‘Big Hero 6’: New trailer spotlights adorable robot action, humor

July 15, 2014 | 2:09 p.m.
big hero 6 character rollout hiro1 Big Hero 6’: New trailer spotlights adorable robot action, humor

Robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, from "Big Hero 6," will be voiced by Ryan Potter. (Disney)

“All right, let me get this straight: a man in a kabuki mask attacked you with an army of miniature flying robots?”

So goes the promising opening scene of the new trailer for “Big Hero 6,” which marks the first Disney animated movie to use Marvel comic characters since the company acquired Marvel Entertainment in 2009.

The clip sets the tone for the film, slated to hit theaters on Nov. 7, showcasing the relationship between a robotics prodigy named Hiro Hamada and his robot companion BayMax.

Judging by the preview, the pair still have a lot of work to do before they go about stopping Mr. Kabuki and saving the world. For starters? Some “upgrades” for BayMax.

You can check out the trailer below.

Disney this week announced the voice cast for the film, including Ryan Potter as Hamada and Scott Adsit as BayMax. The supporting cast will  include Maya Rudolph, James Cromwell, Damon Wayans Jr., T.J. Miller, Alan Tudyk, Jamie Chung, Genesis Rodriguez and Daniel Henney.

Even die-hard comic book fans may have trouble recalling the Marvel series, which was created by Steven T. Seagle and Duncan Rouleau in 1998 and is something of a whimsical love letter to Japanese culture. Characters in the original comic include a samurai, an agent who invented a nanotechnology-based Power Purse and a monster born from a child’s drawings.

For director Don Hall (“Winnie the Pooh”), the absence of a detail-obsessed fan base for the series was part of its appeal, as it left every character and setting open to interpretation.

“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 original comic is set in Tokyo, though Hall’s film takes place in a mythical mash-up of Tokyo and San Francisco, a conceit that allows Disney’s animators to imagine a uniquely stylized cityscape — and indulge a studio-wide affinity for Japan fed by that country’s strong animation tradition.

Hall, a lifelong comic book fan who started at Disney Animation in 1995, was in the midst of directing “Winnie the Pooh” when Disney acquired Marvel in 2009. He found “Big Hero 6″ while digging through Marvel’s library for ideas and pitched it to Disney’s chief creative officer, John Lasseter, in 2011.

“Big Hero 6″ is being produced wholly at Disney Animation, but Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada has been participating in brainstorming sessions about the project.

“Don was a huge fan of Marvel,” Quesada said of Hall. “He understood what we did. I didn’t have to explain our world to him. The relationship between Hiro and his robot has a very Disney flavor to it … but it’s combined with these Marvel heroic arcs.”

– Justin Sullivan and Rebecca Keegan | @LATHeroComplex

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