Steamboat Willie enlisted for 'Kingdom of Hearts II'

The Kingdom of Hearts II video game will draw in part on the 1928 Mickey Mouse cartoon Steamboat Willie.

Steamboat Willie, the first Mickey Mouse cartoon ever made and perhaps one of the most famous, will make an appearance in Square Enix Co.'s "Kingdom of Hearts II" video game.

The next installment of the video game series, which is produced by the Tokyo-based company and The Walt Disney Co., will draw in part on the 1928 cartoon classic in addition to other more contemporary characters and titles, Square Enix said at its Square Enix Party 2005 event in Chiba, west of Tokyo.

Sora, the main character from the first game, is back alongside Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and other Disney characters from "Pirates of the Caribbean," "Mulan" and "The Little Mermaid." Cloud from Final Fantasy VII also gets in on the action.

Visitors to the event got to see a few short clips from the game in the on-site theater and there were playable demo versions also available.

The game doesn't have a release date yet beyond "winter" for the Japanese market.

Square Enix also announced that Japanese pop singer Hikaru Utada [cq] will record the game's title song, called "Passion." Utada also recorded the title song to "Kingdom of Hearts I," which was released in 2002.

As of the end of 2004 the Kingdom of Hearts series, which includes PlayStation 2 and GameBoy Advance versions, had sold 1.2 million copies in Japan, 2.2 million copies in North America and 920,000 copies in Europe, according to company data.

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Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
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