When the Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel Entertainment in 2009, reactions in the fan community were varied in tone, if not intensity. Speculation both logical and absurd immediately became rampant across the Internet as everyone wondered what this would mean for Marvel’s properties. Some were thrilled with the prospects of the deal; others felt that this was a death-knell for their beloved characters. Despite this strange mix of fear and enthusiasm, there was one question on everyone’s mind, perhaps the most obvious question raised by such a merger: When is Disney going to make an animated Marvel movie and what will it be?
After months of relative silence on the matter, Walt Disney Animation Studios has confirmed what began floating around as a rumor last year. The first Disney/Marvel animated venture will be a big screen, CG adaptation of Big Hero 6.
“Who?” the Internet cried in unison. As if the Guardians of the Galaxy weren’t obscure enough!
Big Hero 6 debuted in the 1998 miniseries Sunfire & Big Hero 6, which featured the occasional X-Man teaming up with Japan’s premier super hero team. Among this team’s members were Hiro Takachiho, a 13-year-old boy genius, Baymax, a robot of Hiro’s design, GoGo Tomago, a churlish girl with explosive powers, and Honey Lemon, whose magic purse can produce all manner of items. Obviously, this team was designed to capture a certain Japanese/Manga aesthetic, which makes the property an obvious choice for animation, despite its obscurity.
Along with the announcement, Disney released a brief look at what moviegoers can expect the film’s environment to look like. There isn’t much to it, but it does look like a city ripe for anime-style destruction. From the press release:
“From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes Big Hero 6, an action comedy adventure about brilliant robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who finds himself in the grips of a criminal plot that threatens to destroy the fast-paced, high-tech city of San Fransokyo. With the help of his closest companion — a robot named Baymax — Hiro joins forces with a reluctant team of first-time crime fighters on a mission to save their city. Inspired by the Marvel comics of the same name, and featuring comic-book style action and all the heart and humor audiences expect from Walt Disney Animation Studios.”
Disney/Marvel is targeting a November 7, 2014 release date.