This was inevitable. When a major animation house like Disney buys a company like Marvel it was only a matter of time before the two would work together on an animated film featuring Marvel characters. What they’ve chosen, though, wouldn’t have been my first guess. Expected for release on November 7th, 2014 is Big Hero 6, an animated film from Walt Disney Animation Studios directed by Don Hall (Winnie the Pooh), who came across the comic by Steven T. Seagle and Duncan Rouleau and pitched the idea to John Lasseter. It’ll follow a, “brilliant robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who finds himself in the grips of a criminal plot that threatens to destroy the fast-paced, high-tech city of San Fransokyo.” Yes, San Fransokyo, a hybrid city, also a deviation from the original comic which was set in Tokyo.
Hall, speaking with the LA Times, talked about the creative freedom that comes from working with a relatively unknown property,
I was looking for something on the obscure side, something that would mesh well with what we do. The idea of a kid and a robot story with a strong brother element, it’s very Disney… Marvel properties take place in the real world. We were looking for something to do where we could make our own world — bring in the Japanese influences, have recognizable landmarks mashed up with a Japanese aesthetic.
Here’s a look at those, “recognizable landmarks mashed with a Japanese aesthetic,”
And more concept art,
So why choose Big Hero 6? Well, I believe it’s anonymity was key in allowing the animators to play around with the world building, getting to combine the west and east in whatever way they wanted. And it’s paid off, I like the look of this San Fransokyo. Marvel Comics chief Joe Quesada explains the appeal of the comic,
The storytelling aspects are very frenetic, very visceral. It takes tropes of Japanese culture, manga, anime. There are giant dinosaurs that invade a city, big robots, youth fashion, cutesy stuff in the vein of Hello Kitty.
Dinosaurs, robots, and, “cutesy stuff in the vein of Hello Kitty“? I’m in. Here’s the film’s official synopsis,
From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes “Big Hero 6,” an action comedy adventure about brilliant robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who finds himself in the grips of a criminal plot that threatens to destroy the fast-paced, high-tech city of San Fransokyo. With the help of his closest companion—a robot named Baymax—Hiro joins forces with a reluctant team of first-time crime fighters on a mission to save their city. Inspired by the Marvel comics of the same name, and featuring comic-book style action and all the heart and humor audiences expect from Walt Disney Animation Studios, the CG-animated “Big Hero 6” hits theaters in 3D on November 7, 2014.
What do you think? Impressed with their choice of comic to adapt? I’m definitely intrigued by their concept. Or are you still scratching you head because you’ve never heard of Big Hero 6 before now?