Thursday, May 9, 2013

Going Big

Surprise, surprise! A first look at Walt Disney Animation Studios' Big Hero 6 has arrived...

Disney seems gung ho about getting the word out on Walt Disney Animation Studios' adaptation of Marvel's Big Hero 6, which is not due out until next autumn. We got word on the project last summer, as it was in development and we knew that Don Hall (Winnie the Pooh) was directing. It was also interesting to note that this was Walt Disney Animation Studios' first ever collaboration with another studio, which made me all the more excited because it shows that the rejuvenated studio is willing to branch out and take some real risks, rather than treading the same old ground.

Wreck-It Ralph, I believe, was the first in this experimental new period. Disney spent the last couple of years making a good films with familiar concepts (talking animals, fairy tales) in order to get audiences back in the theaters for their films. Frozen, from the looks of it, won't be your typical Disney fairy tale adaptation and the two untitled projects (one from Tangled co-director Byron Howard and the other from dream team Ron Clements & John Musker) also sound quirky. The studio, as I've said many times before, is in a better state now than they ever were in the last two decades: No nosy executives interfering with the creative process, a brain trust that approves of good ideas and a healthy balance of heart, humor and drama goes into each story and screenplay. On top of that, they are willing to take big risks... It's exactly what Walt would've wanted.

Big Hero 6 is coming to theaters on November 7, 2014; sure it may have been officially announced today, but we knew it for months. Given their reluctance to really market Frozen (aside from the leaked footage that was supposedly shown on the Disney Channel in Greece), who would've thought that Disney would show us footage from this film so soon?!

Listen carefully, you'll hear something familiar...

Yes, it looks fantastic. The film's San Fransokyo setting is bursting with creativity and color. Marvel CCO Joe Quesada unveiled some details on the plot and again, it sounds like something totally different and new from the studio. This is what Walt Disney Animation Studios should've been like a decade ago, because they did experiment after the Renaissance. Films like DinosaurThe Emperor's New Groove, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Lilo & Stitch and Treasure Planet definitely went against the grain in terms of storytelling and creativity. In addition to that, a lot of these ideas were original and not adaptations (sans Treasure Planet). But, they were produced at a time when suits had too much power over what went into these films and what had to go (Atlantis is great example of this)... Thus the results were mostly mixed and a majority of the films did poorly at the box office.

Since Disney acquired Marvel in 2009, it seemed logical for them to have their animation studio adapt one of their comics. For a while, it was rumored that Pixar would make an animated Marvel film, but of course they wouldn't since they don't do adaptations. Disney Animation, on the other hand, is the perfect studio to bring Marvel into the theatrical animation world. The current and ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe is proof that Marvel is in good hands right now, so Big Hero 6 sounds like it'll certainly live up to its ambitions plus the last string of Disney animated films were strong... Walt Disney Animation Studios, again, is headed for a bright future.

As for the film itself? Well, it seems like we're going to get a visually amazing, action-packed spectacle that'll feel like a Disney classic but at the same time it'll be quite different. They'll stick to the good traditions, but they'll also embrace great new ideas. The last couple of films proved this, especially Wreck-It Ralph. It paid off, greatly. It has definitely encouraged the studio to go big or go home. Walt did the same during the Golden Age...

With all that said, why is Disney still hiding Frozen from us?

1 comment:

  1. I'm really excited about this!!! I was wishing for Big Hero 6 to use 2D anime-style animation, but it turns both Disney and Marvel wanted it to be more like a Seventh generation video game made by Capcom or Sega (which, in my opinion, is even better) due to the success of Wreck-it Ralph.