During Disney’s Big Hero 6
press day I had the opportunity to sit down with the film makers and discuss the upcoming animated feature. You’ll be familiar with the film makers as they have been behind many of the more recent Disney films such as Lilo & Stitch
(Williams), The Emperor’s New Groove
(Hall, Williams), Bolt
(Williams), Wreck-It Ralph
(Conli) and Frozen
(Williams). As many of you have noticed, the marketing for the film thus far is pretty light on “Marvel” and pretty heavy on “Disney”. When the trio was asked about the Marvel comics and what was borrowed for the film it was revealed that fans of the comics won’t see much of the Marvel characters or story that they may be familiar with.
“2004 is the six issue mini-series that contains the characters that we took and inspired the movie we’re making.” said Don Hall. “They [Marvel] were involved as far as early discussions with them when we asked about the Big Hero 6 property and they’ve been nothing but supportive and enthusiastic with us taking this thing and making it our own. They were really excited by the idea of not necessarily connecting this to the Marvel Universe, but having us create our own world where these characters would live and breathe.”
Where did the idea of Baymax, the portly robot come from? Producer Don Hall explains; “The story was not the story. This is how much we knew… We were doing Big Hero 6
. We were going to set it in this fictional world called “San Fransokyo”, that is a mix of San Francisco and Tokyo. We knew the characters names and there was sort of a rough, rough, story/concept about this 14 year super-genius whose brother dies and his brother’s robot becomes sort of a surrogate big brother and we knew that was going to be the emotional spine of the story, and there was going to be a superhero origin part of it as well. Sort of a very loose high-level story pitch. The first thing we needed to do was figure out the robot because that was going to be the most important character in the movie. We didn’t want to do anything that’s been seen before. We knew we wanted it to be an appealing character. Carnegie Melon showed me a medical researcher who was delving into soft robotics. The practical application for soft robotics in the future will be health care; robots that take care of us when we’re sick or old. He showed me this vinyl inflatable arm that was brushing somebodies teeth and I saw that and knew we had our huggable robot. Baymax’s character came out of that research trip.”
When I asked the film makers if they had a favorite character and whether or not that changed when they were in their “superhero” form, they leaned towards GoGo because she was the only capable one initially and it took some time for the other characters to grow into their suits and personas. Don Hall liked Baymax because of his purity and innocence, but they said they give each character their moments to shine, although GoGo may get a few more moments than the others according to Williams.
Regarding super powers, Don Hall said that they tried to keep the film grounded. The characters’ suits ARE their super powers.
When the trio was asked about San Fransokyo and why they decided to merge those two particular cities, Roy Conli told us “One of our tenants is appeal. Is there any more appealing American City than San Francisco? Likewise, Tokyo is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Taking two amazingly appealing cities and putting them together you get super cool images.” Chris Williams added “San Fransokyo is aesthetically cool, it’s fun to look at, but it also suggests what the personality of the movie is going to be.”
Is the fact that Disney is using Marvel’s Big Hero 6
in name only going to be a factor in your decision to watch the film? What about the lack of super powers? Sound off below and make sure and check out the recently released two minute sneak peek where Hiro meets Baymax for the first time!