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SDCC ’14: “Big Hero 6″ preview reveals Marvel-ous mix of humor, high-flying action in Disney’s upcoming animated film

SDCC ’14: “Big Hero 6″ preview reveals Marvel-ous mix of humor, high-flying action in Disney’s upcoming animated film

Though Disney is skipping giving a big movie presentation at San Diego Comic-Con 2014, they didn’t pass up the opportunity to show off a first look at the art of “Big Hero 6,” due out in November.

Filmmakers presented an impressive display of sketches and early movie clips amidst a behind-the-scenes look at how the characters and settings of the upcoming film are being created.

Big Hero 6 panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2014

Because of the behind-the-scenes nature of the presentation, no video recording or photography was allowed.

The setting of “Big Hero 6″ is the fictional city of San Fransokyo, a mash-up of San Francisco and Tokyo. To achieve its unique but familiar look, Disney’s artists toured the real life cities to draw inspiration. It’s split up into 23 distinctly designed districts, each with this own look. After crafting the overall aesthetic of each area, programs procedurally generated the actual buildings, completing the massive map. The huge area was needed to properly give the film its superhero feel, leaving filmmakers hoping that all their efforts in crafting the city will be used again in the future.

Though “Big Hero 6″ is based on the Marvel comic book series of the same name, Disney’s upcoming film is almost exclusively Disney created. Marvel stepped in as needed to assist, but Disney simply took inspiration from the comics and created their own versions of the characters along with an original plot. Character designs went through many iterations before they were settled upon, ensuring each is received by audiences exactly as intended.

Created with careful color and clothing choices, the six main characters – Hiro, Baymax, Honey Lemon, Go Go Tomago, Wasabi No Ginger, and Fred – each offer their own style and personalities that animators then applied to make their movements match. Baymax, for example, is meant to be a lovable companion for Hiro, so every element of his seemingly simple design was considered thoroughly. His inflatable body and limbs were inspired by a real life robotics demo with similar features. His facial design was based on a bell with a line connecting two circles, posing a welcome challenge for animators to show emotion through such simple expressions in his camera-like eyes. And his “cute” walk was tested three ways: toddler, toddler with a full diaper, and baby penguin, the latter of which was the winner.

It’s in these tiny details that Disney will win over audiences come November, as each character comes across as both humorous and human – even Baymax – enabling immediate emotional connections. Hiro will certainly appeal to coming-of-age teenagers, not sure where he’s going with life but determined to live it to its fullest.

Though “Big Hero 6″ is a superhero story, with six good guys (and girls) facing an evil villain, it’s also a relatable story about real life people looking to do more in life. The exact details of how it all plays out are still an unknown, as this SDCC panel focused on the look of the film rather than its plot.

Clips shown during the panel included the introduction of Baymax to Hiro, which is awkward in the most humorous way. The panel ended with the filmmakers’ favorite sequence from the movie, a mostly finished version of the first time Hiro takes Baymax out for a test flight after suiting him up with armor. It feels very Marvel, but with a dash of Disney mixed in, leaving the room erupting with applause.

Come this Christmas, “Big Hero 6″ will surely become a household name and everyone will want a Baymax of their own. It’s definitely aimed at a different audience than “Frozen” and “Tangled,” showing that today’s Disney animation studio can create much more than just princess movies, but equally well. And judging by the fans who were already cosplaying as some of the new characters long before seeing the film, there’s no doubt Disney’s got another hit on their hands.

Big Hero 6 panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2014

Big Hero 6 panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2014


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SDCC ’14: “Toy Story That Time Forgot” preview presents unusual Christmas special sneak peek with lots of laughs

SDCC ’14: “Toy Story That Time Forgot” preview presents unusual Christmas special sneak peek with lots of laughs

On December 2, the “Toy Story” gang is getting back together again for another ABC TV special, this time just in time for Christmas. “Toy Story That Time Forgot” is a most unusual Christmas special, not filled with tinsel and trees but rather a bunch of battling dinosaurs.

The BattleSaurs, as they’re aptly named, are the newest group of toys to enter the “Toy Story” universe as Woody, Buzz, Jessie, Rex, Trixie, and others are thrust into an adventure that’s a bit “Gladiator” meets “Thundercats” with a dash of “Dark Crystal” thrown in.

In a preview panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2014, director Steve Purcell, executive producer Galyn Susman, and head of story Derek Thompson presented a first look at the upcoming TV special with clips, artwork, and a whole lot of backstory.


Video: FULL Toy Story That Time Forgot panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2014


Toy Story That Time Forgot panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2014

Toy Story That Time Forgot panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2014

The tie-in to Christmas in this special is that the BattleSaurs are brand new, out of the box, with an elaborate play set that arrived just in time for the holiday. The “Toy Story” gang walks into their world and hilarity ensues.

The BattleSaurs are at the heart “Toy Story That Time Forgot,” characters that don’t (yet) realize they are toys, instead set on waging battle against every other being they come across – with the exception of fellow dinosaurs Trixie and Rex, whom they accept as their own kind, suiting them up for battle.

Toy Story That Time Forgot panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2014

Toy Story That Time Forgot panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2014


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SDCC ’14: Preview night reveals Marvel, Star Wars displays, a Frozen frenzy, a bit of Big Hero 6 in extravagant exhibits

SDCC ’14: Preview night reveals Marvel, Star Wars displays, a Frozen frenzy, a bit of Big Hero 6 in extravagant exhibits

For three hours, thousands of San Diego Comic-Con attendees were given a preview of this year’s massive show floor full of exciting exhibits to experience and more than enough merchandise to bring home.

Preview night feels more and more crowded each year, with the busiest booths filling to capacity and selling out of sought-after items quickly. But it’s always a fun way to get a first look at what the mega convention has to offer.

Outside, a San Diego trolley is wrapped for Disney’s “Agents of SHIELD” ABC TV show.

San Diego Comic-Con 2014 preview night

Inside, the Marvel booth displays Agent Coulson’s car Lola. While SDCC attendees can pose near it, naturally there is no touching allowed.

San Diego Comic-Con 2014 preview night

Marvel is also featuring “Guardians of the Galaxy” at their booth this year, with a large space craft photo op.

San Diego Comic-Con 2014 preview night

The “Guardians” fun continues at the LEGO booth with a huge sculpture of Rocket Raccoon and Groot.

San Diego Comic-Con 2014 preview night

Nearby, another exhibit has an eerily realistic statue of Rocket.

San Diego Comic-Con 2014 preview night

San Diego Comic-Con 2014 preview night


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SDCC ’14: Hands-on with “Guardians of the Galaxy” Disney Infinity 2.0 play set as Marvel Super Heroes hit Comic-Con

SDCC ’14: Hands-on with “Guardians of the Galaxy” Disney Infinity 2.0 play set as Marvel Super Heroes hit Comic-Con

Earlier today Disney Interactive officially announced the Guardians of the Galaxy play set for Disney Infinity 2.0. Not long thereafter, they showed it off for the first time at San Diego Comic-Con along with other recently announced additions.

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The Guardians of the Galaxy play set closely follows the story of the film, allowing Disney Infinity players to take control of Star Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Gamora, and Drax while battling their way through. The action is fast paced and fun, with a whole lot of hack-and-slash type gameplay coupled with plenty of sci-fi shooting.


Video – Hands-On Interview: Disney Infinity 2.0 Marvel Super Heroes Guardians of the Galaxy


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It feels less like playing Disney Infinity and more like a true game based on the film, albeit a simple, somewhat cartoony one. The environments are far more dazzling and detailed than anything seen in the original Disney Infinity. And each character features their own set of moves. Among the most fun to play are Star Lord with his rapid fire shooting, Gamora switching between her guns and sword, and Groot with leaves gently flying through the air while he smashes baddies.


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Walt Disney Studios today announced “Pirates of the Caribbean 5″ will be released on July 7, 2017.

Johnny Depp is set to return as Jack Sparrow, but little else is known about the film that’s had more than a few delays.

“Pirates” series producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s partnership with Disney recently fizzled out, leaving the future of the franchise unknown.

But with billions of dollars under its belt, the “Pirates” films will surely continue to succeed as long as Captain Jack is on the big screen. The fifth movie’s subtitle is reportedly “Dead Men Tell No Tales” but Disney has not confirmed or announced that just yet.


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