Earlier this week we were treated to a unique screening of Disney’s new (but as yet unfinished) movie Big Hero 6 and Disney’s gorgeous new animated short, “Feast”. And what a feast it was!
First up, a little taster of Disney’s Feast.
Anyone who watched Frozen will remember the wonderful animated short, Paperman, an uplifting mini romantic comedy featuring hand-drawn and 3D computer animation. The new short is also a romantic comedy of sorts, but through the eyes of the most adorable little puppy you’ve ever seen. We all fell in love with little Winston within seconds – Jonathan Ross (hosting the preview event and the Q&A with Disney’s producer) said out loud what we were all thinking – we hope Winston gets his own feature film!
Beautifully animated, in a style that’s all brand new, this is a sumptuous little tale, and one to look forward to seeing again and again.
Big Hero 6 review – from the exclusive pre-release movie clips
Next up, we were treated to some exclusive clips from Big Hero 6, presented by the producer himself, the engaging and affable Roy Conli. The movie isn’t quite finished, so I’ll give you a little overview and my review based on what we saw and where Roy filled in the gaps…
Big Hero 6 is set in the futuristic city of San Fransokyo, a thriving, multicultural coastal tech hub, home to one of the top technology institutes in the world. Trams travel up and down San Fransokyo’s steep hills, past houses and buildings that are a vibrant mix of West and East. Dotted amid the clouds are pretty balloon-like wind turbines, bringing clean energy to the residents. Like other recent Disney films, the setting is rich with detail and the result of years of research and fine-tuning, and the result is incredible. I’m thinking I might move there.
Both Hiro and Tadashi both have a gift for robotics, but Hiro hasn’t yet found his path and after graduating years early from High School, he spends much of his time in questionable company.Hiro and his big brother Tadashi live a pretty normal life there, sharing a Victorian-style house with their Aunt Cass, a cool and quirky mum – the sort of aunt everyone wishes they were!
Tadashi meanwhile is creating a warm and loveable healthcare robot trained to act as a medical companion – a walking, talking first aid kit, as it were.
He’s also keen to inspire his little brother to do something more productive with his life, and wows him with a visit to see what his friends at the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology are working on.
Hiro meets adrenaline junkie Go Go Tamago, neatnik Wasabi, chemistry whiz Honey Lemon and fanboy Fred – all of whom are insanely clever and dedicated to the absolute cutting edge of innovation in mechanical engineering, chemistry, and robotics. He’s hooked, and discards his more ‘underground’ life to realise his potential.
It’s a Disney film, so we all know what happens next. Hiro’s world is turned upside down following a devastating incident. He is determined to solve the mystery and bring the bad guys to justice, and recruits his friends – and healthcare robot Baymax – to help him.
Big Hero 6 is of course getting every dad’s inner geek excited. Remarkably, though, the movie is distinctly Disney, and feels more akin to Toy Story than to any of the other Marvel-inspired movies. Some of the characters are so real it’s almost spooky – I feel like I know Hiro and Cass from my neighbourhood.
The absolute show stealer by far, though, is Baymax, the medically trained companion robot. Tadashi has programmed him to be wonderfully kind and guileless, and to learn ultra-quickly by downloading journals, manuals, textbooks and videos to add knowledge to his repertoire.
Because he’s a medical companion, he also needed to be soft so that he wouldn’t inadvertently hurt a patient while helping them. The animation team looked to some of the world’s top robotics institutes for inspiration… low and behold, a medical companion robot actually exists – and it really does have a comfortably puffy vinyl exterior over its more traditional robotic ‘skeleton’.
What I love most about Baymax, though, is that he is so terribly cute that you will want to bring him home with you. You can’t help but smile every time you see him on screen. Every time. It’s like watching a hundred cat videos back to back – pure loveable cuteness.
So how did he get to be so cute?
This is absolutely true… or so says the producer: When animating Baymax, the animation specialists studied and replicated the toddle of a baby wearing a diaper, a baby wearing a loaded diaper, and the cute little waddle of a baby penguin, and analysed the three for adorableness.
The baby penguin won by a mile.
Weirdly, even being super adorable, Baymax manages to be really, really cool – the sort of buddy you definitely want to spend your day with. There is a brilliant, exhilarating scene where Baymax is trying out his new suit – it’s very Iron Man, but hey, that scene in Iron Man was too cool for words so I have absolutely no problem with them recreating it here!
I am SO excited about seeing the full movie. It’s action packed, with great storytelling, adventure and superb characters, and really is lots of fun. Imagine Toy Story, Iron Man and Tangled rolled into one movie. Awesome.
More about Big Hero 6
Inspired by the Marvel comics of the same name, and featuring comic-book style action, “ Big Hero 6” is directed by Don Hall (“Winnie the Pooh”) and Chris Williams (“Bolt”), and produced by Roy Conli (“Tangled”).