You’d think some of the folks attending the Big Hero 6 panel at New York Comic-Con might be big fans of the source material. However, when the guy warming up the crowd prior to the panel asked who has read the comic book, hardly anyone responded. In fact, one of the only audible responses was, “It’s weird.” Weird or not, Big Hero 6 the movie looks like it’ll be a major crowd-pleaser. At this point, Walt Disney Animation Studios has unleashed a slew of promotional material and Baymax is absolutely killing it in every last bit of it.
With the film less than a month away from its big debut, directors Don Hall and Chris Williams, producer Roy Conli, and voice actors Scott Adsit, Ryan Potter, Genesis Rodriguez, Jamie Chung and T.J. Miller all hit the main stage at the Javits Center to talk Big Hero 6 and show off some unseen clips from the film. Hit the jump for my Big Hero 6 Comic-Con panel recap, and click here to watch the new trailer.
Rather than save all the footage until the end, Hall, Williams and the rest of the Big Hero 6 team kept dropping new clips throughout the Q&A, but we’ll run through some of the Q&A highlights first and then discuss all four clips after.
- Hall kicked things off by pointing out, “We all felt like it would be great for us to take Big Hero 6 and really make it our own, create our own unique world. And just like the movie is a mash-up of Disney and Marvel, we wanted to do a mash-up of Eastern and Western culture, and we chose a city called San Fransokyo.” He goes on to explain that San Fransokyo is a high tech combination of the two cities. “It’s exciting, it’s dynamic, it’s slightly futuristic.” However, they also wanted to ensure that the place had a grounded quality to it and felt like a real, immersive city while still being very playful.
- From there they moved on to the story. Williams explained, “The story is about a young genius named Hiro Hamada who initially isn’t using his gifts in the most constructive of ways. He’s actually spending his time making money in illegal, back alley robot fights. His older brother Tadashi wishes he was using his talents in a more positive way, so he lures Hiro out to the university that he attends, hoping that by exposing him to school friends, the high tech lab and his latest creation, a robot named Baymax, that he’ll inspire Hiro to enroll in school and choose a more positive path in his life.”
- Rodriguez noted that Honey Lemon is “so me” because she was actually on a robotics team and built battle bots in high school. She cheerfully added, “I was a welder!”
- Chung said that originally GoGo Tomago was described to her as “the Clint Eastwood of the crew.” She’s a woman of very few words, and when she has something to say, it’s really dry and sarcastic. However, every now and then, she does reveal a softer side as well.
- The cast actually did their voice work for the film about a year and a half ago. Miller highlighted, “The crazy thing about this process for me is you do start a year and a half ago, and then they change the script and it’s so malleable. I think that’s why Disney and Pixar make these incredible movies … they have the time to sort of fill out and change the story and move around, so it’s really exciting to kind of keep coming back in and seeing more and more of how your character’s developing, how the story’s developing.
- The Big Hero 6 team had a little fun with the audience by having Baymax take over the monitors and insist on scanning the folks in the front row. He spot a guy with a hatchet in his head and also diagnosed him with a bad back from waiting in line. Before heading off, Baymax announced that he cannot deactivate until we say, “I am satisfied with my care.” Of course, the audience obliged him.
The first clip covers Hiro’s introduction to Tadashi’s lab. He’s busy admiring the suspension on a super futuristic looking bike when GoGo Tomago comes over and tells Hiro, “Welcome to the nerd lab.” He continues to admire her bike, but she insists that it still isn’t fast enough – yet. After that he moves over to Wasabi’s station. Wasabi prefaces, “Prepare to be amazed,” and tosses an apple in Hiro’s direction. The shot slows and shows the apples being sliced in midair. After revealing the lasers that chopped up the apple, Hiro spots Wasabi’s workstation, a tray with every tool perfectly aligned and outlined. Wasabi proudly proclaims, “There’s a place for everything and everything in its place.”
Next up on Hiro’s tour is Honey Lemon’s workstation. She rolls in a gigantic black ball, manipulates a chemistry set and then sprays the output on it, turning it pink. After that, she touches it and it pops, spewing pink dust everywhere. Last up is Fred who lumbers over in a school mascot outfit. He’s not actually a student in the program, but insists that he’s a “major science enthusiast.” Although it seems as though all of the science is just going on around him while he’s loafing on a couch.
After meeting the gang, Tadashi brings Hiro into his office to reveal what he’s been developing. He whips out a roll of duct tape, sticks a piece on Hiro and rips it right off, leaving a nasty red mark on his arm. That’s when Baymax inflates and tries to walk over. Trouble is, there’s a stool in his path. Rather than push it aside and continue on, Baymax takes many, many steps to move it out of his way, walk back to his original path and then continue to come in Hiro’s direction. When he finally arrives, he announces, “Hello, I am Baymax, your personal health care companion.” He asks Hiro to rate his pain and tells him, “I will scan you now.”
The second clip offers an extended look at a favorite scene from the film’s trailers, what happens when Baymax’s battery runs low. It’s essentially one friend escorting a drunken friend home, and it’s downright hilarious.
Hiro’s got to get Baymax inside and into his charging station without his Aunt Cass spotting Baymax, but Baymax isn’t making it easy on him. After Hiro tells Baymax, “If my aunt asks, we were at school all day,” Baymax announces, “We jumped out a window!”
As they make their way inside, we get our first glimpse of Aunt Cass cooking away in her especially colorful kitchen. Hiro makes small talk and while she’s busy cooking, he tries to shove Baymax up the stairs. All of a sudden, Aunt Cass hears a loud thud. She asks, “What was that?” Hiro quickly replies, “Mochi.” Trouble is, the cat is right at his feet. Aunt Cass brushes it off and Hiro makes his way upstairs where Baymax is busy petting Mochi and saying, “Hairy baby!” (The audience loves that one.) Just as though someone might help a drunken friend into bed, Hiro guides Baymax into his charging station, step by step, and he starts to re-inflate.
This one covers Hiro’s initial effort to turn Baymax into a warrior. Hiro scans Baymax with a device and then moves over to his computer. After watching a clip of people doing karate, he shifts his gaze to another section of the monitor where a digital version of Baymax mimics the same motions. That’s when Hiro decides it’s time to take care of Baymax’s belly.
Using a computer system that allows him to manipulate elements in midair and utilize a keyboard projected onto the tabletop, Hiro starts developing Baymax’s armor. Hiro deftly moves back and forth between this station and the computer while Baymax, taking oh-so many steps, keeps following right behind him. Finally a machine starts churning out the pieces of the armor and as Hiro slaps them on him, Baymax notes, “I have some concerns. This may undermine my non-threatening, huggable design.”
A disk pops out of the original computer. Hiro grabs it and goes to put it into Baymax’s drive. In the process, he eyes another disk already in place, Tadashi’s program. He takes a moment and then slips his own disk into the slot right next to it and continues.
Baymax says, “I fail to see how karate makes me a better healthcare companion.” Hiro replies, “You want to keep me healthy, don’t you? Punch this!” He holds out a piece of wood and Baymax breaks it in half. They continue to go through bigger and bigger pieces off wood until Hiro’s satisfied and asks Baymax for a fist bump to celebrate. Of course, Baymax doesn’t understand and Hiro attempts to teach him. They slap hands, do a fist bump and then Hiro brings back his hand and “explodes” the fist while making a “boom” sound. Baymax tries to imitate him, but his version sounds more like, “falalalala,” and it’s adorable.
Before wrapping up, we see Hiro and Baymax hit the streets. They navigate alleys as a sinister looking van follows close behind.
Hiro, GoGo Tomago, Wasabi, Honey Lemon and Fred dash into a small white car. Hiro asks, “What are you doing? GoGo yells back, “I’m saving your life!” Hiro replies, “Baymax can handle that guy,” but then Baymax falls out of the sky and lands right on the roof of the car. They pull off with a gigantic black mass right on their tail. Eventually, we can make out Yokai sitting right on top of it.
The car zips through the streets while Yokai manipulates this black matter. The movement and texture reminds me a bit of the material that consumes Eddie Brock and turns him into Venom in Spider-Man 3. At a point, Yokai detaches from the black substance to leap over a bridge and continue his pursuit.
Eventually, GoGo has had enough. She shoves Wasabi out of the driver’s seat and takes over, upping the pace of the action big time. She makes a series of super sharp turns, but Yokai manages to pull a door off of the car. Hiro nearly tumbles out, but Baymax catches him and reminds him, “Seatbelts save lives,” before buckling him in. The car barely dodges a train and then is consumed by a tunnel of Yokai’s black matter. Our heroes just manage to burst out before the tunnel closes up.
To wrap up, they screened a trailer featuring the new Fall Out Boy song for the film. The piece is actually already online, so you can check it out right here.
Big Hero 6 arrives in theaters on November 7th.