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First CG-animated Marvel film from Disney will be Big Hero 6; Set for 2014 release

05.09.2013

Since Disney first bought Marvel, the prospects of seeing the unique library of the comic company's stable of properties come to life via animation have been widely speculated. Visions of Pixar-animated Marvel superheroes seemed like a dream that was closer than ever. And while the live-action stable has cornered the market, nothing's been cooking in the animation kitchen.

Until now. Today, Disney announced that their first CG-animation project based on a Marvel comic would be BIG HERO 6, an obscure 1998 series created by by Steven T. Seagle and Duncan Rouleau, which centers on:

"a robotics prodigy named Hiro Hamada and his robot companion BayMax, who join a team of superheroes in a high-tech city called San Fransokyo"

The film will be directed by Don Hall (WINNIE THE POOH), who says that he sought out a property that didn't have a "detail-obsessed fan base," and was open for interpretation.

"I was looking for something on the obscure side, something that would mesh well with what we do. The idea of a kid and a robot story with a strong brother element, it’s very Disney."

The original comic takes place in Tokyo, Japan, but Hall has changed the setting into a mash-up of Tokyo and San Francisco, which allows animators to create a "uniquely stylized cityscape" for the film.

"Marvel properties take place in the real world. We were looking for something to do where we could make our own world — bring in the Japanese influences,  have recognizable landmarks mashed up with a Japanese aesthetic."

Marvel Chief Creative Officer, Joe Quesada, feels confident that both Disney and Hall will deliver on the Marvel model, saying:

“Don was a huge fan of Marvel. He understood what we did. I didn’t have to explain our world to him. The relationship between Hiro and his robot has a very Disney flavor to it … but it’s combined with these Marvel heroic arcs.” He went on to say, "The storytelling aspects are very frenetic, very visceral. It takes tropes of Japanese culture, manga, anime. There are giant dinosaurs that invade a city, big robots, youth fashion, cutesy stuff in the vein of Hello Kitty."

Oh, shit, we just got Hello Kitty linked in with Marvel. Let the hellfire rain from the sky! So, there you have it, folks. I think most of us would prefer to see a better known property getting the animation treatment, but at least it's a start, right?

BIG HERO 6 is slated for release sometime in 2014.

Extra Tidbit: Fans of the original comic: What do you think of the U.S. and Japanese mash-up?

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