Big Hero 6 is this fall’s Disney big animated movie, so it’s hardly wanting for marketing and publicity, however, it is based on a VERY obscure Marvel Comics characters, and that has led to some head scratching. The film is being directed by Don Hall (Winnie the Pooh) and Chris Williams (Bolt) with a script by a bunch o’ folks including Robert L. Baird, Daniel Gerson, Hall, and Jordan Roberts. The story concerns robotic whiz Hiro Hamada who builds a robot named Baymax; the duo is then recruited to a super team to save the city of San Fransokyo. And yes this is an homage to the tradition of mecha and anime (which as proven by Transformers 4’s stellar box office, is still of some interest to the movie going public.)
Big Hero 6 originally appeared in Alpha FLight #17 as created by Steven Seagle and Duncan Rouleau. Because of scheduling, the team actually appeared first in a mini-series called Sunfire and Big Hero 6 by Scott Lobdell and Gus Vazquez in September 1998, with a subsequent mini by Chris Claremont and David Nakayama in 2008.
Of note in the above account is that Seagle and Rouloeau would go on to form the collective Man of Action where they would co-create such similarly boy-themed properties as Ben 10 and Generator Rex, and story editing Marvel shows like Ultimate Spider-Man. So they have a track record.
It was because of, not despite Big Hero 6’s obscurity that Hall was interested in adapting it to cartoon form.
For Hall, the absence of a detail-obsessed fan base for the series was part of its appeal, as it left every character and setting open to interpretation.
“I was looking for something on the obscure side, something that would mesh well with what we do,” Hall said. “The idea of a kid and a robot story with a strong brother element, it’s very Disney.”
Hall, a lifelong comic book fan who started at Disney Animation in 1995, was in the midst of directing “Winnie the Pooh” when Disney acquired Marvel in 2009. He found “Big Hero 6″ while digging through Marvel’s library for ideas and pitched it to Disney’s chief creative officer, John Lasseter, in 2011.
The film is now headed for a November release date, with voices by Maya Rudolph and TJ Miller. AND things are just getting rolling with a trailer:
And a bunch of character posters:
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.