Kingdom Hearts is one of those series that has caused such a strong divide in people online. People either herald it as a masterpiece, or as a an over-hyped fanbase pandering mess. I’m of the opinion that the series is very good… but suffers from a LOT of problems. But that being said, what I want to talk about today is why I think the series works as a great concept.
One big complaint people have is they can’t take a game that mixes Final Fantasy and Disney seriously. However, I’d like to think that they’re a chemical combination that strangely works. When you think of typical cross-over ,the formula would the Final Fantasy characters would be in complete shock seeing characters as whimsical and cartoonish as Disney. And while it would be presented as comical, a lot of people would find it groan-inducing. But that’s not the case here.
Characters like Cloud Strife or Sid see it as perfectly natural. Final Fantasy is not without its silly elements, such a moogles, chocobos, or the hairstyles, so it isn’t too hard to believe that seeing such wacky characters would be too much of a shift for them.
The disney characters bring some levity to the often serious dilemmas, but they don’t do so in a way that lessens the struggle or the severity of the situation. Hell, Mickey Mouse is presented as a wise and powerful warrior. And while he may have his moments of playfulness, he still inspires hope and courage in Sora. And to me, thats why I think the series works.
The worlds are being brought together, from Final Fantasy to Disney, but in the end of the day, they pursue through the darkness and try to find hope together. They even make sacrifices for one another.
The games also manage to bring together two existing universes into a new one that is able to have its own lore. Granted the lore can get EXTREMELY convoluted, but it still tries to create personality and establish a history. The struggle against heartless and darkness itself is one that never seems to end, but that’s ok, and thats what it teaches to children. That the evil in the world may never truly go away, but we do what we can despite it.