Hard NOC Life returns with a look at the phenomenon that is Disney’s Big Hero 6. Joining Keith on the panel are Christelle Gonzales (@christellexoxo), the newest NOC to join the fam, and comics artist David Nakayama (@davidnakayama), who penciled the 2008 Big Hero 6 comic series for Marvel and co-created Wasabi No Ginger and Fredzilla with Chris Claremont.
It’s too bad that in making its first movie based on a Marvel comic Disney didn’t decide to take a real leap into the future, say, by making Hiro a girl…
Dear Ms. Dargis,
I was born in Vietnam shortly before the tanks rolled into Saigon and my family was forced to flee. Raised in South Minneapolis’ largest, poorest, and most racially diverse neighborhood, my father taught me to walk to the library and got me hooked on free books. Later, I would learn to run there, mostly to avoid the myriad groups of bullies wanting to beat me for whatever reason they could conjure that day, and I would read books and comics to take me far away from who I was and where I was. It is safe to say that the majority of my boyhood was spent imagining that I was anything but who I was.
Is it possible to love and be angry at a piece of art at the same time? These are the feelings that are vying for dominance after seeing Disney’s first foray into the Marvel archives: Big Hero 6.
My daughter and I saw it in 3-D in a theater where every seat was taken by people of color. Indian, Arabs, AAPI folks, African-Americans… I’ll type it again: In the sold out theater, every person there was a person of color. It was an astonishing sight and feeling. So much of the pre-film chatter were parents talking about “feeling comfortable” bringing their kids to see a film where the heroes “finally look, well, something like them.” This was the exact same reason that I brought my daughter… and the film looked cool as hell. And it was.
This is a big weekend for nerds. Not only is Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated, IMAX-sized space adventure Interstellar opening on theater screens of all sizes, Disney is also releasing Big Hero 6, its very first animated film based on a Marvel property since the House of Mouse acquired the House of Ideas in 2009. When the deal went down, I know a lot of fanboys salivated over the prospect of a Pixar-produced Marvel movie, and while this isn’t that, it looks pretty close.
We at the NOC have been stoked for Big Hero 6 for a while now. Not only is it the first animated Disney flick with an Asian American male lead, it’s got one of the most diverse cast of characters (and voice talents) of any Disney movie. It’s also Disney’s first post-Frozen vehicle, and just from looking at the merchandising already available, BH6 looks to be just as big, but more on that later.