The Art of Big Hero 6
The Disney machine's first fully digested Marvel property wowed the multiplex audiences – but how does it fare on the page?
Author Jessica Julius Publisher Chronicle Books Price £25 Web www.chroniclebooks.com Available Now
Big Hero 6 is the first truly Disney-style release to come from 2009’s buy-up of Marvel, and the company was certainly savvy to choose an obscure, Japaneseinfluenced franchise, for which only the tiniest minority of fans really cared about.
The cartoon takes some huge liberties with the material (particularly the complete reinvention of monster robot Baymax as a toy-friendly inflatable), but a poll of cinema attendees would suggest the Disney magic has worked wonders with a comic so unloved even its creators tend to stress they came up with the idea during a busy period.
All of which makes Chronicle’s book tie-in such a disappointment. The text glances over the history of the franchise, diving right in with a sparsely written ‘making of’. Environments and characters are covered, with the city of San Fransokyo – executive producer and Pixar CEO Jon Lasseter’s neat idea of combining Tokyo and San Francisco – in particular getting plenty of page coverage. But the book’s design is a let down. One sprat thrown towards the Marvel ethos is the use of comic-bookstyle text boxes to present bite-sized chunks of information, but the pages slip by uninspiringly, and even the cover is ugly. A missed opportunity.
Yama means “mountain of a man”: the bad guys’ head honcho certainly lives up to his name.