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Kingdom Hearts Pilot Board

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By SethKearsley   |   
© 2013 - 2020 SethKearsley
These are select panels from THE COOLEST project I ever had the pleasure of working on, which never saw the light of day.

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.  

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Image size
2480x16499px 21.11 MB
Adobe Photoshop CS5 Macintosh
anonymous's avatar
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mattjohn1992's avatar
mattjohn1992Hobbyist Artist
Great Job, Nice, Hi
Harrystylesisallmine's avatar
HarrystylesisallmineStudent Filmographer
This would’ve been awesome
XenoGX18's avatar
XenoGX18Student Traditional Artist
It's possible that this project could be brought back to draw people into the series and for newcomers to catch up on the series,
If Disney could made a animated pilot to see if fans wanted to watch a series that's darker than any current series running at the time.
I would recommend asking the game's developer;Tetsuya nomura for the core audience he was trying to reach and if had any plans on developing more KH games to plan when It's a good time to make a animated adaptation.
illcitvirus115's avatar
illcitvirus115Hobbyist General Artist
Bad idea to talk to Tetsuya Nomura about the plot and see where it could go if you plan to adapt Kingdom Hearts. As it stands today, Kingdom Hearts is a convoluted overcomplicated mishmash that's becoming less Disney centric than the first title.
SethKearsley's avatar
SethKearsleyProfessional Filmographer
The world is full of infinite possibilities.
alannacrystal's avatar
alannacrystalHobbyist General Artist
This is awesome! Thank you so much for posting these great storyboards. It is really interesting to see how the TV series would have looked for Kingdom Hearts. I truly hope there will be another chance for a Kingdom Hearts animated series in future.
Fenris0604's avatar
Fenris0604Hobbyist Digital Artist
Keytee-chan's avatar
Keytee-chanHobbyist Digital Artist
Aww, it's sad they didn't make the KH Animated series... That would be the top!
Ironytoaster's avatar
IronytoasterHobbyist Photographer
I REALLY want this.
ratchetsly2324's avatar
ratchetsly2324Student Filmographer
Who doesn't?
If Disney would just do it, it would be succesful!!!!
Ironytoaster's avatar
IronytoasterHobbyist Photographer
CatVan92's avatar
CatVan92Hobbyist Traditional Artist
So, did this man ask you about the pilot?

SethKearsley's avatar
SethKearsleyProfessional Filmographer
yup.  Caused quite a stir on Twitter last week because I actually found a VHS tape of the pilot.
CatVan92's avatar
CatVan92Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Some people are just too obsessed with finding lost media... besides
I don't have any knowledge of KH besides the Disney Characters.
BerryNiceCherry's avatar
BerryNiceCherryHobbyist Digital Artist
Hey ya.
A person could buy that pilot?

I don't have money but it's the same.
SethKearsley's avatar
SethKearsleyProfessional Filmographer
Two big companies own it and it's full of their characters, so I don't see anyone being able to buy it.
BerryNiceCherry's avatar
BerryNiceCherryHobbyist Digital Artist
I see...
And it legal to give it free?
'Cause you know,I have no money.
panther-star's avatar
panther-starStudent General Artist
I wish this would happen. Too bad it didn't come out.
SethKearsley's avatar
SethKearsleyProfessional Filmographer
:) (Smile) 
JackMUGENArt20's avatar
JackMUGENArt20Professional Artist
I Using My Pen To Make My New Animated Series It's Called "Jack-Man" Look Like "The New Adventures Of Batman 1977 & 1997" So I Will Make Pilot Form You.
JackMUGENArt20's avatar
JackMUGENArt20Professional Artist
The Film From Based On TV Show Is Like: Sonic SatAM, The Batman, And Film Based On Video Games Was Called "Scott Vs The World"
Psychic-Monkey009's avatar
Psychic-Monkey009Hobbyist Digital Artist
I actually have heard about this on the Pizza Party Podcast on the topic of lost media. This is pretty fascinating.
DREWW0TM8's avatar
DREWW0TM8Hobbyist Artist
I would love to see it! My hype would be multiplied by nine octillion if we get to see my boy Cloud Strife. (And more if we also get to see Sephiroth as well.).
NathanTheMoldy's avatar
NathanTheMoldyStudent Traditional Artist
Funny, there was a debate in a thread to whether or not this will be made by Disney, or an anime company. I concluded by what you said. Also, would there be worlds prior to the worlds that are already established in the games? Or will there be Disney worlds that would make it, but it's kind of risky? Like a Who Framed Roger Rabbit world, but can't due to copyright laws with Disney and Amblin?
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