New "Big Hero 6" Trailer Highlights Comedy Over Action

Disney Animation Studios just released its trailer for Big Hero 6, the studio's first adaptation of a Marvel series since Disney acquired the comic publisher back in 2009. The Big Hero 6 series is rather obscure even among comic fans, but that suits director Don Hall just fine. “I was looking for something on the obscure side, something that would mesh well with what we do,” Hall states. “The idea of a kid and a robot story with a strong brother element, it’s very Disney.” Apparently the story line is also very Dreamworks given some surface similarities of Big Hero 6 to the How To Train Your Dragon series. Baymax, like Dreamwork's favorite dragon, Toothless, can apparently also fly with his best sidekick pal riding on his back. In the original comic book series, one of Baymax's assumed forms was a "Battle Dragon".
The title "Big Hero 6" actually refers to the team members (Hiro Hamada, Baymax, Wasabi, Honey Lemon, GoGo Tomago, and Fred) who make up a club of superheros fighting against the destruction of San Fransokyo. Hiro Hamada is a robotics prodigy that turns his caretaker robot into a fierce protector of himself and defender of the city. On the evil side, their foe is a telepathic supervillian capable of controlling an army of micro bots that can be formed into a variety of shapes. (Can you say transformium?). However, the trailer features very few aspects of the film's action aside from a car chase and a quick look at Baymax's flying powers. Only a few of the six members of the team are introduced. The ones that are seem less like super heroes than simply G-rated versions of Superbad characters. Flying sequences and micro bot formations are sporadic and quickly skimmed over. What is focused on instead, are the moments of humor that bookend the trailer. The intro is quite lengthy with the standard scene of cop-who-relays-the-unbelievable-plot-to-himself and the audience. (You might think of Ghostbusters here. In fact Baymax does resemble the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man). The ending is a similarly stock situation where Baymax's battery depletion apparently puts him into a loud-talking, clumsy, drunken stupor.

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Visually, Disney’s animators create a wonderful San Fransokyo with architectural environments that seem as craftily hybridized as the name itself. However, the story’s “Hiro” Hamada appears way more Western European than his name would suggest. What the trailer hints at successfully is the combination of vastly different dynamics Disney animators are incorporating into the film. There is a massive difference between animating balloon-like, inflatable materials and much more fluid auto bot technology. The fact that Disney’s team can tackle such disparate forms suggests the wide range of abilities that make up the team.

The difference between the balloon forms and pixel-like digital Lego’s seems like it will be a nice visual contrast for audiences, both in terms of separating heroes from villains and in the aesthetic feel of the film overall. Both materials have the potential to be the brown sugar and rice vinegar that could make this sweet and sour movie a visual buffet. Let us know what you think of the new Big Hero 6 trailer by commenting below.