by Brett White
When Disney bought Marvel Entertainment way back in 2009, a lot of comic book fans got excited at the prospect of Disney's animation might being matched up with Marvel's rich library of characters. It seemed like a match made in heaven, and now there's a feature film to show for it. It's just that... it's not one anyone saw coming. Literally, anyone. Find me the Marvel fan who pegged this as the obvious first choice for a Disney/Marvel animated collaboration, and I'll show you a Marvel fan who you should take stock tips from.
"Big Hero Six" will be the first Disney animated feature film to be based on a Marvel Comics property. That's right, "Big Hero Six." The CG-animated film will follow young Hiro Hamada and his robot BayMax as they join a superhero team in the fictional city of San Fransokyo.
You can check out some first look footage and concept art below, along with the answer to the question, "Big Hero Six...?"
The film will be directed by Don Hall, who directed 2011's "Winnie the Pooh" feature film, and will hit theaters on November 7th, 2014. Hall spoke to The Los Angeles Times about how the project came about, saying that the property's obscurity helped sell it.
"I was looking for something on the obscure side, something that would mesh well with what we do," Hall said. "The idea of a kid and a robot story with a strong brother element, it's very Disney."
The film also marks a change for the Marvel Universe, in that it's set in a fictional location.
"Marvel properties take place in the real world," Hall said. "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."
The film is being produced by Disney Animation, with Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada contributing to the project's early development. It'd be wise for Disney to consult with the team's creators as well, as they are are no stranger to animation. "Big Hero Six" was created by writer Steve Seagle and artist Duncan Rouleau, who are both part of the Man of Action supergroup that created a little franchise called "Ben 10."
"Big Hero Six" is also an odd choice because it has a few big name Marvel characters on its roster, characters that most likely can't show up in the film. One of them will be hitting the big screen this year, though. Silver Samurai, one of the antagonists in "The Wolverine," was an original member of the team when they debuted in 1998's "Sunfire & Big Hero 6" #1. The other notable character, Sunfire, is most likely also owned by Fox. Sunfire debuted as an X-Man alongside, Wolverine, Storm, Nightcrawler and Colossus in 1975 before returning back to Japan.
Are you excited for "Big Hero Six"? Let us know in the comments below or hit us up on Twitter!