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,”
Call me a curmudgeony old bastard, but I hate most of the animated kids shows of today. The majority of them feature hyperactive weirdos running around thinking that they are funny. It’s just all noise to me, man. Give me some good ole’ retro cartoons with muscular heroes, truly evil villains and intros that feature some sweet 80’s synthesized rifts. But I digress. One series I’ve enjoyed in recent years is Cartoon Networks Ben 10. The show features a young whipper snapper who slaps on an alien bracelet that allows him to transform into a plethora of the galaxies toughest species. With this power he goes out and fights crime. Naturally. Unlike other kid shows, which feature an obnoxious amount of farting an zany behavior, Ben 10 delivers some good ole’ patented family values, as well as the mainstay credo of trying to do the right thing. Suffice to say it’s fun and I’m a fan.
Now, a Ben 10 live-action movie? Yes, please!
A while back, Joel Silver – producer of Sherlock Holmes, V For Vendetta, and the Matrix trilogy – had signed on to develop a live-action feature film based on the kid-targeted sci-fi franchise, with an eye toward distribution through Warner Bros. Word on this project has been quite for some time now, but MTV caught up with the show’s creators and they shared a few updates:
Duncan Rouleau said:
“We’ve met with Silver a couple of times but it’s very early in the development stages to really discuss it any further than that. Other than we are also equally as excited by the prospects.”
Steven Seagle added:
“It’s a live action film as far as we know. They’ve commissioned a script, which is exciting and we had a lot of cool conversations with Joel Silver the time we met with him about even which version it’ll be, what aliens kids like, and it’s super fun. But it’s super early, so not a lot has been firmly decided.”
Bah! I think if Silver has been sitting on the property for this long then he’s unlikely to make a move on it anytime soon. Plus, there has already been 2 live action made-for-tv films of Ben 10 which failed miserably. That can’t be a vote of confidence for any studio or producer. Though… it does sound like Michael Bay´s dream project.
If this stays on the shelf, it’s probably for the best. I suspect it would end up like the Last Airbender and Dragon Ball Z.