Big Hero 6

There’s a lot riding on the shoulders of Big Hero 6. Disney’s had three gigantic hits in a row with Tangled, Wreck-it-Ralph and Frozen (which recently broke the half-billion mark at the box office, and is attracting ‘snowballing’ and ‘avalanche’ puns at roughly the speed of sound). On top of that, the delay of Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur until 2015 means that Big Hero 6 is the only major animated feature the House of Mouse will put out next year. And on top of that, Big Hero 6 is the first time Disney has borrowed from its recently-acquired Marvel Comics library for something other than theme parks or merchandise – the property was originally a Marvel comic that Disney pilfered for its own devices. So as long as Big Hero 6 can satisfy Marvel fans, dejected Pixar fans and the teeming hordes still humming “Let it Go” from Frozen, it’ll be a success. And with all those expectations in mind, Disney has just attached a co-director to the film: Chris Williams. Williams’ most recent (and only) co-directing gig was on another Disney picture, Bolt, for which he also wrote the screenplay; his resume also holds story credits for The Emperor’s New Groove, Mulan and Brother Bear. And that’s basically it. At first glance, Williams and Big Hero 6 don’t exactly match up. The latest Disney pic follows a team of eclectic superheroes: a woman with an inter-dimensional handbag, a sushi chef with super-knives and a fanboy who can, when necessary, balloon up into […]

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BIG HERO 6

Despite the recent bout of sequel and prequelitis that Pixar has suffered (arguably from a Patient Zero named Disney), the ships seem to be creatively righting themselves. They’re also apparently tethering themselves to the Golden Gate bridge in order to watch the sunset. The picture above is from Big Hero 6, which is one of many projects that The Mouse opened up about during this year’s D23 conference. It’s one of the biggest signals of Marvel sensibilities merging with Disney — an exciting prospect that could bring some fantastic comic book properties to the big screen beyond the post-Avengers plans through, gulp, 2021. There’s a world out there of comic heroes that may not be right for live-action, and it’s encouraging to see that Disney understands that potential and is willing to take a chance. There are some innovative ideas here, nestled in a comfortable nest of old favorites (and, yes, a few cash-grabs). Luckily for now they all look gorgeous.

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bigherosflarge

Back in July of last year it was reported that, following the big acquisition of Marvel Comics by the Disney Corporation, the first collaboration between Disney Animation and Marvel Studios on any sort of superhero cartoon was going to come in the form of an adaptation of Marvel’s semi-obscure team of Japanese heroes, Big Hero 6. At the time it seemed like kind of a strange choice. Wouldn’t you want to kick off a partnership this important with something a little bit bigger, something with a little more name recognition? Well, it looks like the guys in the suits must have had their reasons for wanting to go forward with Big Hero 6, because today Disney Animation officially announced [via the LA Times] that the film is in production—and they even gave us a glimpse of what their animators have come up with. Hit the jump to see what they’ve created, but be prepared, because it’s a little weird.

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When it was first announced that Disney had purchased Marvel Comics, the holy grail endgame of such an acquisition that instantly popped into every film fan’s head was that now the group of acclaimed artists working over at Disney’s Pixar wing could get their hands on a Marvel property and make an animated superhero movie that would blow everyone’s minds. With Pixar’s already full slate of projects and the murky details of who owns the film rights to which Marvel characters in what context, the idea was something of a long-shot, but when you get a couple companies under the same corporate umbrella like this and give executives the chance to start throwing around words like “synergy,” eventually anything becomes possible. The news that broke today isn’t quite that holy grail of Pixar making a Marvel movie, but it’s a team-up that brings us one step closer to that reality. For the first time ever, Disney is going to be making an animated Marvel movie. But, instead of Pixar, the artists handling this one are coming from that other wing of animators who work under the Disney corporate banner, Walt Disney Animation Studios. This is the studio that’s most recently brought us Tangled and Winnie the Pooh, and have Wreck-It Ralph set up for a release this fall.

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