Directors of BIG HERO 6 explain movie's success

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Everyone here knows I absolutely loved How to Train Your Dragon 2 and gave the second movie a really great mark, something the Annie Awards completely agreed with me on. So I was very surprised when I had to admit to myself that Big Hero 6 is equally as brilliant, (Kervyn certainly thought so in his review) although not as epic in my opinion. It’s no surprise it has become Disney’s third highest grossing movie, usurping the position of Beauty and the Beast and only now sitting behind Frozen and The Lion King. Speaking with Variety, Disney animation president Andrew Millstein said it was all about “elevating storytelling and putting filmmakers at the center of the process”.

Of course Big Hero 6 certainly pulls on the heart strings, causing many eye-related allergies to suddenly flare up, much like the inflatable Baymax. The relationship between Baymax and Hiro is central to the story and this is key to its success, something that was only made possible by changing the way Disney makes its movies, as co-director Chris Williams explains:

“It’s the absolute key to the film and the reason the film resonates with audiences, Big Hero 6″

This shift seems to have occurred back in 2006 when a more collaborative approach between the writers and story artists was adopted, something Pixar has been doing for years. It would seem this time less influence came from the top. Millstein goes as far as saying it’s this trust that has made the film so successful.

“The change was about the Pixar team sharing ideas with us, sharing their key principles, Hero’ is one example of what we’ve learned over the years and our embracing some of the Pixar DNA.”

I can see how this would help create a more organic movie, one that flows and captures the audience’s attention. This relationship, much like the one between Toothless and Hiccup in How to train Your Dragon, is very important, I mean the movie is about them! Of course Hiro and Baymax are the primary characters so this relationship is also important.

“So the Story Trust spent most of our time on their relationship. The movie centers on loss, and so we (the writers) all talked about our own experiences. We made ourselves vulnerable once the doors were closed, when we were in the sacred space of the storyroom.”

And I think this shows in the level of emotional omph that Big Hero 6 delivers. As for a sequel, Williams says they haven’t spent much time thinking about it yet but that it would have to be a great story for any consideration:

“If it’s not a great story, it won’t be a great movie. The crew deserves a great story. And we have expectations from the audience, who grew up with Disney animation. They deserve a great story too.:

Big Hero 6 has made over $505 million internationally and has yet to be released in certain territories.

Last Updated: February 16, 2015

Nick De Bruyne

Video games writer, editor and critic since '08. Living and breathing video games, movies and cars since the 80s. Follow me on Twitter if you love tons of gaming talk, and @pennyworthrevs for fun stuff and links.

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