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Disney Already Owns a Franchise to Compete With the ‘Super Mario Bros. Movie’ Success

Kingdom Hearts movie
Credit: Square Enix

The Super Mario Bros. Movie is the surprise blockbuster of the year and an undeniable success for Universal Pictures and Illumination. Grossing over $1.3 billion worldwide since its release in April, it is now the most financially successful video game movie of all time and the third highest-grossing animated film ever. The studio took advantage of an iconic video game franchise to find success, something the Walt Disney Company has been struggling with recently. However, Disney quietly possesses an equally captivating gem in its vault that it has slept on for over two decades now.

Super Mario Bros Movie

Credit: Illumination

Disney’s Potential Goldmine – Kingdom Hearts 

Within its large portfolio, the company owns a video game franchise cherished by fans with so much untapped potential – the Kingdom Hearts series. While the Super Mario Bros. Movie dominated the box office with its record-breaking earnings, Kingdom Hearts is a potential contender to replicate such triumphs, provided Disney deftly adapts its intricate universe for the silver screen.

The company is well aware of its existence. The main character, Sora, befriends and adventures with Donald Duck and Goofy for much of the narrative. Disney Parks have seen these characters in occasional meet-and-greets sporting their outfits from the series. Fans love it.

Kingdom Hearts Frozen

Credit: Square Enix

The strength of Disney’s Kingdom Hearts franchise comes from its original characters interacting with classic Disney characters. Sora journeys across various cinematic worlds, wielding a powerful Keyblade to combat darkness. He unites with iconic Disney characters and unravels the mysteries of his own heart to thwart recognizable Disney villains and restore balance.

Originally a video game series developed by Square Enix, Kingdom Hearts artfully intertwines Disney’s treasured icons with original and iconic characters from Square Enix’s popular Final Fantasy franchise. This fusion presents a golden opportunity for Disney to assemble a star-studded cast of characters akin to the Super Mario Bros. Movie, uniting fan favorites from diverse universes like Beauty and the Beast and Pirates of the Caribbean into a single narrative. It worked for Marvel’s Avengers movies!

Kingdom Hearts villains

Credit: Square Enix

Fans Would Embrace a Kingdom Hearts Movie

The allure of Kingdom Hearts lies in its unique capacity to capture the imagination of both newcomers and avid fans. Its premise, while intricate, centers around relatable themes of friendship, heroism, and the eternal struggle between light and darkness. The cinematic adaptation could simplify the narrative complexities to ensure accessibility to a wider audience, allowing newcomers to dive into the world easily. Kingdom Hearts is notoriously convoluted after two decades of games, but if Illumination made the world of Mario work, there is every chance Disney can do the same through simplification.

Disney’s Kingdom Hearts is an untapped treasure trove in a landscape where video game adaptations continue to find success with modern audiences. Its blend of Disney’s cherished characters, Square Enix’s narrative depth, and the potential for a recognizable cast could lead to a surprising cinematic success to rival the Super Mario Bros. Movie. Disney could learn a thing or two about trying new things, seeing as how many of its recent attempts failed to attract an audience. A Kingdom Hearts movie could just be that hidden gem.

About Michael Stoyanoff

Michael is a Disney fan with an entertainment background and passion for writing. Living in Orlando, he has been around the theme parks for over a decade. In his free time he enjoys running, playing video games, and traveling the world. He also loves hanging out with his dog, Mr. Pippers the Pug.

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