Love let­ter to Ja­pan cul­ture

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Western Opinion - By JU­LIAN WRIGHT

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.

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