In a recent interview with Kingdom Hearts Insider, Pixar consultant Tasha Sounart delved into a multitude of things, including how her interest in arts and animation, her relationships with Pixar, and also the inclusion of the Pixar world into the upcoming Kingdom Hearts 3.
In a wide ranging discussion, Sounart discussed how Pixar came to be associated with the game, and how the company and Square Enix came together on a central look for the world of Toy Story that’s to be featured in the game:
PJ: For one thing, it looks absolutely gorgeous. It’s so exciting for us as Kingdom Hearts fans, because as you know, this is the first next gen Kingdom Hearts title where we can play the games on the console and have these amazing graphics. Kingdom Hearts has always been beautiful, but to have that kind of fidelity where you look like you’re playing a Pixar movie, is insane. Of course, it’s absolutely beautiful. I know that Pixar and Square both have these strong commitments to deal and quality. I can imagine that working on that very stringently, you guys have knocked it out of the park.
You mentioned a little bit at D23 that you were really excited to design Sora’s Keyblade for the world, and also to work on the new outfits for Sora, Donald, and Goofy. Can you talk a little bit about the design process for those?
Tasha: Yeah. Basically, Square Enix, they’ll do the first pass of the stuff. Then, it’s a back and forth conversation. Our, I guess you would say Toy Story franchise expert, is Bob Pauley, who is a concept artist here and also designs a lot of characters and has been here for a really long time. He was in on all those meetings when we were talking about the design of the world, the design of the Keyblade, the design of the toy versions of Sora, Donald, and Goofy.
There’s just several rounds of back and forth of like, “Let’s add seams to their joints to make them feel more toy-like,” or, “Let’s make the screws larger so that you can really like it’s a toy.” Because, we definitely wanted to make them feel different than … Because, there are actual action figures of Sora, so we didn’t want to make it just look like the actual action figure. We wanted to almost make it more retro, because Toy Story is all about retro toys and make it look … We emphasized the blockiness of it, just so that … I feel, as a player, that it’s more fun to see a version of the characters that’s different. You want to see what they look like in that world. It’s like, “Oh, fun!”
The entire interview is certainly worth the read, and you can find the whole thing over at Kingdom Hearts Insider, or in the Youtube video embedded above.
[Source: Kingdom Hearts Insider]