‘Big Hero 6’ recasts San Francisco, Tokyo in the future
Robotic prodigy Hiro Hamada pulls together a motley crew of inexperienced crime-fighters, including the plus-sized robot Baymax, to stop an impending danger about to befall the futuristic city of San Fransokyo.
Directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams, the latest Walt Disney animation, “Big Hero 6,” was inspired by the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name.
When a devastating event befalls the city of San Fransokyo and catapults Hiro into the midst of danger, he turns to Baymax and his close friends: adrenaline junkie GoGo Tomago, neatnik Wasabi, chemistry whiz Honey Lemon and fanboy Fred.
Determined to uncover the mystery, Hiro transforms his friends into a band of high-tech heroes called Big Hero 6.
Baymax is an invention of Hiro’s brother, Tadashi, who was originally programmed as a compassionate caring nurse robot. Unfortunately Tadashi passes away in an accident while attempting to save his professor. This is when Baymax comes to life and begins to pull Hiro out of his grief.
The movie is set in the not-too-distant future in the city of San Fransokyo, a fictional combination of two iconic cities—San Francisco and Tokyo—that is so extensive and so detailed. An entirely new rendering tool called Hyperion was created by Walt Disney Animation Studios’ technology team. The end result is a rich new look that is unlike anything audiences have seen on the big screen before.
While the genesis of “Big Hero 6” lies in the Marvel vaults, Hall notes that the comic-book series was small and not widely known.
“When I was a kid, I loved Marvel comics,” says Hall. “I was encouraged to explore the Marvel vaults, and one of the projects I found was called ‘Big Hero 6.’ I’d never heard of it, but I liked the title and its Japanese influences—it just sounded cool.”
Producer Roy Conli says that “Big Hero 6 is a Disney movie with “a lot of Marvel DNA.”
“The Marvel team has been really supportive and attended every screening, offering notes,” Conli says. “They’ve never given us any guidelines other than to make a great movie. We’re all fans of Marvel with great admiration for their style of action and adventure, so we wanted to make sure that was deeply ingrained in our storytelling.”
Hall says much of the credit for taking the stories to such a provocative place goes to the voice talent who helped bring the characters to life.
“This cast really helped shape the characters,” he says. “We tell everyone to ‘make it your own,’ because that’s when you see cool things happening. The characters start to feel grounded and real to all of us.”
The film features the voices of Scott Adsit as Baymax; Ryan Potter as Hiro Hamada; Daniel Henney as Tadashi; T.J. Miller as Fred; Jamie Chung as GoGo Tomago; Damon Wayans Jr. as Wasabi; and Genesis Rodriguez as Honey Lemon.
“Big Hero 6” opens in theaters nationwide on Nov 6.
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