Come November, we'll find out if Disney truly can turn a Marvel property into an animated success. Starting with [Big Hero 6](movie:425271), the film about a boy and his robot.
But as you likely noticed in the trailer, Baymax is anything but your typical robot. Built by young genius Hiro Hamada, he's more marshmallow than metal, and we wanted to find out the secrets behind Baymax's design. First, let's see Baymax in action. Here's a brand-new clip of the film:
Director Don Hall (Winnie the Pooh) spoke a lot on making Big Hero 6 a new kind of animated film, even though it is adapted from a Marvel comic.
“When I was a kid, I loved Marvel comics. I was encouraged to explore the Marvel universe and one of the projects I found was called ‘Big Hero 6.’ I’d never heard of it, but I liked the title and its Japanese influences—it just sounded cool.”
Hall went on to say that the studio encouraged him to take the idea of 'Big Hero 6' and "make it his own." That, of course, meant rethinking what makes Baymax a compelling character (even more than just a cool robot).
So Hall teamed up with researchers at Carnegie Mellon to learn more about robotics and how he could translate that into animation.
“We had some really great conversations about robots in pop culture. And I learned that they were actually researching soft robotics, including this vinyl arm that was inflatable and non-threatening. It could do simple things like brush somebody’s teeth, but the possibilities were endless.”
When you think of vinyl, you probably think of old records or what you learned about vinyl molecules in chemistry. Truthfully, we use vinyl for all sorts of materials. Flooring, walls, pipes, wires, the list goes on. As you can imagine it, vinyl is best characterized as soft, flexible material that is surprisingly strong. Hence, the structure of Baymax.
Hall admits that he liked the idea of a soft, non-threatening robot.
“A big part of this movie is that Hiro turns this compassionate nurse robot into a meched-out warrior with some dangerous consequences at stake.”
Big Hero 6 opens in theaters November 7.