Big Hero 6 Baymax Birthday Party Ideas

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If your family is anything like mine, Baymax has made his way into your hearts.  Why not have a Baymax themed party for someone special in your life.  Click the image above to get lots of great ideas for making the best Big Hero 6 party!  Make sure to grab your copy of Big Hero 6 now on DVD and Blu-Ray.

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An Interview with the Director and Producer of Disney’s Newest Movie Short, Feast #BigHero6Event

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Disclosure- I have been provided an all expense paid trip to Los Angeles for the Big Hero 6 movie premiere and ABC TV Event in exchange for coverage of these events.  All opinions are 100% my own.   Thank you so much Disney and ABC TV!

bigHero653da7d7b32142Hopefully you’ve already seen Big Hero 6 and the adorable movie short that precedes it, Feast, but if you haven’t here’s a little bit of what you’re missing.

Feast is the story of one man’s love life as seen through the eyes of his best friend and dog, Winston, and revealed bite by bite through the meals they share.  Winston is an adorable Boston Terrier who shares many different types of food with his owner, such as french fries and pasta.  When Winston’s owner gets a girlfriend we see the types of foods Winston is given changes to healthy foods like vegetables.  I don’t want to tell too much more and spoil the movie short for you but it is amazing just how much story can be told just through the food that is given to Winston.

Fun Facts about Feast:

~Winston is the first Boston Terrier featured in a Disney movie.

~The town in Feast is based on a college town called Oxford, Ohio.

~ It took 53 weeks from start of production to Feast’s premiere.

~ It took a team of around 7 key people plus lots of other people worked on Feast a little.

~Feast was created while other Disney movies were being made (such as Big Hero 6).  The people responsible for making Feast were also working on other bigger movie projects as well so production of Feast was worked around people being available to work on it.

~Feast showcases how a dog relates to it’s owner based on patterns in how he/she feeds it.

~All food in Feast was meant to look iconic so it was obvious within a second or two what food it was.

~Feast Fridays- Every Friday the crew of the movie would be gathered together to go over what was done during the week and one food from short would be served such as a waffle bar, carrots and humus, etc.feastOn the walls of the Disney Animation Studio.

bigHero653fe6fcc068adWinston waiting for some food.
bigHero653fe6fcc28f47Yummy french fry!
bigHero653da7d6ebd4b6Dog food with parsley on top which is a big symbol in Feast.
10541865_10105768843553094_7321783910585719871_oHere we are with Director Patrick Osborne and Producer Kristina Reed. 
10011971_10105768840663884_4664148364296373753_oProducer Kristina Reed and Director Patrick Osborne

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My Big Hero 6 Baymax Voice Over Experience #BigHero6Event

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Disclosure- I have been provided an all expense paid trip to Los Angeles for the Big Hero 6 movie premiere and ABC TV Event in exchange for coverage of these events. All opinions are 100% my own. Thank you so much Disney and ABC TV!

I tried my hand at doing a voice over once again.  Last year I got to do a voice over for Wreck It Ralph and it was an amazing experience.  This time was just as exciting.  I was so nervous when it was my turn as you can probably see in my video.  It is a little strange hearing your own voice inside the headphones, especially when it comes out sounding robotic.  Thank you Recording Engineer, Michael Weissman, for making the whole experience more comfortable and easy.
Without further ado, here I am doing a voice over as the voice of Baymax in Big Hero 6:
big hero 6 recording booth

recording studio



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Chatting with BIG HERO 6’s Jamie Chung (Go Go) & Genesis Rodriguez (Honey Lemon) #BigHero6Event

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Disclosure- I have been provided an all expense paid trip to Los Angeles for the Big Hero 6 movie premiere and ABC TV Event in exchange for coverage of these events. All opinions are 100% my own. Thank you so much Disney and ABC TV!

16787_10105768820444404_3391648403559720847_nYeah, that’s me hanging out with Big Hero 6’s Jamie Chung (Go Go) & Genesis Rodriguez (Honey Lemon).  During our press trip to Los Angeles last week we had the opportunity to  chat with 2 of the actors from Big Hero 6.  They were both so sweet and beautiful.
Here’s what we learned:

Q    :    What was your favorite part about playing the Character that you played?

JC    :    I think the favorite, in particular with this character, Go Go doesn’t say a lot at the beginning of the film.  But when she does say something, it’s very on point and it’s quite sassy.  She was described to me as the female version of Clint Eastwood of the group.  And it was just fun to sass it up. If I said a line with too much of a smile, the directors Chris and Don would say, “No, No, No, No, No, a little bit meaner”.

GR:  For me it was having to be so positive all the time.  I really feel like I was acting a fool and I was getting paid for it.  It really is just the biggest blessing to have this cast, warm and loving characters because you’ll never get to play that kind of part in a live action thing.  I can speak for the both of us, we’ve been huge Disney fans all of our lives and we’ve been princesses. I literally would comb my red hair in restaurants as Ariel. It’s like a dream come true to be able to play these strong Female Characters and give that back to future Generations.

Q   :    I have a question about Honey Lemon’s character because she looks Caucasian but then there were moments in the film where she had a Japanese accent to me like especially when she said Hiro.  The setting was a mix of San Francisco and Japan and I was wondering if she had a Japanese background as well.

JC    :    So Honey Lemon is very Latina. So that’s the correct way of pronouncing it (Hiro) either way.  The beautiful thing about Latinas is we come in all colors. My mom is Honey Lemon.  She’s blonde, real natural blonde, lighter eyes.  It’s wonderful that it’s not like a stereotype of any sorts.  I feel like she pronounces it that way because it’s more endearing or it’s more like she cares about him.

Q    :    Had you voiced an Animated Character before?

JC    :    Nothing on this caliber. Once you’ve done a Disney Animation Film, it’s the top of the top, you know what I mean?   You’re good!  But I did do a cartoon for a different network and it was a half hour and everyone got fired, the cast, the writers, everyone.  That was kind of the worst experience.

Q    :    Did you like having such a strong having a strong female lead in the movie?

JC    :    Absolutely!  Talking further on stereotypes, what I love about this film is that there is no stereotype.  It kind of breaks all of those boundaries in terms of being a nerd and being not cool. This is the absolute opposite of that.  In terms of strong female characters, like Honey Lemon and Go Go are so different from each other and yet they both represent strength in their own way.  What Disney’s great about is not a cookie cutter example of “this is a strong woman”.  They both come in different shapes and sizes and different shades and what not and that’s what I love about this.

Q    :    A couple of my Readers have asked, when you’re in studio and you’re doing your voices are you very animated while you’re doing it, like everybody’s listening to it in their heads and jumping around or is it very calm when you’re doing it?

GR    :    I heard this story of a famous voice over actor and he prefers to lay down and say all of his lines.  I don’t know how that’s possible because I have do the motion and I think Jamie is the same way.  You have to do the motion in order to get that sound out.  It’s so hard to do because you have to stay still.  But it’s like “now make a noise like you’re falling 6 feet and you’re landing on the floor, like that noise, like that “UGH” when you’re falling.  It’s really hard to do.  You have to use your imagination but it helps you.  I couldn’t not move.  And energy!  I can’t imagine saying my lines (without moving).  So immediately when I started with the hands (in an exaggerated high voice) “Like Oh My God, Hi!”  So there’s definitely lots of hand movement.  Probably I was like 4 feet away from anything around me.

Q    :    What did you wear to get into character?  I know when you talk to some actors they wear heavy shoes to get into these characters?  Did you do something like that?

GR    :    What’s weird is that I did, the audition exactly like Honey Lemon and I hadn’t seen the character at all.  I took a very bold fashion choice.  I did socks in heels and I did an undershirt and then a dress over it.  I don’t do that at all. I don’t know why I went like that and then I saw Honey Lemon and the way she dressed and it was freaky.  I couldn’t have planned it better.

JC    :    It often helps.

GR    :    It helps yeah.

10453428_10105768819611074_5236990277063866445_nQ    :    How did you prepare?

GR    :    There’s really not much you can prepare because they improvise and you don’t have any idea what the story is about.  I think we both did read.

JC   :    I did, I auditioned, yes.  But it was a constant progression and change and so every day, it’s like the new version and you go through all your lines of a new version.

GR    :    I think the most important thing is to be unique because once you’re in the room, you can really go and figure out where it’s supposed to be and they say, “OK, you’re onto something” and then you kind of go with that mojo. So that’s the only thing that you can do you have to be able to play.  You really have to just tap into your inner kid and make that voice.

JC    :    It may sound pretty strange (because) it’s just your voice but it’s so much more than that.  I would stretch.  I would physically warm up, warm up my voice.  I would stretch like we’re going in like run a marathon.  [LAUGHTER]

Q    :    Did you add your own personality to the characters?

JC    :    I think the interesting thing when you add a voice to it, personality to it because it really does come alive.  And if you look at each character and compare them to the person that’s playing them, they embody that character. Genesis to me is Honey Lemon.  Her own personal attributes are what kind of gives this character life and I think that’s what they did with casting.  They wanted the characters to kind of represent the actors that are playing them.

Q    :    Did you see each other a lot?

GR    :    We met a month ago.

JC    :    At the first cast dinner when the film was done.

GR    :    Yeah, when it was finally done but I think Disney does such a good job at hiring, honest honorable people that have to portray these characters that they’re perfect at what they do, and they hire really special people.  Everyone that was cast was just adorable and so much fun and we immediately clicked.

Q    :    Were there any particular scenes that were done together or were they all voiced separately?

GR    :    I think Ryan Potter who plays Hiro, I think he had some scenes with Maya Rudolph together.  They were able to do like openings together but Maya was on very strict time restraints. But I think they got 20 minutes together, more than any of us.

Q    :    What’s your favorite scene in the movie with your character?

GR: She has the best line in the movie, I think which is “Woman Up.”

JG: I think the most interesting would be when they all have their new gear and they’re testing it out and kind of feeling it out and all trying to take them out.

GR: My favorite too is when we get in the car chase.

10612748_10105768819117064_6339997530231107436_nQ    :    Other than your Characters, who’s your favorite character and not Baymax?

GR    :    Fred is hysterical.  What’s funny is that T.J. is such a great comedian.  He’s like totally Fred, too.

JC    :    I liked Wasabi.  I feel a lot of resemblance with (him).  He was a worry wart and he cares about safety and the safety of everyone.

GR    :    And his scream!

Q   :    There are so many emotional pulls in the movie. Was there anything in particular that really triggered you?

JC    :    The first time I didn’t cry cause I was absorbing everything and very aware. Last night when I watched it with my nephew and my family and everyone, I let myself go and the moment where he goes, “You can’t leave me Baymax” I’m like [CRIES].  I’m just about to cry right now, it was so good.

GR    :    I cried 3 times and I’m not gonna say the last two because I don’t want to spoil it to the readers but the first time I cried, apart from when I saw the Disney logo because that’s so surreal for me, so I cried when the movie started.  It’s the flight scenes when he sees his. Oh that kills me. And when Baymax sees that he’s making him happier and he takes off again.

JC    :    What I love about them is they’re not afraid of untold story that’s like tragedy.  It’s like real life issues.  Disney is not afraid to address to the younger generation.  I think it’s what they do because in the end, everything is gonna be OK. It’s OK to be sad.  And it’s OK to be happy.  And then it’s the process of overcoming grief.  It’s really important.  And it’s always kind of a diffused message and it’s always there but kids get it.

GR    :    It’s a lesson about doing the right thing.

Q    :    Do you think that doing the movie anyway changed your perspective on certain things?  Going forward, does it want you to be better?

GR    :    Oh yeah.

JC    :    In terms of like sending the right message, it is a superhero movie but it stresses the importance of education and science. I love that the message that it sends is that intelligence and smarts is not sex biased, no more is it race biased.  Everyone’s equal and everyone has that same opportunity to reach that milestone in terms of education.  So I think it’s cool to part of that and also in terms of 10, 20, 30 years from now, this movie still will be relevant.

GR    :    I was so excited for a movie to talk about robotics and technology.  I was into robotics and I’m an official nerd.  To even have a movie that’s making girls want to be in technology and be smart.  I hope girls especially after this movie will be the first ones to raise their hands in class and realize that being smart is empowering.  Robotics is cool.  Science is cool.

10687049_10105768821412464_1449535019707359328_nHow cute were Genesis Rodriguez’s Honey Lemon nails?!?!?

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Behind the Scenes of BIG HERO 6 at the Walt Disney Animation Studio Interview with Directors Don Hall & Chris Williams PLUS a Drawing Lesson with Disney Animator, Jin Kim #BigHero6Event

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Jin Kim

Disney Animator Jin Kim

Disclosure- I have been provided an all expense paid trip to Los Angeles for the Big Hero 6 movie premiere and ABC TV Event in exchange for coverage of these events.  All opinions are 100% my own.   Thank you so much Disney and ABC TV!
big hero 6 group jumpDuring our press trip to Los Angles we had the opportunity to spend the day in the Disney Animation Studio and learn from the experts.  We interviewed the directors of Big Hero 6 Don Hall and Chris Williams.  We learned how to draw Baymax (and Hiro) from Disney Animator Jin Kim.  Let me just say that Disney will not be asking me to draw  anything for them any time soon.  We also interviewed 2 of the actresses of Big Hero 6 and tried our hand at doing a voice over for a scene of Big Hero 6.  Keep an eye out for those up coming posts.
Here’s my attempt at Baymax:my baymaxThere were no erasers on our pencils which was a little frustrating for this type-A girl but it was so much fun learning from an actual Disney animator who worked on Big Hero 6 and other movies.  Here he is showing us how to draw Hiro.

baymax and hiroStay tuned for an upcoming post of me trying my hand at doing a voice over of Baymax!  Here are some pictures from our day at the Disney Animation Studio.  I just love how they make the entire office area decorated like the movie they are working on.

1560533_10105768782774894_8452911585010692353_nSmall group picture with Big Hero 6 Directors Don Hall and Chris Williams.

Here’s our awesome and interesting interview with Big Hero 6 Directors Don Hall and Chris Williams.  They were so interesting and funny that there really wasn’t anything I could cut out to make this shorter.  Enjoy!10686724_10105768781317814_9097700026783566163_nQ    :    I have a question for Don.  So, what attracted you to the story of Big Hero 6, being that it’s sort of a small publishing in the comic book world? 

DON  :    We never pitched one idea.  We pitched a few, at least three.  What originally attracted me to Big Hero 6 was just the title.  It just sounded interesting.  And then I researched it a little bit more.  I saw the Japanese superhero theme, thought that was super cool, and then read the books and I was really struck by the characters.  They were just so fun.  They were fun and appealing characters.  They had goofy names, like Honey Lemon.  And you could tell that the creators loved Japanese pop culture and that’s why they did the book.  They wanted to take their sort of love and anime and all things Japanese and infuse that with a sort of Marvel superhero story.  I love that.  Most of all we could see amidst all of that that there was an emotional story about a 14-year old super genius who loses his big brother.  And his robot that becomes a surrogate big brother and heals him.  So it had all of these elements, but even then it still was, to me, a dark horse, you know, that it would get picked by John (Lasseter).  I mean, there were some other ones that were a little bit more popular, maybe, but he gravitated towards this one, as did the other directors when I pitched it to them.  And I think it was that emotional hook that got everybody.

CHRIS:    Yeah.  I remember pretty vividly, about three, three and a half years ago. Don and I did a pitch in this room, on that wall, of Big Hero 6.  It was real skeletal, like a broad-strokes summary of what it could be.  At that stage, you’re not looking at every character, every scene.  It doesn’t have to be worked out.  You just have to show the potential for a fun story.  And everyone was really taken with the idea of a kid who was going to lose his brother and who would be left with his brother’s robot, a surrogate big brother, to help him move on.  That just struck a chord with everybody.  And so it was my favorite.  I was really glad when John Lasseter green-lit it, and in a way, the fact that it was an obscure property really helps us, because the way we make movies here is, we’ll sit at this table and talk about it for years. And it evolves quite a bit and we have screening after screening and the story changes a lot.  So we know that whatever we start out with, it’s going to end up being something different.  So the fact that it wasn’t a well-known property where people were going to have their own idea of what it should be really helped us.  It did evolve a lot with the way we work around here. I met the men who created them.

DON  :    Duncan Rouleau and Steven Seagle (the creators of the Big Hero 6 comics) came to the premiere last night.  They really loved the movie and I felt like if the creators of the original comic book love this movie, then hopefully I think we did something right by them.  It was great.

big hero 6 screenQ    :    What was the biggest change from the initial script to the final cut of the movie?

DON  :    Biggest change?  One thing that just comes to mind is that Baymax became more central. We realized that when he is driving the story and driving the plot it really helps.  And he became a real interesting character in uniting the sort of “boy and his robot” story and the superhero origin story.

CHRIS:    Yeah.  But I don’t know if it’s the biggest.  I think it’s the most significant because to that point Hiro was really driving it.  Which makes sense.  You’d want the protagonist driving the story.  But the story wasn’t coming together and it didn’t come together until we put Baymax front and center. Take the idea that he (Baymax) wants to heal him (Hiro) and put it in the forefront and make it really proactive, as opposed to being reactive.  Before he was really reactive to Hiro and he just followed Hiro around.  He was always a great character, but when you’d put him front and center and make him proactive, he’s the one engaging a lot.  If you look at it, it’s a little sneaky, but he’s the one that’s really pushing the story forward. He’s the one that brings the friends in and he’s the one that furthers the flight because it’s making Hiro feel good and forget about the loss of his brother for a little bit.  Once we did that, that’s when the story really started.

DON  :    I would say also the specific thing is the scene on the wind turbine after that first flight scene.  That really kinetic scene where they’re flying through the city.  The scene where it’s just the two of them sitting on the wind turbine above the clouds, that really sort of sweet scene, was a very late addition but that’s the way we worked.  We keep sort of questioning our assumptions and keep challenging the story.  And we realized there was something missing.  And we added that scene and it really solidified the relationship and we understood then how much they were invested.  How much they loved each other.  We became invested in their relationship and that was a fairly late addition.  I think a credit to the way that we make movies here, where we allow ourselves to constantly reassess and so I was really proud of that scene.

evilQ    :    Did you study any specific Marvel action scenes from the movies to inspire any of the scenes from this movie? 

CHRIS:    I can’t say we did.  I wouldn’t say we studied but we’d seen the movies so many times that we’re all just big geeks. So we probably knew them more than we should.  We definitely wanted to do right by the action part of it, you know.  But the emotional story is the most emotional thing, you know?  But we also felt that there was going to be an expectation that the action scenes had to be pretty awesome.  And, not only that, but they had to have a different personality.  I guess that’s one of the things that I’m most proud of.  That they all moved different.  I loved the fact that they’re all very different.  The car chase is kind of just fun and thrilling.  The scene, we call it monster, but it’s the face-off where we reveal who Yokai is, that one is tragic.  And then the battle at the end, it’s just all hands on deck.  They all have a very different personality. The one in the warehouse, that was creepy but comedic.  Baymax makes that one kind of fun, how he can’t move fast.  So I love that they all have different personalities.  That was very important, that they couldn’t just be one note.

big hero 6 teamQ    :    I just want to ask who your favorite character is in the movie, and why?

CHRIS:    We should probably disqualify Baymax.  That’s too easy.  I guess for me, I identify a lot with Fred. He’s really a dork and a geek and all just into monster movies and sci-fi.  I don’t have the collection that Fred does (or) the resources.  I don’t have the resources at all.  But definitely I can identify with Fred. There’s moments for Fred, during the superhero shenanigans part of it, I keep remembering the feeling that I had when I was a kid and we played superhero and I had the trash can lid for a Captain America shield.  And we would throw that. There was a feeling and that’s how I feel like Fred approaches this whole thing.  The direness and the stakes of it don’t really sink in.  For him, it’s just, “I get to play superhero as an adult.”

CHRIS:    You’re in a building full of Freds here.

DON  :    Yeah.

CHRIS:    And, yeah, I definitely sort of connect with Fred.  I guess I would aspire to be as cool and capable as Go Go and I like the way that she carries the team for a good stretch.  She is really the only one who seems to be qualified, initially.  And I think that maybe some of the silliness or goofiness of Honey Lemon is something that I connect with as well.  So maybe any of those guys.  Wasabi, that would be my kids’ favorite character.

DON  :    Damon really transformed that character.  That character probably changed the most after we cast Damon.  We kind of had an idea of what that character was going to be, but Damon comes in, and he has this really great comedic skill set that really guided us.  He’s so great at playing characters that try to put up this façade that crumbles really quickly and he became a really important character for the team.  He was the one who was the realist.  He was the one who was able to point out that becoming a superhero was a sort of a crazy idea and seems a little dangerous.  So for a while he’s actually the voice of the audience and very funny to boot.

san fransokyoQ    :    I think the scenery is really exciting, mesmerizing, and there is so much to see in it.  So, how did you go about researching what the actual backgrounds would be and how much attention you wanted to draw to it? 

CHRIS:    We put a stake in the ground very early on, saying we’re going to push the lighting.   It a very cinematic look and that was by design.  We really wanted to push that with this movie.  So we had some rules that governed our art direction, which were, simple characters on a complex background.  And so we knew that we’re gonna just pack everything (in).  There is more detail in this movie than, I think, in the last three movies.  That’s a credit to our production designer, Paul Felix.  And our art director of environment, Scott Watanabe, who really shared the burden of how we gonna integrate all of this, the Japanese stuff, into San Francisco?  And not only that, how are we going to make it seem like a lived-in, real place, not a soundstage or a kind of a CG-ish (computer generated-ish) kind of environment.  They really shouldered the burden of that and getting them all correct.  Even in Japan, we were there a week ago, for the world premiere, and we got compliments from the Japanese.  They loved the emotion of the movie, and so much, they really embraced the movie.  They kept saying this was one of the most authentic American portrayals of Japan, ever.  And it’s not Japan.  You know what I mean?  And they fully acknowledge that.  They’re like, “We get it, we get it, this is a fantasy world, but it’s more real and more indicative of Tokyo and Japan than any other movie they’d seen recently,” so that was pretty cool.

DON  :    Yeah.  We’d love to take all of the credit for everything, but we have an incredible production designer, our art director.  And they really go to these places, they immerse themselves, they sketch.  They take pictures, they really study.  And that’s how you get all of the details that add up so that it feels realized, so that it feels really complete.  And these guys go really deep.  Like, even the placement of the sun in the sky, the sun will always be in the right place in the sky, depending on the time of day in the scene.  Depending on the geography of San Francisco.  And just the moisture in the air.  And things that I wouldn’t have thought about that most of these guys are consumed by.  Getting all of these things right makes you feel like you’re in a complete, comprehensive (world).

big hero 6 scenesQ    :    There were so many things we could recognize.  But how did you, instead of making something completely fantasy or completely real, how did you come up with the combination of these real places like that?

CHRIS:    Well, it happened very early, because that’s the first thing we generally tackle.  Before we ever go into story, it’s always the world.  After we had a meeting with Marvel, where I said “John (Lasseter) picked Big Hero 6.”  They (Marvel) said, “You know you don’t have to worry about setting this in the Marvel Universe.  Don’t worry about trying to integrate Captain America and Iron Man and all of that kind of stuff.  Just take this and go.  Make your own world.”  So that was very freeing and cool, but then it left a lot of questions.  Like, okay, what is the world then?  The Marvel Universe really takes place in the real world.  It’s New York essentially.  So I wanted to stay away from New York and I really wanted to stay away from LA.  We knew it was going to have this Japanese — we were going to integrate a Japanese stamp on it.  So, San Francisco just felt cool because it’s very recognizable.  It’s a contained city.  It’s a beautiful city.  And there’s so many things that people recognize around the world, like the Golden Gate Bridge and cable cars and on and on.  So it just felt like we could make a really grounded, relatable world but make it — but still have the fantasy that we do in animation in the caricature, that we do in animation.  So, it was a pretty easy pitch, by the way.  “Hey, John, we want San Francisco and Tokyo.”  It’s like, his two favorite places in the world.  So, yeah, that was a good pitch.

DON  :    Something that John emphasizes a lot, is that, over the course of the years of production, the story is going to change a lot, but you’re going to live with the world that you create.  So before we created the story, we did a lot of research just to build the world.  And let the world inform the story.

CHRIS:    I just want to bring up one little minor detail. We knew that there was going to be no superpowers in the movie.  That was another stake in the ground.  Nobody is magic, nobody is irradiated by anything, any kind of ray, cosmic ray or gamma ray or spiders, or anything.  So it’s going to be real people, and their superpower is going to be super technology.  Both of those cities, Tokyo and San Francisco, are kind of hubs of technology.  So that kind of felt like another kind of easy integration.

big hero 6 groupQ    :    You wanted certain people to voice the characters, but did that happen with all of the characters, or just Baymax?

CHRIS:    To some degree.  We had an idea.  We had written versions of these characters.  But, inevitably, especially when you get such amazing actors like Damon and TJ and Genesis and Jamie, they start to shift a little bit.  They bring so much of themselves to it that it’s kind of a circular thing.  Where you start with this, and they come in, and “oh, look what they’re doing,” and then we integrate that into the whole mix.  We looked at it just like we always do. We have a great casting department and they bring us choices and auditions and all of that kind of stuff.  And we just kept holding out until we found the right people.

DON  :    We wanted to get to know these characters really intimately, so that we would know how they would behave.  Not just in the scenarios of the movie, but in any situation.  And, until we’d cast, we could create a sketch, and get pretty close, but once you cast, then you can really crystallize and really get to know the character.  That’s crucial stuff.  We get usually about two or three screenings in before we have a pretty good sense of where the story is going, generally, before we cast.

big hero 6 collageQ    :    I have a question about the technology.  The technology in the film is not only futuristic, but it’s kind of ultra-modern.  Is that based on anything?  Did you guys work with a science team?

CHRIS:    Yes, and yes.  If you watch the credits, you’ll see, “Thank you, science.”  So many people that we brought in, because we do all extensive research.  There were scores of roboticists that consulted on the movie and that research trip, that gave us Baymax. Then there was a guy I met on that research trip, Dr. Tom Wagner, who was from iRobot.  He became a kind of a consultant on the film early on.  And we kind of ran not just the robot stuff, but technology through him, too, like plasma blades.  We want Wasabi to have plasma blades.  Can that happen?  And he’s like, “Well, yes, if you do this, and you did that”. Some of it we’d use and some of it we pulled back just for design reasons.  Everything in the movie is researched and grounded.  We tried to keep it as real as possible.  Even telekinesis, which we thought we were really bending the rules there. We come to find out that people are actually working on that.

DON  :    It’s a hard thing to do, to make a movie where you’re trying to deal with the latest cutting-edge technology.  One of the challenges is, the actual stuff is moving so quickly, we have to make sure we get our movie out ahead of it.  I think we managed it.

CHRIS:    Like Siri.  Three and a half years ago I went out on a robotics tour and that’s where I met Chris Atkinson, who was doing soft robotics and that led to Baymax.  One of the things that they kept stressing is human-robot interaction (or human-A.I. interaction) is difficult because human speech patterns and the slang we use and all of that kind of stuff is a very difficult thing.  Well three months later, Apple came out with a version of the iPhone app, Siri, that for all intents and purposes works really well.  I can talk to Siri and she can understand me.  So it just goes to show you how quickly these things are advancing.  Micro-bots are right around the corner.  [LAUGHTER]

big hero 6 boardQ    :    Is there a message that you are trying to send about the emotional relationship between a boy and his robot, compared to nowadays it’s people and technology and their SmartPhone?

DON  :    We were thinking of Baymax more of a character than as a robot, ultimately, and his role in the emotional story. Primarily we were thinking of this as a story about loss and the idea that Baymax would be a surrogate big brother, helping Hiro with his loss of his brother.  We kept going back to that Hiro would have a cathartic moment in the movie once he’d accepted the idea, or come to realize that, in a sense, his brother is isn’t really gone.  When you lose somebody, they can live on through the choices that you make.  And that really is the thing that we kept going back to- what is this movie ultimately saying?  What is the main thematic idea?  It is that.  It’s the way they can live on through you.  That was primarily what we were circling around as we were generating the emotional story.

CHRIS:    I will say that early on as I was doing my research it became very apparent that Western and Eastern cultures view technology differently and this came to a head with Chris Atkinson, who was the soft roboticist that kind of showed me this.  He just went on and on about how he frustrated he is as a roboticist that Western movies always portray the robots as villains.  It’s technology run amok, right?  “When is somebody is gonna put a robot up on screen that I’ve never seen before and when is that robot gonna be the hero of the movie?”  And I was like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, you had me at inflatable.  But the Japanese robotocists, what got them to be roboticists were anime. It was always anime.  And you could tell the ages of the roboticists by which robot he was into.  Going all of the way back to Astro Boy or Gundam or Evangelion, or whatever.  There’s an Eastern philosophy that technology will give us a brighter tomorrow.  A lot of times in the West, it’s going to be our downfall.  Ultimately has nothing to do with the technology.  It’s about who wields that technology.  But the theme of loss is really our main theme, but there was a lot of stuff that kinda went into the soup, I guess.

Q    :    If you could give Baymax any upgrade, what would it be? 

DON  :    Hmm.  An upgrade.  Boy.  It’s funny we’ve been getting a lot of people have recently who would love their own Baymax.  And we’ve heard people say he’s such a great companion because he has no needs.  He is always attentive to other people’s needs.  I don’t know.

CHRIS:    I’m thinking.  He flies.  I was thinking yeah, he flies, he’s got a rocket, he’s a caring nurturer.  Yeah.  What about you?  What would you do to him?

Q    :    I think he should sing. 


Q    :    It’s calming and soothing and music abilities, like, you press a button, and it’s like, elevator music coming out. 

CHRIS:    We needed you like, a year ago.

DON  :    Yeah, where were you?  [LAUGHTER]

CHRIS:    Now we have to.  Now we have to do a sequel.  [LAUGHTER]


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Fun Facts From Big Hero 6- #BigHero6Event #BigHero6 #MeetBaymax #Balalalala

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huddle up

Big Hero 6 is now in theaters.  Here are some fun facts for you about the movie.  


SLAM DUNK – Baymax is 6 feet tall and 75 pounds—until Hiro mechs him out. Baymax, in his super suit, is more than 7 feet tall and can lift 1000 pounds. “He’s all air,” says head of animation Zach Parrish.

GO AHEAD – Artists looked at actors like John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Gary Cooper and other cowboys to study cool, emotionally reserved traits while developing GoGo Tomago’s look and personality.

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BLINK – Baymax sports a standard nine-frame-blink, says head of animation Zach Parrish. “We play with the speed of his blink throughout the film, but for the most part, it’s a standard blink. It’s the amount of time we give the audience to think before he blinks that says a lot—the longer it is, the more time he’s processing. A double blink shows confusion. We used that a few times in the film. That could be an acting choice for a human character, too.”

NEED FOR SPEED – Artists looked at speed skaters to inform the body type and movement for GoGo Tomago, a passionate student of speed.

DUUUUUUDE – Artists studied snowboarders, skateboarders and surfers to develop movement and posture for Fred.

CHILL OUT – Wasabi, at one time, was a very Zen character with very Zen dreadlocks. When filmmakers tweaked his personality, they initially decided the neatnik wouldn’t be a fan of the not-oft-shampooed-do and gave him a haircut. The look didn’t last. It turns out, everyone was just too attached to his cool locks.

LOOSE TOOTH – To ensure Hiro’s charming gap-toothed grin stayed intact from any angle, controls were added to his teeth so animators could make adjustments as needed.


ROBOT LOVE –Ryan Potter, who voices Hiro in “Big Hero 6,” was obsessed with building robots as a kid. “I was 9 or 10 when I got a robotics kit,” he says. “I absolutely love science.”

MORE ROBOT LOVE – Genesis Rodriguez, who lends her voice to Honey Lemon in “Big Hero 6,” was on her school’s robotics team. “I was a welder,” she says. “So I made sure my weldings were just perfect and very aesthetically pleasing as well. People didn’t expect us to be so good. That was the beauty of it. We were just this bright group of girls who had an idea, executed it and beat the guys.”

SMART GUY — James Cromwell, who lends his voice to Professor Robert Callaghan, studied at Carnegie Mellon University (then called Carnegie Tech). “Big Hero 6” filmmakers spent time at the school, learning all about the innovative field of soft robotics, which ultimately inspired Baymax, a huggable vinyl robot that takes care of people.

FULL CIRCLE – As a child, Damon Wayans Jr., who provides the voice of Wasabi, wanted to be an animator when he grew up. He even studied animation after graduating high school before he decided to pursue acting.


LET IT GROW – The “Big Hero 6” animation team topped 100 members (103, to be exact). That’s about 15 more animators than 2013’s feature film “Frozen.”

MARTIAL ARTISTS – Filmmakers selected karate to broaden Baymax’s skillset—but animators had to adjust some of the movements to work for the voluminous character’s build. A few members of the team visited a nearby martial arts studio to get a feel for the practice. Pros were asked to attempt some of the moves while on their knees to simulate Baymax’s signature proportions.

I CAN FLY – Filmmakers consulted with flight specialist Jason McKinley, who worked on both “Disney’s Planes” and “Planes: Fire & Rescue,” to choreograph and execute the flight sequences with Baymax and Hiro.

670’S A CROWD – Walt Disney Animation Studios’ proprietary system Denizen allowed filmmakers to create bigger, more believable crowds for “Big Hero 6.” created around 670 unique characters, compared to 270 in “Frozen,” 185 in “Wreck-It Ralph” and 80 in “Tangled.”

  • Each of the 670 characters has up to 32 different clothing look combinations, plus 32 different hair and skin tones. That means, filmmakers could invite 686,080 unique characters to the San Fransokyo party before there were any exact repeats.
  • Denizen was made available to everyone at Walt Disney Animation Studios and employees were encouraged to model themselves in the system to join the crowd. More than 200 characters were created, and employees will see themselves up on the big screen—walking among the “Big Hero 6.”

COUNT ON IT — The “Port of San Fransokyo” scene has over 6000 people in it.

  • 23 districts were built in 3D.
  • 83,149 lots of the 150,000 in all of San Francisco were built.
  • 18.8 million building parts.
  • 215,000 streetlights.
  • 260,000 trees.


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Big Hero 6 Printable Activities, Science Experiments, Recipes, and More #BigHero6 #BigHero6Event

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Big Hero 6 opened in theaters today.  You can check out my Big Hero 6 review post to learn a little more about it.  And here are some great science experiments, printable activities, recipes, and more.  Click each image to be taken to the hi-resolution, printable images.  Enjoy!

baymax rocket fist

Big Hero 6 Science Experiments

big hero 6 recipes

Big Hero Recipes- Wings and More!

invisible ink

More Big Hero 6 Science Experiments

origami baymax

Big Hero 6 Activity Pages

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Big Hero 6 Review- Now In Theaters #BigHero6Event #BigHero6

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Disclosure- I have been provided an all expense paid trip to Los Angeles for the Big Hero 6 movie premiere and ABC TV Event in exchange for coverage of these events.  All opinions are 100% my own.   Thank you so much Disney and ABC TV!

Big-Hero-6-poster-2-fullAs you already know, I had the privilege of attending the red carpet premiere of Big Hero 6 in Los Angeles just a few short days ago.   I had been eagerly anticipating this movie since my girls and I saw the trailer several months ago and let me say it didn’t disappoint.  Big Hero 6, the newest 3D animated movie from Walt Disney Animation opens today.  I absolutely loved every moment of it.  It is a great combination of Disney movie with a little Marvel magic thrown in because it is based on a Marvel comic.  It has everything you want in a great Disney movie- great storyline, exciting action, powerful messages of friendship and determination, family friendly humor, lovable characters (who wouldn’t love a giant white blow up robot, right?), and beautiful animation.
hiroBig Hero 6 is the story of Hiro Hamada, a 14 year old genius who lives in the city of San Fransokyo.  After a tragic event he finds comfort in Baymax, the inflatable robot that his older brother created to help people.  Hiro, Baymax, and a cast of other lovable heroes have to come up with a plan to defeat a mystery villain and along the way learn some powerful lessons on friendship, loss, and teamwork.
big hero 6 sign 2Big Hero 6 has several important messages that this mommy of 2 daughters just LOVES.

~Girls can be just as smart and strong as boys.  In a society that males seem to dominate in the world of technology, it is great to see girls in this movie who are just as intelligent as the boys.  My favorite line from the movie is “Woman Up!”  I love seeing strong feminine characters who aren’t dainty princesses needing to be rescued.
big hero 6 group 2~Girls can be good with technology, too.  S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) is so important for ALL children to learn so it is great that this movie promotes the message that girls can rock technology, too.  I know my girls are going to love this.
big hero 6 group~Being smart is cool.  As a self-proclaimed geek girl myself, I love love love this theme in the movie.  Hiro and his friends may not be the traditionally cool kids when it comes to beauty and style but they are awesomely cool because they are smart and use their intelligence for good.
Big-Hero-6~ Intelligence can be a Super Power.  AMEN!  Hiro and his friends don’t need super strength, telekinesis, telepathy, superhuman strength, or any other traditional “super power”.  Intelligence IS the super power in Big Hero 6.

BIG HERO 6Big Hero 6 has a PG rating mainly for some cartoon violence and a villain who is a little creepy in some scenes.  As with other Disney movies, this probably won’t bother most children but if you have a very sensitive child you will need to use your discretion.  I will say that if you are a crier, bring some tissues!  There are a few scenes that will tug at your heartstrings and invoke some pretty ugly crying if you are anything like me.  But that’s ok.  There are lots of scenes that will give you warm fuzzies and make you smile on the inside and out, too.  I don’t want to give you any spoilers so that’s all I’m going to tell you.  GO SEE BIG HERO 6 THIS WEEKEND!!!

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Visit the Big Hero 6 Website

From Walt Disney Animation Studios, the team behind “Frozen” and “Wreck-It Ralph,” comes “Big Hero 6,” an action-packed comedy-adventure about the special bond that develops between Baymax (voice of Scott Adsit), a plus-sized inflatable robot, and prodigy Hiro Hamada (voice of Ryan Potter). When a devastating event befalls the city of San Fransokyo and catapults Hiro into the midst of danger, he turns to Baymax and his close friends adrenaline junkie Go Go Tomago (voice of Jamie Chung), neatnik Wasabi (voice of Damon Wayans Jr.), chemistry whiz Honey Lemon (voice of Genesis Rodriguez) and fanboy Fred (voice of T.J. Miller). Determined to uncover the mystery, Hiro transforms his friends into a band of high-tech heroes called “Big Hero 6.” Inspired by the Marvel comics of the same name, and featuring breathtaking action with all the heart and humor audiences expect from Walt Disney Animation Studios, “Big Hero 6” is directed by Don Hall (“Winnie the Pooh”) and Chris Williams (“Bolt”), and produced by Roy Conli (“Tangled”).

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How Calum Worthy’s Video (Dez from Disney’s Austin and Ally) Made Me a Cool Mommy! #BigHero6Event

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I went to the Big Hero 6 Movie Premiere in Los Angeles and I had the privilege of meeting Calum Worthy from The Disney Channel’s Austin and Ally.  He was so sweet and graciously made a video for my girls.  They think they have a pretty cool mommy now.
Thanks Calum!  Check out the video!
calum worthy austin and ally

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Big Hero 6: The Red Carpet Premiere Experience #BigHero6Event

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Disclosure- I have been provided an all expense paid trip to Los Angeles for the Big Hero 6 movie premiere and ABC TV Event in exchange for coverage of these events.  All opinions are 100% my own.   Thank you so much Disney and ABC TV!
big hero 6 signAs I am sure most of you already know, Big Hero 6 comes to theaters tomorrow- Friday, November 7th, 2014.  I had the honor and privileged to attend the red carpet premiere at the El Capitan theater in Hollywood, CA.  This was my 3rd Disney red carpet premiere but it wasn’t any less amazing or special.  I am so excited to be able to share with my readers all about my experience so here goes.
Big Hero 6 ticketA group of 24 other bloggers and I got all dolled up and hit the red carpet.  Here’s what I wore.  Next time remind me to wear more comfortable shoes, ok?  Going from sneakers and sandals all the time to heels 2 nights in a row was a little hard on this mommy’s tootsies!
big hero 6 dressWe started off at a cocktail party hosted by Disney Movies Anywhere.  I’ll be telling you more about this amazing new app in another post so keep an eye out.  We left the cocktail party at the Roosevelt Hotel and then walked down the street to the premiere.  We were let into the exclusive red carpet area and stopped for several photo opps as we casually made our way down the red carpet.
walking the red carpetTo the left of us there were several stars who were getting photographed, signing autographs, and doing interviews.  Once we passed through the red carpet we were led to the famous El Capitan theater.  As we were walking into the theater we saw Josh Gad (the voice of everybody’s favorite snowman, Olaf) walking in right next to us.  We grabbed our popcorn and drinks and made our way to our seats.  On the way to our seats I stopped to take a picture with Calum Worthy from Disney Channel’s Austin and Ally.  Having 2 tween daughters I think I get even more excited to see the teen stars of Disney shows then t.v./movie stars!  It is so amazing to look around the theater and see stars sitting right there with us.  I’m not sure what it is like at other red carpet premieres but at Disney premieres the stars sit among everyone else.  I knew this from my previous experience but it is always surreal to look around and spot the stars.

calum worthy austin and allyMy seat was in the center of the theater in the second row- RIGHT BEHIND Calum Worthy who was in the first row.  Ross Lynch (Austin from Austin and Ally) was sitting several seats down from Calum so I casually went over and ask him if he would take a picture with me for my daughters.  (My girls were so excited when they saw the picture!)  Call me a cougar but Ross Lynch was looking hot.  Don’t worry, he’s 18 so I can say that.
ross lynch austin and allyWhite waiting for the movie to star there was a man playing Disney songs on an organ.  You don’t get that at a regular theater!
el capitan organ playerWe watched the movie, which was PHENOMENAL, but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to read my whole review of Big Hero 6 and next week for my review of Feast, the movie short that came right before it.  When the movie was over we took shuttles to the after party at Yamashiro.  Yamashiro is a gorgeous restaurant and lounge which was the perfect setting for the after party.  big hero 6 after party at YamashiroThe after party was a time for everyone to dine, relax, and mingle with stars of television and film.  It had a low key vibe and AMAZING food.  I am glad I snapped this picture of the sushi display because when I went back about half an hour later it was pretty much gone!
sushi islandThe desserts were just as beautiful and delicious as the dinner.  The Baymax sculpture below was made out of rice crispy treats and fondant.  Crazy!  And look at the adorable mini cupcakes.  Plus there was a decorate your own cupcake station as well.
big hero 6 beymax cupcakesThere were plenty of photo opps at the after party including several “Selfie Stations” and a photo area to take a picture with Hiro and Baymax.  I totally thought Baymax was just an inflatable prop until he put his arm around me for the picture and I almost screamed!
big hero 6 photo oppsThere was also a room with fun activities such as a Disney Infinity Gaming Area (I’ll be telling you more about Disney Infinity 2.0 in an upcoming post). I tried my hand at the bean bag toss and totally embarrassed myself.  I tossed the bean bag and it missed the hole it was supposed to go into and bounced off of the Baymax that was in the background.  It actually almost bounced into the hole AFTER it bounced off of Baymax.  Yeah, that takes talent.  Then I was laughing so hard the next 2 tries that I just couldn’t get the beanbag into the hole.
big hero 6 party funAnother favorite spot at the after party was the green screen photo area where I took several pictures with fellow bloggers.  Don’t we look cute? I have to say my favorite part of the night was the one that made me a VERY COOL mommy according to my daughters.  Check out how a celebrity and I surprised my girls with a cute video.
It was such an amazing night and I feel so blessed to have been able to experience it.  I’ll leave you with a picture of all of the bloggers on the red carpet and one of the official cast group pictures courtesy of Disney.
big hero 6 group shotimage008

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