Love letter to Japan culture
THERE is a lot of mashing going on in Disney’s Big Hero 6, according to producer Roy Conli.
Walt Disney Animation Studios’ venture into the superhero genre with a loose adaptation of a Marvel comic mashes east and west cultures, Tokyo and San Francisco, and heart and spectacle.
In the midst of a superhero explosion, Big Hero 6 brings a few fun twists to the table as science whiz kid Hiro (voiced by Ryan Potter) transforms first-aid robot Baymax (voiced by Scott Adsit) and five of his science nerd mates into a crime-fighting team in the city of San Fransokyo.
After battling jetlag (he had just arrived Down Under from premiering his film in Tokyo) with a bike ride around a Sydney park, Conli took time to speak to Community Newspaper Group about the film’s aesthetic.
Conli said the production’s design “secret weapon” was Scott Watanabe, of Japanese and USA heritage, who had a keen eye for both cultures and how to weave them together.
“(Watanabe) would go to Japan with his family during the summers. This film is a love letter to popular Japanese culture, but we also wanted to open it up and make it more fantastic by doing the Japanese and San Francisco mash-up,” Conli said.
Citing Iron Man as his favourite Marvel film superhero, Conli said he had always been a fan of the genre.
“As a kid my favourite comic book hero was Thor; I don’t know if it was the hammer or the muscles, but he was my favourite,” he said.
Hiro and Baymax. Big Hero 6 opens on Boxing Day.