The “BIG HERO 6” Media Press Event was recently held at the Walt Disney Animation Studios in Burbank, California. Arriving at the Animation Building, I met up with my fellow writer and good friend, Robbie and we secured our spots in the viewing room. A brief introduction by Director, Patrick Osborne and we were treated to the new Disney short “Feast”. Patrick Osborne shared how he started with the idea of telling a story about food and ran with it ending up with the story of Winston and his owner. Part of the work including bringing in real puppies for the animators to use as models and having an incredible team to take everything and make the characters come to life. “Feast” will be released as a short along with “BIG HERO 6”.
Next up were clips from “BIG HERO 6” with commentary by Directors Don Hall, Chris Williams and Producer, Roy Conli. During the clips we were able to see some of the most important key parts of the story. Sitting through “never before seen footage” which included rough animation and temporary effects was very interesting as it gave us a glimpse into the making of a film. Several key scenes including the one where Baymax and Hiro meet and one in which they test fly Baymax’s super suit became instant favorites.
Q&A sessions with various departments provided exclusive insider information and more clips, pictures and opportunities for behind the scene look at the making of “BIG HERO 6”.
Head of Animation Zach Parrish (“Wreck-It Ralph”) and members of his team shared the long hours and hard work that goes into how the characters go from an idea on paper to the actual talking, walking and coming alive on screen. A new program created in house allowed for the Animators to be able to create, each wrinkle, facial movement and every aspect of how a character is created in new and amazing ways. The demonstration of the program showed how they take a scene and with clicks of a mouse or keyboard button transform it into something magical. Just like with the ice castle in “Frozen”, they are able to take the characters and scenes to new heights in the world of Animation.
Head of Effects Michael Kaschalk and Effects Production Supervisor Nathan Curtis talked about how “BIG HERO 6” was one of the most challenging projects to date. Viewers usually think of visual effects as things like fire, rain, snow, water, etc. but in Disney films, visual effects include “magic” and to create Disney magic, the special effects teams needed to “capture the essence of the character”. Using a new program they developed called Hyperion, the team was able to create incredible special effects. Sharing information about the Microbots, which are a big signature effect in the movie, the team shared the extensive research in architecture and structural designing involved to make the Microbots come alive in a variety of forms. The visual effects in “BIG HERO 6” from the Microbots to the fire-breathing suit worn by Fred and the 7 fight scenes, will once again place Disney is the top spot with visual effects.
Screenwriter Robert Baird and Head of Story Paul Briggs talked about how long it takes to put together a story. “Story teams are made up of directors, producers, and story people to build a story.” “BIG HERO 6” “took 4 to 5 years to develop a good story”. Viewers don’t realize the number of sequences and in turn drawings that go into making a movie. Discovering how “BIG HERO 6” had over 30 sequences, with one sequence having 1000 drawings gave me an idea of the enormous amount of hard work and time involved.
Production Designer Paul Felix and members of the visual development team shared artistic design choices and all the research that went into the creation of San Fransokyo and the unique character designs of “”BIG HERO 6″. The idea of combining San Francisco and Toyko was a perfect blend because of the differences in artistic designs in each. San Francisco has the old Victorian homes and Toyko has the modern architecture (any building over 30 years is considered old and demolished). “San Fransokyo was born and set in the near future which allowed for people to be people” and the combination of the two worlds gives it the perfect setting.
Directors Don Hall & Chris Williams and producer Roy Conli talked about the making of “”BIG HERO 6″”. Conli shared how the studio is in “one of the most vibrant times as they keep pushing each other to make each and every film unique and engaging as is expected from Disney films while exploring new worlds and creating compelling characters we fall in love with”.
“BIG HERO 6” has all the qualities of classic Marvel comics with all the magic of a Disney movie. The story line, characters and special effects shared by the team during our visit, gave us a glimpse of another big hit for Disney Studios.
Based on Marvel characters, “BIG HERO 6” is the story of Hiro Hamada (voice by Ryan Potter) and his plus-sized inflatable robot (voice by Scott Adsit), who along with their buddies, adrenaline junkie Go Go Tomago (voice of Jamie Chung), neatnik Wasabi (voice of Damon Wayans Jr.), chemistry whiz Honey Lemon (voice of Genesis Rodriguez) and fanboy Fred (voice of T.J. Miller) join forces to discover the mystery behind the catastrophic event that turns Hiro’s world upside down. Full of high tech and special effects, lovable characters, incredible fight scenes and my favorites, Microbots, “BIG HERO 6” soars into theatres, November 7, 2014. Check out a sneak preview HERE!
My name is Loretta Garcia and I am the Entertainment Writer for Chip and Co. Follow us on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages for all the Disney fun and updates.