Walt Disney Animation Studios continues to enjoy the success of its recent hit, Frozen, which opened in theaters last November. While we still can’t get “Let it Go” out of our heads, the entertainment super force is back this year with a new family-friendly flick: Big Hero 6.
Based on the Marvel comics series of the same name, Big Hero 6 features Hiro Hamada (Ryan Potter), a misguided young genius growing up in San Fransokyo, who befriends Baymax, a nursing robot invented by Hiro’s brother Tadashi. Hiro soon reprograms the oversized lovable bot to become the ultimate crime fighter. Along with a rag-tag group of geek-chic pals, Hiro and Baymax work together to thwart a criminal plot led by a terrifying villain in a Kabuki mask.
At New York Comic Con last Thursday, directors Don Hall and Chris Williams sat on a panel hosted by Chris Hardwick to give fans the inside scoop on the new action-packed film. Voice actors Jamie Chung (Go Go Tomago), T.J. Miller (Fred), and Genesis Rodriguez (Honey Lemon) also joined the panel.
Fans were treated to a never-before-seen clip of the film, which details Hiro’s first visit to Tadashi’s college, where he first meets Tadashi’s scientific pals, as well as Baymax himself. Miller then explained the difficulty of voice acting, describing the sound booth as a “vacuum” where you can clearly see the reactions from those listening in, but can’t hear a thing. He explains it often takes hundreds of takes to get just one line right. Much to the audience’s delight, Miller also expressed that improv plays a big role in the film.
The next clip was a perfect testament to the hilarity of the film. Baymax and Hiro were out and about, but Baymax’s battery was low. The lack of energy resulted in a seemingly drunk robot, which Hiro had to get back to his home and onto the charger—without catching the attention of Aunt Cass (Maya Rudolph).
After the clip, Potter and Scott Adsit (Baymax) joined the panel, and Hardwick immediately jumped in with “What’s it like playing a drunk robot?” Adsit jokes that he drew inspiration from Rodriguez’s drunk mess of behavior, resulting in lots of laughs from the audience. When asked how he and Hiro are alike, the modest Potter said, “Hiro is a lot smarter than I am, and, I think, he’s a lot better looking than I am.” We disagree, sir (as did the entire audience).
On a more serious note, all of the voice actors, especially Rodriguez, expressed what a surreal experience it is to star in a Disney film. After screening the film in its entirety for the first time recently, Rodriguez talked about the magic of seeing the opening Disney screen, featuring the iconic castle. Similarly, Adsit described the feeling as “faintworthy.”
After being teased with a few more clips from the film, the panel came to a close. The directors and the actors all had a clear appreciation for the beauty, magic, and originality of the film, which certainly has a lot of laughs and even more heart. Up until this point, we had seen very little about the film, which now, we are all certain will be Frozen levels of epic. An outstandingly unique concept, coupled with an adorable, lovable cast and a robot you just can’t help but want to hug, Big Hero 6 is sure to thrill kids, adults, and everyone in between.
Big Hero 6 opens in theaters on November 7.