at least, when these two movies released. Fully expect to see Inside Out in future entries, while the jury is still out on The Good Dinosaur.

The Verdict: Pipe Dream

Are you excited that Kingdom Hearts is finally including Pixar’s vast collection of characters in its Disney anthology? What films do you hope to see in Kingdom Hearts 3? With director Tetsuya Nomura stating that all Disney worlds would be revealed prior to release in 2018, we shouldn’t have to wait long to see where Sora and friends will be journeying to next.

Brett Williams is an Associate Editor for MONG who will riot if monster Sora is not in Kingdom Hearts 3. You can follow his nonexistent ramblings on Twitter.

One thought on “Every Pixar movie’s chance at Kingdom Hearts 3 glory”

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