KH3 Ultimania: Interview with Junichi Miyajima (Art Director: Environment)
DISCLAIMER: This is only a tentative translation. It is possible there are mistakes.
Previously worked on: FFXIII, FFXIII-2, Lightning Returns: FFXIII, FFXV, The 3rd Birthday
Q: Please tell us what you paid attention to in order to recreate the backgrounds from the original movies.
A: To make the city at night in San Fransokyo especially charming, we really paid attention to the coloring during production. Concerning the distinctive colorful art [style] of the billboards and city lights, I exchanged ideas with the members of the lighting team over and over and poured all my energy into recreating the source material, in terms of things like the lightning efficiency. Apart from that, in aiming for the realism of the imagery in The Caribbean and the hand-drawn cartoony style of 100 Acre Woods, the hard work and efforts of the staff are closely tied [to that], I think.
Q: What point did you struggle with most?
A: The sheer size of everything [laughs]. Each world has completely different backgrounds, so I couldn't re-use anything, and it required a huge amount of data. Because of that, we struggled a lot dealing with all of the problems that arose with loading [of the data] and the amount.
Q: Please tell us something interesting that happened during production.
A: This is the first time I've ever worked on the KH series, so before I was a part of production, I worried like "if I watch the original movies too often, won't I end up hating them once production's over?" However, completely unexpectedly, the more I watched the movies for research, the more I got pulled into them and became a fan, so even now my room is overflowing with Disney and Pixar merch [laughs].
Q: What parts of this production do you especially want us to see?
A: The backgrounds of the original KH worlds, and of course, the backgrounds recreated for the Disney-based worlds. I watched the movies for research so many times I basically burned a hole in them, so there are so many small, intricate details shoved in [to the backgrounds] that I can't even count them all. A lot of appealing characters show up, so while you're searching for the Lucky Emblems hidden in the backgrounds, by all means, please sink yourself into the appreciation of each world.
BONUS! "A secret about the game only you know"
In The Caribbean/Settlement, the blacksmith's wood-carved figurine that Jack was hiding behind him in the movie is there.