Last year I had the privilege of attending an event at the Disney Animation Studio and I was overwhelmed by pretty much everything I saw and experienced. That was for Frozen.
You would think, then, that I would not be very impressed with the idea of going back again to attend a press junket for Walt Disney Animation Studios' newest project Big Hero 6.
You would be wrong.
I was super-out-of-my-skin excited to receive the invitation to do a meet and greet and round table interviews with the producer, directors, and voice cast. And, of course, I got to visit the Walt Disney Animation Studios once again. (Pinch me.)
The makings of a Disney animated film are intense and complex. I was quite surprised to learn that the voice talent had not actually met or worked together while the film was in production. They record their own dialogue in a sound booth and then it's pieced together later. I suppose that's one of those fun facts that everyone knows but I didn't get the full impact of how that works until this day.
The film is set in the not-too-distant future in the fictional city of San Fransokyo. It's super detailed using an entirely new rendering tool called Hyperion, created for this project by the Walt Disney Animation Studios tech team. You've never seen anything like this on the screen before.
Just as they had done during the making of Frozen, the entire 2nd floor of the Animation Studio (seriously, pinch me) was redesigned to give the feel of actually being in "San Fransokyo."
The entire place was set up to enhance the creative experience for all the people working on the film.
Guys, this is the environment the animators and production staff get to work in. I may or may not have been a bit jealous.
Even the coffee bar in the studio was designed to resemble a faux sushi bar. It seriously doesn't get any better than this.
We met the cast in pairs. Starting with Damon Wayans Jr. (voice of Wasabi) and T.J. Miller (voice of Fred). Their excitement to be involved in this project was obvious to all of us.
T.J.'s character, Fred, also happened to be my favorite. Please appreciate that he is carrying his Fred action figure in his pocket. That is all. (Love!)
Scott Adsit gives voice to the inflatable healing robot, Baymax. It was great fun to have him actually "do" the voice for us. He mastered the balance of creating a perfectly soothing, and at once perfectly robotic voice.
The young super-brainiac, Hiro Hamada is voiced by young Ryan Potter.
Ryan's enthusiam and excitement was palpable as he shared what it was like to create authentic emotions and wonder as he lent his voice to the title character.
The girls in the cast, Jamie Chung (voice of Gogo Tomago) and Genesis Rodriguez (voice of Honey Lemon) round out the 6 heroes.
I appreciated that they portrayed such smart, strong and still feminine characters. In real life, Genesis actually was on the robotics team in high school., but that's not important right now. They are a perfect balance to the nerdy nuttiness of the boys.
Everyone we spoke to was visibly pumped to have been a part of Big Hero 6. When you see the film (which I promise to tell you all about in a few days) you'll understand why.
As I write this, I realize it sounds clunky and fangirly. I know. It's just that I am still quite overwhelmed and distracted by the fact that I actually got to hang (again!) at the Walt Disney Animation Studios with such talented people in such an inspiring place.
In the meantime, just enjoy the trailer while I slip back into my fangirl daydreams.
"I fail to see how flying makes me a better Healthcare Comanion." ~ Baymax
"I fail to see how you fail to see that it's awesome." ~ Hiro Hamada
Big Hero 6 opens in theaters everywhere on November 7, 2014.