I did receive an all expenses paid trip to LA to facilitate this interview, but all Marvel fan girling and hilarity are my own.
Right before my trip to LA, I had a chance to get an early copy of Big Hero 6. We’d meant to see it, but life had gotten in the way. Very quickly it has become one of our family’s favorite Disney movies, so I was really stoked to have a chance to sit down with Big Hero 6 directors Don Hall and Chris Williams. Being able to hear how they were able to bring Big Hero 6 to life from concept (thanks to a Marvel comic) to a full fledged movie that just hit the number three best selling Disney Animation film of all time, was really awesome!
On How Big Hero 6 Got Started
Don shared with us that after finishing Winnie the Pooh, he was looking for another project. Though he had never read the Big Hero 6 comic, he loved the title! It was the title that got him to look further and found that the creators loved Japanese culture. The fun culture, fun names, and fun story behind Big Hero 6 is what made him decide to pitch the project to John Lassiter.
From there, everyone was on board converting Big Hero 6 from a Marvel comic book into a top box office producing Disney animated film. When asked if they ever expected Big Hero 6 to be THIS successful Don joked, “Yes!” Then shared,
Remember we talked about that (to Chris Williams). No. You know we’re very fortunate because we’re always the first audience. We were won over by Baymax as a character. You always feel like OK if I’m not that different from everybody else and if we like it and our Studio likes it, hopefully everybody will.
On being Disney Animators
One thing that both Don and Chris shared with us wasn’t only about what an honor it was to work on Big Hero 6, but that it was part of their journey being Disney animators. Both became animators because they grew up loving Disney.
With so many childhood memories that involved Disney films, getting involved with the animation studios was only a natural step. It’s this passion that shows itself in each and every Disney animation that Chris and Don touch.
We got into Animation because we fell in love with Disney when we were kids -Chris Williams
On being a part of the Disney Legacy
It was really awesome to hear how humble both Chris and Don were about their part on Big Hero 6. They never imagined Baymax would be as big as he is, but both are truly honored having a chance to be a part in making a Disney character come to life that will live on much longer than either of them will.
[Baymax will] outlive all of us, and to have contributed a character like that to sort of the Disney Legacy is pretty cool. – Don Hall
On Stan Lee
Like in every Marvel movie, Stan Lee is always there. Big Hero 6 is no different. At first Stan Lee was featured in a few paintings throughout the movie, but after attending Guardians of the Galaxy realized “in a panic” that they had to have the Easter egg scene that is always featured at the end of every Marvel movie.
The during credits bit was so super secret it was kept from the entire crew. They kept the bit on a separate server and used top secret code names to keep the secret safe. It wasn’t until the wrap party that the secret project was unveiled! See Don and Chris could totally be secret agent Marvel super heroes.
It was truly an honor to chat with the directors of Big Hero 6. If you haven’t seen the film, make sure to grab a copy of Big Hero 6 on Blu-Ray or DVD ! Make sure to grab the one with bonsu features, which I will be chatting with about when I talk about Feast the short animated film featured on Big Hero 6 DVD. It’s dorable!
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