I was so excited to be able to attend a press screening of the newest Disney movie, Big Hero 6, at the Walt Disney Animation Studios in Burbank on October 16th. I took my husband with me and my girls were incredibly jealous! Shout out to my parents, who kept the girls on our whirlwind trip out to southern California for the screening and the next day with the Cast and Crew!
We arrived at the Walt Disney Animation Studios for the screening on Thursday evening. I was in awe at the buildings and surroundings, knowing that Walt Disney had actually walked where I was walking. Inside the Roy E. Disney Animation Building, we were not allowed to take pictures, other than with the inflatable Baymax character in the center of the lobby. The lobby was completely decorated in Big Hero 6 murals, posters, pictures and more. It was glorious! Our credentials were checked and we were ushered into a screening room and given bottles of water and popcorn.
Big Hero 6 is a collaboration of Disney and Marvel. John Lasseter is the executive producer and the producer is Ray Conli (Tangled). The directors are Chris Williams (Bolt) and Don Hall (Winnie the Pooh). Don Hall asked John Lasseter if he could explore the Marvel vaults while working on Winnie the Pooh and he found this comic series called “Big Hero 6.” He liked the name and Japanese influence and was told to run with it. The Marvel team supported the creation of this film with Disney and the result is an action packed, heart warming story of a boy and a robot named Baymax.
Big Hero 6 brings six unique characters together to form a friendship and bond, and filmmakers knew that the cast needed to be a strong roster. “Stan Lee’s characters have problems, shortcomings and foibles. They’re not perfect and we love them anyway. They feel real. The characters in Big Hero 6 don’t have magical superpowers. Technology and their brains are their powers.” says story head Paul Briggs. The movie boasts 17 main characters, including the key six and the characters each had more onscreen time than any other WDAS film. The fabricated city of San Fransokyo (mash of Tokyo and San Francisco) is so detailed, a new rendering tool named Hyperion was developed to bring it to life. There are nearly 700 characters in the film, and in comparison, Wreck it Ralph (Oscar nominated film in 2012) broke records at that time with 185 characters! Big Hero 6 definitely lived up to “go big or go home!”
The movie revolves around Hiro Hamada (Ryan Potter) and his relationship with Baymax (Scott Adsit), a robot created by his brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney) to be a “personal healthcare companion.” Hiro is a prodigy, graduating high school at 14, with no real direction in life. They boys live with their Aunt Cass (Maya Rudolph) and Tadashi attends San Fransokyo Tech, a University for advanced technical students. On a visit to the campus, Hiro meets Tadashi’s friends, sees their experiments and creations and he realizes there is a much bigger world out there than he ever imagined. Hiro has to invent something to “wow” the head of admissions, Professor Callaghan (James Cromwell), and present it at an Expo to gain admission as a student. He creates telepathically controlled “micro bots” which play an important element in the rest of the film.
Baymax cares – that was what he was designed to do. When he scans a human, he detects vitals, and when given a patient’s pain level, he can treat almost any ailment. When the filmmakers did research at Carnegie Mellon University to bring Baymax to life, lead character designer, Shiyoon Kim was influenced by Japanese infomercials. “If they’re (Japanese) selling a rice cooker, for example, it always seems to emphasize the cute aesthetic, yet hide the technology. We wanted the same feeling for Baymax, because it made him less threatening in appearance.”
Hiro and Baymax become inseparable during the course of the film. Hiro becomes the “little brother” to the group of friends, and together they become the Big Hero 6. The friends include adrenaline junkie Go Go Tomago (Jamie Chung), neatnik Wasabi (Damon Wayans), chemistry whiz Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez) and fan boy Fred (TJ Miller). The group goes through many emotions as they team up for adventures. The relationships between Hiro and Baymax, as well as, Hiro and the students he teams up with is critical to the film. You become attached and empathetic to the characters and I can tell you that tears were shed along with the laughter.
Big Hero 6 comes out on November 7. I highly recommend this movie – it will appeal to boys, girls and adults alike. I’d love to hear your thoughts below!
I’m Stephanie – Disneyland writer for Chip & Co and Premium Annual Passholder, currently living in Arizona. I am a huge Walt Disney fan and entertainment junkie. I am an Independent Travel Consultant with World of Magic Travel, the preferred Travel Agency of Chip & Co. Contact me today for your FREE quote for Disney and other magical destinations at email@example.com.