Where are my Big Hero 6 fans? It’s been 3 years since we saw Hiro, Baymax, Go Go, Honey Lemon, Fred, and Wasabi on the big screen, and now they’re back on the little screen to Disney XD with Big Hero 6: The Series! During the #PixarCocoEvent, we had the pleasure of screening “Baymax Returns,” a 1-hour special, and interviewing Executive Producers Mark McCorkle, Bob Schooley and Nick Filippi, and Ryan Potter, the voice of Hiro.
Thank you, Disney, for inviting me to the Pixar Coco Event and providing travel and accommodations. All opinions about my favorite healthcare provider, Baymax, are my own.
Why No Big Hero 6 Sequel?
So why not just make a sequel? There’s a Toy Story 2, 3 and soon-to-come 4.
How did making the TV series compare to making the movie?
Ryan: “With the series, we could just have a lot more fun! Not to say we put less work into this, because that’s not true at all, but I would go in for a specific scene for the film four, five, seven, eight times, but with the series I go in once to record an episode, and we get to go in the booth and play around with the entire episode. Then, we throw ideas back and forth, as opposed to me coming in two months later with brand new ideas. A lot of it is actually coming from us in the room. Not necessarily me personally because the writers do a lot of work, but there’s a lot of synergy for the episodes in the sense that we get to create a lot on the spot, because we still animate post voice, so we don’t have to always stay true to the script.”
Mark: “All the records are very collaborative with the actors, because we always say to people sometimes saying a line the way it was written maybe doesn’t feel exactly right. Or some people are very good at ad-libbing and have ideas for jokes. You’ve got Brooks who does Fred, who is always full of ideas which is great.”
Bob: “We always encourage the actors, and especially when you’re adapting a movie, the actors know the characters better than we do coming in. So we let them take the lead on that to a big degree. I mean, Scott with Baymax, he has a very specific idea of what Baymax would and wouldn’t do, what he wouldn’t say. We never mind if an actor is like, I don’t think that feels right for the character. It definitely keeps it with the continuity of the movie where the characters don’t feel like they’ve changed. They’re evolving over the course of the series, but we feel like they’re true to the movie.”
On Stan Lee Doing a Cameo
So someone asked about cameos, and really when I heard the name Stan Lee, I started to geek out big time! This Marvel fangirl was on the edge of my seat.
Mark: “Somebody we’re very excited that we brought back, Stan Lee who plays Fred’s dad in that little after credit sequence. The back story is that he was a superhero in the past and he gets to be the voice of wisdom from Fred, and then a particular episode for Hiro. It’s just great to work with Stan Lee like that. Intimidating, but an honor.”
So is it really a superhero movie or show without a Stan Lee cameo? I don’t think so. Well done, Big Hero 6.
On How the Animation is Different in Big Hero 6: The Series
We noticed that the animation is different on Big Hero 6: The Series than in Big Hero 6 the movie. What’s different?
Nick: “It is traditional hand-drawn animation, where the feature (film) was computer generated 3D animation. We chose to go with hand-drawn animation partially because we wanted to create a new world and look for the show. We wanted everybody to immediately recognize these characters, to embrace these characters that they fell in love with in the movie, but we wanted to have a fresh start on the show, so we choose hand-drawn animation similar to what Disney was doing in the 60’s. We were referencing 101 Dalmatians. We wanted something that had a graphic feel that the animators could really latch on to, but also the warmth of the hand-drawn pencil line.”
Bob: “We talked to the directors of the feature when we were developing it, and they asked if we were going to do it in CG or in traditional 2D? And frankly to do CG for television, there’s no way we could do what they did. That movie was so amazing, so let’s be the best thing we can be for TV. The directors were like, what Disney TV Animation is doing right now in traditional 2D is beautiful, so run with that. We sort of took that as yeah, that’s the way to go, just because that’s so unique.”
Nick: “Between our show, Tangled and DuckTales, I think there’s three very good vital contemporary examples of how smart 2D art direction can make something a unique piece of entertainment onto itself.”
Bob: “When we did Kim Possible, we definitely loved that look and we wanted to do something that sort of felt kind of like that, but had its own identity, but we were really happy with what they’re doing with 2D on this show. I mean, it’s very dynamic. The action scenes in this, I think, are pretty amazing for TV.”
If you loved Big Hero 6, then you’ll love Big Hero 6: The Series and Baymax Returns. Your old favorites are still here with some fun, new and sassy additions!
“Baymax Returns” premieres on Monday, November 20 at 8:00p.m. on Disney XD and Disney Channel. Don’t miss it!
Side Disney Geek note: So we went to the Disney XD building for interviews, and it was the first time I had ever been in the building. You guys! They have a wall with all the Disney Channel shows through the decades, even the future ones. There was Darkwing Duck, Gummi Bears, Tale Spin, I mean my childhood on a wall. I can’t. I almost passed out from this epicness. Ok, carry on.