Disney is having a field year this 2014. If the insanity of Captain America 3’s success wasn’t sufficient, Guardians of the Galaxy pretty much steamrolled every other movie that had the misfortune of being released in the following two or three months. And things aren’t slowing down.
With Big Hero 6, Disney is finally utilising the Marvel license (since acquiring them in 2009) to appeal to their usual audience in a format they are more familiar with: Animation. Big Hero 6 is the 54th feature film from Walt Disney Animation Studios, and is directed by Don Hall (“Winnie the Pooh”) and Chris Williams (“Bolt”), and produced by Roy Conli (“Tangled”).
Obviously taking large amounts of liberty with the source material, the somewhat obscure series (even more so than Guardians of the Galaxy) will be made as kid-friendly as possible by dropping slightly darker characters like Ebon Samurai and Sunpyre (both are characters that pretty much require being dead at some point).
Also, familiar characters like Silver Samurai and Sunfire (who was, in fact, the main character in the initial comic run) have been given the shove presumably due to being generally associated with X-Men—Sunfire was once part of the team and Silver Samurai even had his first big screen appearance in last year’s better-left-forgotten The Wolverine.
With Fox holding on to the license for the X-Men movies, I’m guessing these characters are off-limits. Or maybe future sequels of BH6 (yes, we’re calling it that, now) might bring in these characters and reveal a Qucksilver/Scarlet Witch status with them.
But before you watch the movie, here’re the 6 big heroes you’re gonna need to know. Do note, there are minor spoilers from the comics and trailers.
Known as Hiro Takachiho in the comics, Hiro’s pretty much a boy genius who builds Baymax, a “robotic synthformer.” In the comics, his father’s untimely death inspires Hiro to programme Baymax with his late parent’s personality. In the movie, Hiro’s ingenuity is played down and Baymax’s creation is attributed to his older brother (who also seems to be the deceased family member).
This change would probably be due to Disney’s attempt at making Hiro a more relatable character much like what was done with Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy by making him seem like less of a dick.
I’m not too sure why they decided to create and kill Hiro’s brother instead of his dad, though.
As can be seen, Baymax has been given a massive visual overhaul to fulfil the “cuddly” quota that every animated movie by Disney/Dreamworks requires. Originally a badass robot known as Monster Baymax, he was programmed to be a one-man martial arts genius à la The Matrix. The movie, however, takes a lighter approach with Baymax being a hospital care robot that is later modified for battle purposes.
A scientific genius not unlike Hiro, Honey Lemon (a.k.a. Aiko Miayazaki) was responsible for the creation of the Power Purse-a unit containing wormholes that grant her access to various inter-dimensional locations. More useful in battle, is her ability to use nano-technology and Pym Particles (Avengers connection!) to shrink equipment and keep them in the purse, restoring them to their normal size when needed.
Leiko Tanaka was a member of a biker gang before being arrested and sentenced to a five-year imprisonment. Offered a shortened sentence in exchange for her expertise in testing a high-tech exosuit referred to as Go-Go Tomago due to the spherical form the armour takes when moving at high velocities. GoGo is then selected to join Big Hero 6 as one of their founding members… I’m guessing the whole crime and imprisonment bit of the story will be left out from the movie.
A Japanese chef with the ability to materialise his Qi Energy (usually as throwing knives), Wasabi is also master swordsman and expert martial artist… and Afro-American. Well, he is in the movie anyways. Almost certainly a result of Disney’s insistence on including a racially diverse cast identifiable by Americans, Wasabi has been given a race change and is voiced by Damon Wayans Jr.
Makes you wonder what they would have done had they kept Ebon Samurai in the movie…
If his name hasn’t already given it away, Fred‘s powers allow him to manifest a Godzilla-like kaiju that amps his strength and stamina. When stretched to its limits, it also works as a psionic armour that has been able to protect him from extensive damage. Along with Baymax, Fred is often seen as the heavy hitter of the team.
Can’t wait for the movie? Check out this sizzle reel that was just released at the ongoing NYCC.
Big Hero 6 will be released island-wide on November 13th.