The Kingdom Hearts franchise struck gold when it brought Disney characters into a traditional Square Enix RPG. Through the various trailers over the last several years we've seen a number of the classic characters who will be making an appearance in the new game early next year. However, when it comes to our favorite Disney animated characters, the look is only half the equation. However, since all of the previous trailers were in Japanese, we had no idea which English voice actors would lend their talents to the game. Now we know which ones will sound like themselves, as several of the original voice actors will be performing their characters for Kingdom Hearts III, including Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell and Josh Gad from Frozen as well as Tangled's Zachary Levi.
While it's not uncommon for Disney characters to be brought to life using sound-alikes for anything other than straight theatrical sequels, the Kingdom Hearts franchise has done a pretty good job of getting the original voices to come back for the English version of the game entries. For Kingdom Hearts III we'll see all four of the major characters from Frozen as well as a pair from Tangled and others from Toy Story and even Hercules. Check out the full list below.
Josh Gad - Olaf from Frozen
Kristen Bell - Anna from Frozen
Idina Menzel - Elsa from Frozen
Jonathan Groff - Kristoff from Frozen
Zachary Levi - Flynn Rider from Tangled
Donna Murphy - Mother Gothel from Tangled
John Ratzenberger - Hamm from Toy Story
Wallace Shawn - Rex from Toy Story
Tate Donovan - Hercules from Hercules
Kevin R. McNally - Gibbs from the Pirates of the Caribbean series
Tony Anselmo - Donald Duck
Bill Farmer - Goofy
In addition to these Disney voices, it was also confirmed that Haley Joel Osment would reprise his role as Sora, the player character from the previous games.
If you're a serious Disney fan, and most serious Kingdom Hearts fans probably are, then there's nothing quite like hearing the right voice coming from your favorite character. Dan Castellaneta is a great voice actor, but he's not Genie, that's Robin Williams. Even though most replacements try their best to sound like the original, you can almost always tell.
Of course, by virtue of having this list of returning voice actors, one does notice some apparent omissions. While Zachary Levi and Donna Murphy are both on board, Mandy Moore, who voiced Rapunzel in Tangled is not mentioned. It's not clear that this is the complete list of returning performers, so we may get another announcement down the road, perhaps some of the voice actors are still in negotiation. Moore seems especially odd to be missing because the actress actually worked on the Kingdom Hearts franchise previously, voicing Final Fantasy VII 's Aerith in the original game. There's also no reference to James Woods as Hades. We know the character is in the game and since we know Hercules will also play a significant role, it makes sense that his movie's villain will as well.
It's great to see so many performers returning to their classic Disney characters. Traveling to our favorite Disney worlds is the best part of Kingdom Hearts and meeting our favorite characters, complete with the correct voice. Only makes it feel more magical.