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20 Weeks of Disney Animation: ‘Big Hero 6’

Like Wreck-It Ralph, this film breaks the mold of traditional Disney fodder and tells a different kind of story. However unlike Wreck-It Ralph, this film is not an original story. Big Hero 6 takes inspiration from a Marvel comic strip from the late 1990s which introduced the characters of Baymax and Hiro.

Read: 20 Weeks of Disney Animation: ‘Frozen’

After Disney purchased Marvel, director Don Hall came across this comic and pitched the idea to John Lasseter to make an animated adaptation. Their goal was to make a superhero film separate from the MCU, but still on a large scale. After moving around some story elements, the filmmakers came to a version that they thought would work and this is what we see in the final film.

Set in the fictional city of San Frantokyo, Big Hero 6 tells the story of a family that is gifted at inventing. One of their inventions, a healthcare companion called Baymax, is used by the main character Hiro Hamada to stop a local villain. Baymax is built by Hiro’s brother Tadashi, which is one of the primary focal points of the film.

The relationship between these two brothers is the emotional core of Big Hero 6 and is what makes it work on that level. Like a lot of well-developed superhero films from Marvel, there is plenty of action and entertainment, but at the bottom of it all is heart.

This is what makes Big Hero 6 shine. It is definitely a unique entry in the Disney animated canon, and a worthwhile one to check out.

Live-action remake: This week, we exclusively reported that Baymax and friends will be showing up in the MCU at some point in the future. Though it is unknown exactly when this will happen, the characters of Big Hero 6 originated from the world of Marvel and so it comes as no surprise that Kevin Feige and his team would be interested in bringing them into live-action.

Big Hero 6 in the theme parks: In 2020, The Happy Ride with Baymax opened in Tokyo Disneyland. Described as a “whip ride”, The Happy Ride With Baymax utilized a new soundtrack and whips guests around circles in cars themed after the film.

The character of Baymax was a meet and greet character at Epcot for a few years, until the character spot was closed in 2019.

Spin-offs: Big Hero 6: The Series aired from 2017 to 2021 and picks up after the events of the movie from Walt Disney Animation Studios. The cast includes Ryan Potter (Hiro), Scott Adsit (Baymax), Jamie Chung (Go Go), and Genesis Rodriguez as Honey Lemon, all of whom reprised their roles from the film. It was developed by Mark McCorkle, Bob Schooley, and Nick Filippi.

During Disney Investor Day, the studio announced another spin-off series. Baymax! will return to the world of San Fransokyo as introduced in the 2014 film and subsequent series. This will be the first ever animated series from Walt Disney Animated Studios and will debut on Disney+ in 2022.

Big Hero 6 is available to stream on Disney+.

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