Thanks to Frankie Goes To Hollywood, we all know what happens when two tribes go to war, but the friendly collision between Disney and Square Enix has been the consistent bearer of strange fruit.
Who would have thought we'd see Mickey Mouse in a hooded trenchcoat, wielding a ruddy giant key? Or Donald Duck and Goofy squaring off against the emo prince of darkness, Sephiroth? Kingdom Hearts is like chocolate and cheese: it shouldn't work, and it often doesn't work, but it's a taste you'll remember for the rest of your life.
And it's a taste that now encompasses The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, one of Disney's 'lesser' classics, and perhaps a sign that Square are running out of films on which to base Heartless-infested RPG worlds. It hasn't happened yet though, so as part of their quest to destroy series big bad Xehanort, Sora and his bezzy mate/rival Riku will visit Paris to help the Hunchback save the city and get the girl. (Oh, he doesn't get the girl? Man, what a downer.)
Since Sora hasn't parked the Gummi ship in Notre Dame before, it seems likely that Square Enix will be recapping events from the film - albeit with Heartless shoved into them - rather than inventing something new for the cast to do there, as happened a lot during Kingdom Hearts 2. This is a good thing. The series is at its best when it's retelling an entire movie in a couple of hours, Lego Star Wars style: the narrative feels more satisfying and ultimately fun.
Of course, one Disney film isn't enough substance for a whole Kingdom Hearts, so Sora will also set foot in Pinocchio's fairytale world to experience the surprisingly dark story of the little puppet boy and his extendible nose. While Jiminy Cricket's been a staple of the series, this is the first time we'll see him in his natural habitat.
Other worlds haven't been revealed yet, but we do have fresh info on Sora's new companions. Replacing dumpy Donald and toothy Goofy are the Dream Eaters, weird monsters that bestow Sora and Riku with various abilities. You appear to 'collect' these much as you acquired the lost Dalmatians in the original, albeit with more tangible rewards.
After years of running on the spot with spin-offs and remakes, Square finally seem ready and able to give Kingdom Hearts fans what they want: a proper, substantial entry in the series. And we have a Hunch it's going to be pretty good, too.
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