KH3 Ultimania: Interview with Munenori Shinagawa (Animation Director)
DISCLAIMER: This is only a tentative translation. It is possible there are mistakes.
Previously worked on: KH2, KH Re:CoM, KH Days, KH coded, KH BbS, Kh Re:coded, KH3D, KH 1.5, KHX, KH 2.5, KH Unchained X, KH 2.8
Q: Please tell us what you paid attention to in order to recreate the backgrounds from the original movies.
A: We took special care not to take away from the feel of the original movies or nature of the characters during production. The team in charge of Toy Box put so much effort into their work that they had figures of the characters next to them so they could research their movements.
Q: What points did you take into consideration in order to make a seamless transition from the cutscenes to the battle scenes?
A: Matching up the poses of the characters exactly when it changed to the battle animation. In the final stages of production, there was a bug that messed up the placement and poses of the characters, so making adjustments was hard.
Q: What do you think are "KH-esque" movements?
A: Movements that make the characters' natures prominent, and mix a serious mood and a comical feeling to pull the people watching in. Even though movements from motion capture are real, and you can feel the presence of the [motion capture] actors, all of the movements in the KH series are treated with the utmost care, so there's a lot of charm piled in that can't be pulled off from the acting of people.
Q: Please tell us if you used any references from past works in the series, or if there was anything you thought about changing.
A: This game is the culmination of all of our work on the series, so we adopted the acting from some more impressive scenes from past works. There will probably be some scenes where you think "oh, I might have seen this kind of movement before".
Q: Please tell us something you won't forget about the development process.
A: I was glad to hear that Disney and Pixar, who were doing the editing for us, were delighted that the quality was the same as the movies.
BONUS! "A secret about the game only you know"
That habit Master Xehanort has of making a fist and then letting it go, you can see a little during the chess-like game the young Xehanort is playing, too. I tried making it a habit he's had since childhood.