Marvel has already conquered the multiplex, made their movie into television, and are getting ready to invade Netflix, so what's the next move for the comics giant? Animation. It's a surprise it's taken this long considering that comic books seem ready made for the format, but as we already know, Marvel carefully thinks each move before making it. And so it'll be interesting to see if Disney Animation can not only continue the run of success for Marvel, but also bring something fresh to the genre.
Don Hall ("Winnie The Pooh") and Chris Williams ("Bolt") direct this one that will take audiences to San Fransokyo, where a robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada and his robot sidekick Baymax who team up with a group of crimefighters — including the exotically named folks Wasabi-No-Ginger, Honey Lemon, GoGo Tomago, and uh, Fred — to stop some bad guys. On the one hand, this is a property that almost nobody except comic book types know. On the other hand, that doesn't matter, particularly with animated film that has more leeway to introduce audiences to new worlds.
Will you want to step into this one? "Big Hero 6" arrives on November 7th. Watch the first trailer below.
(A note: the double vision one is under the cut, but the single vision one is at the source (won't embed). This is not the teaser FOR the teaser, but the actual thing. Official Upload is Up!
Directors Don Hall and Chris Williams tell Yahoo Movies that the footage is meant to illustrate the movie’s central friendship. “Hiro wants to take the healing, loving, guileless nurse robot and turn it into a mechanized warrior,” says Williams. “That’s sort of the backbone of the film.”
Disney’s Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter had the Big Hero 6 team do a deep-dive into robotics research where they met with engineers at Carnegie Mellon working in the new field of “soft robotics” made with inflatable vinyl. Hall says the technology “will have potential probably in the medical industry in the future, making robots that are very pliable and gentle and not going to hurt people when they pick them up.” Suddenly, the movie’s “huggable robot” wasn’t that farfetched.
Hiro, though, isn’t content with just a cuddly pal. He designs a mechanized armor to turn Baymax into a battle-bot. Hall says developing the mech look took time “because of the sheer amount of robots out there and just trying to get something that felt like the personality of the character.” Williams adds, “A big part of the design challenge is when he puts on the armor you want to feel that he’s a very powerful intimidating presence…at the same time, design-wise he has to relate to the really adorable simple vinyl robot underneath.”
While creating a robot with two different looks was one challenge, crafting an entire film that could appeal to both Disney audiences and Marvel comics fans was another. “We want people to feel comfortable bringing families and kids,” says Williams. “At the same time, there are going to be people who are fans of superhero movies and they’re used to action scenes of a certain scope and we don’t want to disappoint those people. We are those people.”Like Disney’s last animated sensation Frozen, the directors hope that Big Hero 6 will appeal to girls in the same way the icy fairy tale enchanted boys. Hiro and Baymax do team up with four other adventurers — two of them being female — to make up the 6 of the title, (Two women and four men again) and the directors promise you’ll see more of the group in later trailers. “It would be very easy for this movie to be seen as a boys’ movie, just like it would have been very easy for Frozen to be perceived as a girls’ movie,” says Hall. “But I think you don’t make over a billion dollars by having it just skewed to one thing.”
While the majority of the changes were minor — mostly more of the flowery aspects and a bit of rearranging — we did happen to notice that one of the characters got a bit of a name change. Initially named Wasabi No-Ginger as he had been in the Marvel comics on which the film is based, his last name was officially dropped for the film, so he will now be known as simply Wasabi. The full, updated synopsis is as follows:
With all the heart and humor audiences expect from Walt Disney Animation Studios, Big Hero 6 is an action-packed comedy adventure about robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who learns to harness his genius — thanks to his brilliant brother Tadashi and their like-minded friends: adrenaline junkie Go Go Tamago, clean freak Wasabi, chemistry whiz Honey Lemon and fanboy Fred. When a devastating turn of events catapults them into the midst of a dangerous plot unfolding in the streets of San Fransokyo, Hiro turns to his closest companion — a cutting-edge robot named Baymax — and transforms the group into a band of high-tech heroes determined to solve the mystery.
A spokesperson for Walt Disney Animation Studios confirmed the change to us but notes it was down solely for background reasons and not in response to any backlash that has surfaced online in response to the film. Although a Google search returned just a few complaints about No-Ginger in particular, the comic’s origin as well as content has been coming under fire, including this recent tweet by Scott Pilgrim creator Bryan Lee O’Malley.
Looking forward to disney’s robot ching chong ding dong big wang wasabi eggroll movie
— Bryan Lee O'Malley (@radiomaru) May 21, 2014