Just a few days ago, animator Seth Kearsley shared the long-lost Kingdom Hearts animated show pilot from 2002, one that's been known about by Kingdom Hearts fans for years now, but only in the form of screenshots and animation cells. Sadly, it looks like the pilot might become lost media once more, as Kearsley has removed the video from his YouTube channel after a request from Disney.
The pilot, which features Sora, Donald, and Goofy meeting Riku in Agrabah, was developed in 2002 after the success of the first game. Although the pilot received positive feedback at the time, it was rejected for being "too dark" according to Kearsley, who headed the project at the time.
For whatever reason, it seems like Disney still isn't a big fan of the pilot being out there, as it's asked for the video to be removed. Yesterday, Kearsley said,"As some of you have already seen. The Kingdom Hearts animatic is taken down. I got the call from an old friend at Disney who was politely asked to politely ask me to take it down". Kearsley then explained that the call came from a friend of "25+ years" and that they couldn't have been nicer about the whole situation.
It's not clear why Disney has requested that Kearsley takes down the animatic, but it's possible that it has to do with the use of licensed Kingdom Hearts music. During one scene where Riku and Sora are racing, Simple and Clean can be heard in the background, which could have caused Disney to ask for the video to be taken down, something that Kearsley even noted as a possibility before sharing the pilot in the first place.
Although it's certainly a shame for a big piece of Kingdom Hearts history to be removed so soon after it being discovered, it's not all bad news. Not only do some fans now likely have a copy of the animatic, no longer making it lost media, but some have even started taking it upon themselves to reanimate sections of the pilot, with a few scenes popping up already.
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