In 2002 a game depicting Mickey Mouse and pals threatened by an evil force was a surprise hit. Can the latest Toy Story-themed instalment provide the magic fans crave?

When Disney held its annual D23 fan convention in Anaheim, California, last week, news was dominated by the announcement of new Star Wars-themed areas for its giant theme parks, promising fully immersive adventure experiences. But when it came to video games, neither of Disney’s big geek-friendly franchises – Star Wars or Marvel – dominated the show. Instead, the spotlight was very much on franchise far less recognised by the wider masses: Kingdom Hearts, an action-RPG series that crosses Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy with elements of the Final Fantasy series.

When new material for the much-delayed Kingdom Hearts III was revealed during the gaming-focused Level Up panel, the cheering was louder than anything that greeted major mainstream properties such as EA’s Star Wars Battlefront II or Insomniac’s upcoming Spider-Man title. While Kingdom Hearts is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, it’s been a 12-year wait for a brand-new, main instalment in the series.

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