One of the most fun Disney worlds that Sora, Donald, and Goofy travel to in the Kingdom Hearts video game series is Halloween Town from The Nightmare Before Christmas. The heroes transforming into monsters, battling alongside Jack Skellington, and enjoying the spooky aesthetic is always a blast. That being said, Kingdom Hearts II introduces fans to that world’s Santa Claus. Santa, of course, is a character in The Nightmare Before Christmas, so it makes sense to see him in that world in Kingdom Hearts II, but his existence in the video game franchise does need to be discussed.
Upon meeting Santa in the game, fans of the stop-motion animated classic will immediately recognize him as the version specific to the film. However, it’s soon discovered that this Santa is THE Santa for all worlds. He already knows Sora and even says that he’s been on the naughty list since he stopped believing in him when he was younger. Through conversation with the character, it’s clear that this is the same Santa that brings gifts to anyone on the nice list regardless of what world they reside in. This may not seem like a big deal at first; there would only be one Santa after all. After putting some thought into it, though, it does make this Santa a somewhat problematic character.
Santa Claus is able to see what folks are up to at any place and time. He can travel anywhere in the blink of an eye, and is one of the few Disney characters who is able to travel between the worlds. His magic is obviously incredibly powerful. There are plenty of powerful magic users throughout the video game series, but Santa could probably hold his own against a lot of them. Even if he’s not one to fight, he could at least be extremely helpful to the heroes, whether it be finding out what any of the villains are up to, riding his sleigh into a world that’s falling into darkness and saving some people before it’s too late, or even bringing Sora and his friends wherever they need to go without having to blast Heartless from their Gummi Ship. He has the means to be a huge help, but chooses not to do so.
When he sees the members of Organization XIII stealing hearts or Hades destroying cities, does he just toss them on the naughty list and call it a day? I guarantee that these individuals don’t care about receiving colorfully wrapped toys and gifts. A lump of coal won’t do a whole lot to get them to stop trying to descend every world into darkness.
Santa could be using his magic to be doing a whole lot more to ensure that worlds aren’t destroyed, and yet he sits on the sidelines of the war between good and evil. He cares more about gifting toys to children than he does assisting heroes protect the lives of the innocent. Santa, couldn’t you have at least given Sora’s Keyblade extra magic or something?