Thoughts on Big Hero 6, Disney's 54th Animated Feature

As I might have mentioned, I think I'm going to take my blog in a slightly different direction so that it isn't just all trip reports.  Yes, there are lots of trips to talk about, but, being a big Disney fan, I'd also like to share my thoughts and news on Disney things I find interesting.

So, with that, let's move to the first topic and my thoughts on Big Hero 6, the next film from Walt Disney Animation Studios.

I know several Disney fans have a problem with Disney's acquisition of Marvel.  Or, more specifically, the idea that Marvel characters could end up at the Disney Parks and Resorts.  I am not one of those fans, though, as Marvel Comics were as much a childhood as Disney was.  As you might remember, in my blog entry in which I first met Thor, I mentioned I got teary and emotional meeting him.  For me, meeting Thor was a much a childhood dream as meeting Mickey Mouse in person.

But, I think more than Marvel appearing in the parks that has some Disney fans balking is that the 54th animated feature from Walt Disney Studios will be based on a lesser known Marvel property - Big Hero 6, a Japanese superhero team many of whom have anime styled names such as Wasabi No-Ginger and Honey Lemon.

I've heard people say it is going to be the worst and Disney is losing its mind for choosing such a story.  Admittedly, I thought it was an interesting choice indeed because they weren't so well know.  Actually, I am quite familiar with the team as I am always trying to find images of people from Asian descent in American mainstream media.  So, the idea of a Japanese super team caught my attention right away. 

While I'll admit that, if Disney was going to do an animated Marvel property Power Pack, an popular youth based superhero team introduced in the 1980s, would have probably seemed like a better fit.  But, the more I think about it, with the Disney fan base being as rabid as it is and our talking about a series of films traditionally based on fairy tales and children's books, I think using an even more obscure property is a wiser choice to easy Disney fans into the fact that Disney now owns Marvel.  

I think some Disney fans would have a coronary if it were announced that Disney's next film was going to be based on the Hulk or Captain America.  It just couldn't happen.  Not without a major outcry happening.

Walt Disney Animation Studios describes the film as such:
Brilliant robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada finds himself in the grips of a criminal plot that threatens to destroy the fast-paced, high-tech city of San Fransokyo. With the help of his closest companion, a robot named Baymax, Hiro joins forces with a reluctant team of first-time crime fighters on a mission to save their city.
I think the general narrative of this story falls in line with some of the less traditional stories Disney has had to offer in the past, including Atlantis: The Lost Empire and Treasure Planet.  Although, I can imagine with some anime inspired stylings of Big Hero 6, that it could also have the charm and colorful look of a Wreck-It Ralph.

At the end of the day, I just don't think Disney fans have anything to fear.  The people working on the film are not comic book writers, but the same people who've brought us many of the Disney films we love.  Earlier in the week, Disney announced that Bolt co-director and screenwriter Chris Williams will be joining Don Hall to direct the film.  I think this is a good team up of creators who've worked on films with heroics such as Bolt, Mulan and Tarzan as well as the quirkiness of a film like The Emperor's New Groove.  For me, the true measure of the film will not be about the level of destruction razed on the locale and the characters as in a comic book film, but what kind of heart and emotion the Disney folks will bring.  I can already feel a special relationship that Disney will tap into between Hiro and Baymax as well as comedy and action.       

I, for one, am really looking forward to what Disney brings us later this year with this film.  Plus as a Disney character fan, the possibilities just makes my mind spin! :)


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