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?

ImagineFX - - Inspiration -

Au­thor Jes­sica Julius Pub­lisher Chron­i­cle Books Price £25 Web www.chron­i­cle­ 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.

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