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Win a ‘Big Hero 6′ Blu-ray by Telling Us Your Unconventional Superpower

Superheroes come in all shapes, sizes and personalities, and there probably isn’t a more eclectic group of crime fighters than the members of Big Hero 6. But what if you were part of the team? What would you bring to the table?

Here’s your chance to win a free copy of the Big Hero 6 Blu-ray: Collector’s Edition, which includes a DVD and Digital Copy. The disc includes the origin story of Big Hero 6, deleted scenes, Easter eggs and interviews with the animators who brought the film’s vibrant characters to life.

How to Enter the Giveaway

KoreAm Journal and Audrey Magazine want you to experience this movie for yourself, so we will be giving away eight copies of the Blu-ray to those who give the best answers to this question:

“If you could be a member of Big Hero 6, what would be your unconventional superpower?” 

* You can give your answer in the comment section below via Disqus, in the comment section of this article’s Facebook post or tweet at @KoreAm with the hashtag #balalala.

* Then, enter your email at our contest page to complete your registration. Your email will not be stored, nor will be used for any other purpose besides this contest.

* Winners will be chosen based on the creativity of their answer and will be notified through email.

For those of you who don’t win, don’t worry—you can still get all the Baymax you want by purchasing the Big Hero 6 Blu-ray, which is now on sale everywhere. We will be accepting contest submissions until Friday, March 6.

Rules and Disclaimers: Participants must be 18 years or older and live in the United States. Residents of Hawaii and Alaska are eligible for this contest. We value your privacy. Your personal information will be kept confidential and will never be shared with third parties. It will only be used for communications related to this contest.


Featured image courtesy of Disney

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Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 11.36.59 AM

‘Big Hero 6′ Wins Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film

by REERA YOO | @reeraboo

Although the 87th Academy Awards were criticized for being the “whitest” Oscars since 1998, Asian Americans held their breath and cheered as they watched Disney’s Big Hero 6 win Best Animated Feature on Sunday night.

Set in the fictional metropolis of San Fransokyo, Big Hero 6 tells the story of a hapa Asian American teen prodigy and his marshmallow-like robot, Baymax. The animated film not only features multicultural characters but also a multiracial cast, including the voices of Ryan Potter, Daniel Henney and Jamie Chung.

While casting Asian Americans in animated films is nothing new to Disney, it’s an open secret that Hollywood has a long history of casting Caucasian actors in Asian roles. This includes live action films, such as Dragonball: Evolution, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and the upcoming Ghost in the Shell film adaptation.

So, when the envelope was opened and Big Hero 6 was named Best Animated Feature of 2015, Asian Americans took to Twitter to celebrate the film’s win and bring attention to Hollywood’s lack of diversity.

Big Hero 6 will release on DVD/Blu-ray on Feb. 24, 2015.


Recommended Reading:

Voices of Asian American Talent Featured in Disney’s Big Hero 6” by KoreAm Journal

Big Hero 6 Animators Discuss Their Creative Process” by KoreAm Journal

[VIDEO] Audrey Magazine Interviews Daniel Henney & Ryan Potter” by Audrey Magazine

Film Review: Big Hero 6 Charms in Predictably Disney Fashion” by KoreAm Journal

Big Hero 6‘s Ryan Potter Discusses Playing Hiro, Why He Wants to Be Nightwing” by ComicBook.com


Featured image via Greek Fire/Twitter

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‘Big Hero 6′ Stirs Controversy in South Korea

by REERA YOO | @reeraboo

Although Big Hero 6 hasn’t hit theaters in South Korea yet, the Disney animated film is already stirring online controversy for allegedly featuring images of the Japanese Rising Sun flag.

For those of you wondering why some South Koreans are upset over this specific detail, the Rising Sun is considered offensive in South Korea and is viewed as a symbol of Japanese imperialism during the early 20th century. While Japan has been using the flag for centuries and still incorporates it into their commercial products today, to many Koreans, the imagery is tantamount to the Swastika.

So, it’s not surprising that a few Korean netizens became angry after spotting alleged Rising Sun emblems in the Big Hero 6 trailer. Here are some of the screenshots that have been shared on Korean media sites:

wdp7vvcnvemfnkmfi28zEWmleRy12E7gwxxrorPhotos courtesy of Kotaku and Hitgall

In response to the controversy, Disney said, “There are no Rising Sun flags on display in the movie, nor was it the intention to suggest the Rising Sun flag.”

An early concept artwork, however, suggests that Disney did at some point include a flag that resembles the Rising Sun symbol in Hiro’s bedroom. To be fair, the original Big Hero 6 comic is more explicit in its Rising Sun imagery, and it’s likely that the concept artist was just drawing elements from the source material. Still, Disney made a good call scrapping the flag in its final cut.

zjkthpek1au9rtw1kajaConcept art of Hiro’s bedroom. Photo courtesy of Hitgall.

collage22Big Hero 6 comic book covers. Image courtesy of WDWNTScreen Shot 2015-01-19 at 10.58.13 PMImage courtesy of bluehoung617/deviantart

Apparently, Disney took extra measures to dilute its Japanese aesthetics for the South Korean audience.

Hiro and Tadashi, for example, had their names altered in the Korean version of the film, erasing all indications that they are of Japanese descent. While Hiro’s name was tweaked to “Hero,” Tadashi was renamed “Teddy.” The brothers’ Japanese surname “Hamada” was also changed to “Armada,” which is a pretty cool last name. Hero Armada definitely fits the superhero bill.

According to Kotaku, Disney also removed Japanese-language signs that were featured in the U.S. edition of the film. Below, you can see that the Japanese letters on the cat’s stomach have been switched to English for the South Korean release.

cp0fdwekiupmmaiwyop0Image courtesy of Extreme Movie

Another change Disney made for the Korean release was the title of the movie. The film was retitled Big Hero to avoid the impression of it being a sequel.

Interestingly enough, there’s a good number of Koreans who worked on Big Hero 6, including its character design supervisor, Sang-jin Kim; lead character designer, Shiyoon Kim; animator, Hyun-min Lee; and voice actors, Jamie Chung and Daniel Henney.

Big Hero 6 will premiere in South Korea on Jan. 21.


‘Big Hero 6′ Animators Discuss Their Creative Process

by JAMES S. KIM | @james_s_kim

It came as a surprise to many when Disney in 2013 announced plans to adapt Marvel’s Big Hero 6 into a 3D computer-animated film, it being the first animation project to spawn out of the studio’s acquisition of the comics publishing giant four years prior.

The crime-fighting series about a young robotics prodigy and his robot companion set in a futuristic city called San Fransokyo was considerably more obscure compared with other Marvel comics.

Yet when Big Hero 6 hit theaters in early November, adults and children alike fell in love with the characters. (Young protagonist Hiro Hamada is voiced by the half-Japanese American actor Ryan Potter, while Korean American actors Jamie Chung and Daniel Henney also lent their voices to the film.)

The visually stunning final product audiences got to see was thanks to imaginative Disney animators behind the scenes who helped translate the comic book characters to the big screen.

“Those little subtleties—[they’re] almost like a musical beat,” says Hyun-min Lee, 33, an animator for Big Hero 6 who worked primarily on scenes for Baymax, the polite and adorably clumsy blimp-like robot. “It’s about where you can hit those [notes] and really influence how people will read [a character]. It’s like an experiment almost, playing around with that subtle timing.”

BIG HERO 6A scene from Big Hero 6. Photo courtesy of Disney.

Both Lee, 33, and the lead character designer for Big Hero 6, Shiyoon Kim, 31, have been involved in some of Disney’s most successful animated features during the studio’s “neo-renaissance” period. Lee has animation credits for The Princess and the Frog (2009), Wreck-It Ralph (2012), Winnie the Pooh (2011), last year’s Frozen, and the shorts Paperman and Feast. Kim joined Disney to work on Tangled (2010) and Paperman.

The Korean Americans, both alumni of the California Institute of the Arts, are just a few among a large team of animators at Disney linked to a period of creative resurgence that has introduced dynamic characters whose expression, movements and emotions give them personality and life.

Animation itself has come a long way since Disney’s first animated feature film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, was released in 1937. Despite the advent of computer animation, said Lee and Kim in a joint interview, Disney’s studio remains faithful to detail since the hand-drawn days of yore, incorporating 2D animation along with 3D.

Both designers and animators need to flex their creative muscles, says Kim. For instance, in order to design Maximus, the sassy sword-wielding horse in Tangled, Kim observed different horse breeds at the equestrian center near Disney’ s Burbank, California studios before conceiving the initial designs for the character.

Kim faced a different kind of challenge when it came to the swashbuckling hero Flynn Rider from Tangled. “There was a lot of development [and] ideas on who this character was,” Kim tells KoreAm. “At the studio, the animators put all of their favorite, good-looking actors on a board. Everyone had their own opinion on what was good-looking.

“It was really interesting, because I think it’s a very subjective thing,” Kim adds. “I think where we landed was something appealing, and it fit right in with the story.”

FROZENHyun-min Lee works on images. Photo courtesy of Araya Diaz

For Lee, the challenge of working on Baymax was that the rotund character did not really have a face or many defining features. (The film reimagined the character as a round, white robot from a synthetic being who can transform into a fierce-looking green lizard, as he is portrayed in the comics.)

“Baymax was [both] the hardest and easiest [character to work on], because he’s so simple,” Lee says. “There’s a lot of subtlety that goes into his specific head angle, exactly when he blinks, [how] quickly he blinks, how many times he blinks. Does he cock his head to the side, or toward the front?”

By the time a character design reaches the animator’s desk, the storyboards are ready and the voice actors have recorded their lines, so it’s left to the animators to bring the film to life, a few seconds at a time.

“They sometimes let us be a little more free about coming up with the de- tails in the acting, which is kind of the fun part of it,” Lee says.

Of course, it’s not easy for animators to watch their own work; they are their own worst critics. “It’s extremely hard to watch the movie as it is, be- cause instead of the story and characters in the film, I see all the hard work that everyone put into this,” Kim says, of Big Hero 6. “I’m so very proud of them, and it’s a testament to the level of heart and passion that each individual has given to the film.”


Big Hero 6 received an Oscar nomination for best animated feature film. The feature will become available on digital HD & 3D on Feb. 3, 2015. It will also become available to own on blu-ray, DVD, digital SD and On-Demand on Feb. 24, 2015.

This article was published in the December 2014/January 2015 issue of KoreAmSubscribe today! To purchase a single issue copy of the December/January issue, click the “Buy Now” button below. (U.S. customers only. Expect delivery in 5-7 business days).


‘Big Hero 6′ Receives Golden Globe Nomination

by REERA YOO | @reeraboo

Disney’s Big Hero 6 has been nominated for a Golden Globe in the category of Best Animated Feature Film.

Inspired by a Marvel comic book miniseries, Big Hero 6 follows a team of brainiacs led by 14-year-old prodigy Hiro Hamada and his huggable marshmallow-like robot, Baymax. Following a tragedy, Hiro enlists the help of his high-tech friends to hunt down a masked villain and to decipher a sinister plot that could destroy the city of San Fransokyo.

Two Korean American actors voiced supporting characters in the animated film: Daniel Henney as Hiro’s older brother, Tadashi Hamada, and Jamie Chung as the adrenaline junkie, GoGo Tomago.

Other nominees for the best animated film includes The Lego MovieHow to Train Your Dragon 2The Book of Life and The Boxtrolls.

The 72nd Golden Globe Awards will be hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler and will air live on NBC at 5 p.m (PST) on Sunday, Jan. 11. You can view all the nominees and categories here.

Photo courtesy of Disney

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LINK ATTACK: Jamie Chung, Hallyu Beauty Storm, Kim Jong Il’s Former Bodyguard

North Korean Defector: ‘I Was Kim Jong Il’s Bodyguard’
“When Kim Jong Il would arrive in his vehicle, 60- to 70-year old advisors would run away and throw themselves onto the grass. They had dust on their clothes but they wanted to hide from him,” said Lee Young-guk, who was a former body guard to the late Kim Jong Il for 10 years. “They are scared because even when he was happy he would be rude and could chop off their heads.”

Skin Care Products from South Korea Catch on in the United States
Although the beauty market has long been led by European countries, South Korean beauty products are starting to become a popular trend in the States.

Vietnamese Translation Errors Could Affect Prop. 46
“An error in translation for voter materials for Proposition 46, which would require drug and alcohol testing for physicians, could be affecting the way Vietnamese Americans vote on the measure.”

The Super Jamie Chung in Big Hero 6
KoreAm‘s sister publication Audrey Magazine interviews Jamie Chung, the voice actress behind the speed demon GoGo Tomago in Disney’s latest animated film, Big Hero 6. 



The Odd Friendship Between North Korea and Its First American Surfers
Julie Nelson was one of the first people to ever surf in North Korean waters and led the reclusive country’s first-ever surf camp, which showed North Koreans what a surfboard looks like and even taught some locals on how to swim.

OC Korean American Voter Turnout Increased Twofold Since June
“The number of Orange County Korean American voters who participated in Tuesday’s general elections increased about twofold since June primary elections.”

Son of South Korea Ferry Owner Is Convicted of Stealing Millions
“The eldest son of the South Korean business mogul who controlled the company that ran the Sewol ferry, which sank in April, leaving more than 300 people dead, was convicted of embezzlement on Wednesday and sentenced to three years in prison.”

Asian American Horror Thriller The Unbidden Launches Kickstarter
The Unbidden follows the story of four women haunted by the ghost of a tortured man, who knows their dark secrets from their past and seeks vengeance. Starring an all Asian American cast with Tamilyn Tomita, Julia Nickson, Elizabeth Sung, Amy Hill, Jason Yee and Karin Anna Cheung, this psychological thriller delves into the issue of domestic violence and the morality of retribution.

7 Deadly Spicy Korean Ramens to Try
Think you can handle spicy food? Koreaboo lists seven of Korea’s spiciest instant noodle brands.

South Korean Monk Tends to Souls of Dead Enemy Soldiers
A South Korean Buddhist monk cares for the graves of 769 North Korean soldiers in a forgotten cemetery along the SFXI Highway that runs from Seoul to the barbed wire fences of the demilitarized zone.

Japanese Swimmer Denies Stealing Camera at Asian Games
Naoya Tomita, a Japanese swimmer who was accused of stealing a camera during the Asian Games in South Korea, denied the allegations earlier this week, stating that an unidentified male forcefully put it in his bag.

The Unbelievable Story of a Woman Who Taught North Korea’s Elite Undercover
Suki Kim, an American journalist born in South Korea, talks to Huffington Post about her surreal experience teaching at the all-male Pyongyang University of Science and Technology.

Heard in Seoul: Views on Reunification
Korea Real Time hits the streets of Seoul and asks South Koreans about their thoughts, hopes and concerns for a possible reunification with North Korea.


A Journey to the Heart of Korean Cheese
“Imsil, in North Jeolla Province, was where Korea’s first cheese was produced in 1964 by Belgian missionary Didier Serstevens, who wanted to bring the community a sustainable income…”

South Korea Tries to Re-brand DMZ as Rare Animal Sanctuary
The South Korean government pushes for the construction of a wildlife sanctuary in the middle of the DMZ as part of a trust-building strategy between the two Koreas.

5 Most Innovative Korean Restaurants in NYC
Korean cuisine has been growing steadily popular among New York foodies. Here are five innovative Korean restaurants in NYC you don’t want to miss.


Film Review: ‘Big Hero 6′ Charms in Predictably Disney Fashion


Ripped straight out of the pages of Marvel Comics comes a dizzying blitzkrieg of robotic action and San Fransokyan lights, as Big Hero 6 illuminates the big screen on Nov. 7. But, while the 54th successor in the series of Walt Disney Animated Classics may borrow its title and majority of its cast from the Marvel miniseries, the film is only loosely based on the obscure comic books, which were set in Tokyo and centered on an entirely Japanese team of superheroes. For better or worse, the adapted tale, co-directed by Don Hall (Winnie the Pooh) and Chris Williams (Bolt), bears the signature of Disney and all the storytelling gimmicks that come with it, and yet the finished product is definitely anything but a mere amalgamation of clichés.

This superhero adventure follows too-cool-for-“nerd-school” Hiro Hamada (Ryan Potter), who at the ripe old age of 14 is a robotics prodigy with a penchant for illegal bot fighting. Hiro’s volatile mix of borderline criminal genius and teenage dirtbag attitude has big brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney) frequently leaping to the rescue on his Vespa. But as with many hero origin stories, our young protagonist can’t rely on the crutch of his protector forever. Tadashi takes his brother for a visit at the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology, whereupon the initially scornful Hiro becomes enamored with the stimulating, innovative environment, and especially of Tadashi’s mentor and robotics department head, Professor Robert Callaghan (James Cromwell). It is there that he is also first introduced to Tadashi’s masterwork, health care robot Baymax (Scott Adsit), who looks like a hybridized incarnation of Totoro and the Michelin Man.

BIG HERO 6Big Hero 6 is set in the fictitious San Fransokyo, a melding of San Francisco and Tokyo.

Hiro’s character development hits the ground running as he becomes motivated for the first time in years to take on new and uncertain challenges starting with the SFIT showcase, an event where promising young scientists are evaluated for a shot at admission. Modeled on his old fighting robot, Hiro presents his microbots, minute metal pieces that, with the guidance of a neurotransmitter and extensive imagination, hold “limitless applications.” Though the invention awards Hiro both the limelight and acceptance to the program, the joy of achievement is short-lived when a sudden conflagration breaks out at the showcase, resulting in the explosion that claims the lives of Professor Callaghan and Tadashi, who rushes back into the building to save the professor.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, as Hiro is left grasping at the ashes of the life he had envisioned, Baymax is activated and makes it his personal mission to “improve” Hiro’s “emotional state.” This clumsy interaction leads to the discovery of an unclear but decidedly sinister plot involving the mass production of Hiro’s previously thought-to-have-been destroyed microbots, spearheaded by a shadowy individual whose identity is concealed behind a kabuki mask. The apprehension of this figure, who is later linked to the murder of his brother, drives Hiro on a reckless path for justice and vengeance.


And though Baymax cuts an impressive bulk, here is where the rest of the team comes into action, as foils to Hiro’s journey, as well as each other’s. As friends of Tadashi and disciples of Professor Callaghan, each member of the team has a stake in the hunt for the masked villain. The ever impatient and stoic GoGo Tomago (Jamie Chung) is the first to join figurative hands with Hiro in this mission, which impels the others—Honey Lemon (Génesis Rodríguez), a vibrant sweetheart with a knack for concocting neon-hued explosions, Wasabi (Damon Wayans, Jr.), whose intelligence and sarcastic approach to thrilling heroics bears a fond resemblance to Nickelodeon predecessor Sokka (Avatar: The Last Airbender) and self-professed “science enthusiast” Fred (T.J. Miller), who aspires to become a fire-breathing lizard. This hodgepodge of quirks and temperaments adds up to a neat, Disney-stamped balance of clashes that always manage to soften into heartwarming resolution. And a large part of the film’s charm is owed to the vocal talents that roll seamlessly off the animated tongues of the cast, each actor in perfect symbiosis with his or her character.

But while Big Hero 6 boasts a visually tantalizing palette to match a charming core in the great bounds Disney can be counted on to advance in its animated features, there were places where it failed to break new ground and, in some areas, even stepped backward. It was a shame to see the writing play it safe by falling back on well-trod devices that have brought success when it comes to both Marvel universe action and Disney/Pixar “feels,” but it rang more like a well-loved neighbor and less like a whole new world of excitement. The plot strides from start to finish like a veteran actor on a stage, but in this production, the marks on the floor that shout, “Now stand here and say this,” are visible to those watching—which seems to become more and more noticeable with each step Disney takes into 3D computer animated films.

BIG HERO 6Left to right, three members of Big Hero 6’s team: GoGo Tomago (Jamie Chung), Wasabi (Damon Wayans, Jr.) and Honey Lemon (Génesis Rodríguez).

Diverging from the all-Japanese team from the original comic book series, Disney’s iteration of the Big Hero 6 team is racially varied. Several members—including the biracial lead character of Hiro, who is half Japanese—are presumably people of color, and that diversity was refreshing to see in a big studio animated film. But what’s disappointing is that there seems to be no acknowledgement of race, at least insofar as adding some depth to the characters’ backgrounds.

Nevertheless, Big Hero 6 is certain to win the audience over with a nonstop offense of some of the most likable characters the studio has presented within the last few years, and parents will likely be pleased to find that their kids are more receptive to moral lessons and health tips when they come from an adorably oversized robot.

Hiro (Ryan Potter) and Baymax (Scott Adsit).

When Tadashi says of his creation, “He’s going to help a lot of people,” it creates a ripple effect, blurring the juxtaposition of Hiro, Tadashi and Baymax, and their roles as keeper and charge, caregiver and receiver, as well as the meaning of family, throughout the unfurling narrative. Although Disney and sister studio Pixar go heavy-handed with tug-on-your-heartstrings motifs that don’t always translate organically from screen to audience, Big Hero 6 and its interpretations of the different forms of family, from the brothers to single parent Aunt Cass (Maya Rudolph), the team and even a ginormous robot, present a simple and clean range of emotions to which viewers from all walks of life will be able to relate.

At the very least, the film is a must-see in theaters for the vicarious thrills when Baymax zooms over the exquisitely conceptualized San Fransokyo skyline. Overall the movie rolls along like an extended pilot for a series, not unlike the DC Animated Universe’s Justice League, and it appeared determined to set up distinct characters and a taste of the thriving franchise to come. By the film’s end, the audience is already anticipating the next chapter. To be continued next week, right? If only.

All images: © 2014 Disney

Here’s the trailer from Big Hero 6:




Voices of Asian American Talent Featured in Disney’s ‘Big Hero 6′


Frozen’s crystalline winter melts away beneath the San Fransokyo sun, as the same Disney team that created last year’s international blockbuster film releases its latest animated adventure, Big Hero 6, which hits theaters Nov. 7. This time, directors Don Hall and Chris Williams present a world of 3D-rendered robotics and vibrantly futuristic cityscapes as they re-envision superhero team Big Hero 6 from the Marvel Comics of the same name.

While the somewhat obscure 1998 comic featured a Japanese crime-busting team made up of seasoned secrets agents and former criminals, Big Hero 6 comes alive in this onscreen adventure as a motley team of youthful brainiacs, led by protagonist Hiro Hamada (played by Asian American actor Ryan Potter) and his huggable, supersized medical robot Baymax (Scott Adsit). When a mysterious figure poses a menace, Hiro and company are called to work through their fears, and with one another, in order to protect their home city.

KoreAm recently sat down at Disney Animation Studios in Burbank with the diverse vocal talents behind the Big Hero 6 characters, including Potter (Supah Ninjas) and Korean American actor Daniel Henney (X-Men Origins: Wolverine), who plays Tadashi, Hiro’s wise older brother and the creator of Baymax. Seated side by side, their clothes in a complementing neutral palette, hair neatly parted to the same side and donning easy grins, the actors certainly bore a brotherly vibe, as they ambled through a relaxed discussion about the range of qualities revealed in their onscreen characters.


“Tadashi, on the surface, is very laidback, which I think I am,” said Henney, to which Potter teasingly interjected, “No, you’re not!”

Big brother quickly shot back with, “Come on, you don’t make the bed at home.”

These intermittent bursts of verbal sparring drew merry brushstrokes over the picture of a close pair of siblings who have been at it for years. Henney added, “[Tadashi]’s very much sarcastic in the way he sort of gets Hiro to do the things he wants him to do. He uses sarcasm and irony, which I do a lot.”

01072001 - ryan potter, daniel henney.MOV_snapshot_01.53_[2014.10.29_10.11.06]Daniel Henny (left) and Ryan Potter, who play Tadashi and Hiro, respectively, in Big Hero 6.

In the film, the Hamada brothers are parentless, and Henney’s Tadashi plays as much a parenting role as a big brother one to Potter’s 14-year-old Hiro, who would love nothing more than to spend his days scamming underground robot fights. But Tadashi tests the limits of his little brother’s potential and imagination by introducing him to the gifted young individuals—and soon-to-be superheroes—at the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology, where Tadashi is a researcher.

Though the film packs in plenty of action, the theme of family is very much at the core of the film—with the brothers’ relationship, as well as that between Hiro and Baymax, central to that. There’s also the timeless idea of what makes a hero.

“I think sometimes we get lost in what the word ‘hero’ or ‘superhero’ is,” said Henney. “[With Tadashi] it’s just about being a good person and a good brother.”

For Potter, he said it was his character’s resolve. “When he sets his mind on something, he gets it done. That’s a trait you see in a lot of superheroes, but Hiro shows just a little bit more of that,” said the actor.


Though Potter and Henney portray brothers onscreen, they say that it was after recording their parts for the animated film—which often has individual actors working alone in a sound booth—that their off-screen apparently dynamic kicked off.

“We’ve moved in together. We’ve actually adopted a few dogs together, we’re signing up for the local YMCA together … what? No,” Potter said, laughing. “It’s funny because we’ve been working together for a year-and-a-half now, but we haven’t. When I met [Daniel Henney] for the first time, I was like, man, there’s Tadashi. Daniel is Tadashi.”

Henney affirmed, “We met at dinner, and it just felt like we were meant to have played these parts. It felt right, like we had a connection, for sure.”


Big Hero 6‘s directors have said that every cast member seemed perfectly matched for their roles. Rounding out the diverse cast are Jamie Chung (Once Upon a Time), who plays surly speed demon GoGo Tomago; Damon Wayans, Jr. (Let’s Be Cops), who plays high-strung perfectionist Wasabi; Génesis Rodríguez (The Last Stand), who is the brilliant and bubbly Honey Lemon; and T.J. Miller (How To Train Your Dragon), who voices part-time mascot/full-time nerd Fred. Maya Randolph also stars in the film as Aunt Cass, who has been the Hamada brothers’ guardian after the death of their parents.

“When you simply look at the cast, you see how diverse the cast is,” said Potter. “And the diversity onscreen is something we haven’t seen before [in an animated film].”


Another never-before-seen feature from Disney is the combined use of innovative lighting and character-generation software, Hyperion and Denizen respectively, which were incorporated in the realization of the fictitious setting of San Fransokyo, a melding of Tokyo (where the original comic took place) and San Francisco.

Cast member and San Francisco native Jamie Chung marveled at the hybrid city’s design. “The script briefly describes the city, but I had zero idea the detail and how colorful and beautiful it really became,” said the Korean American actress. “I love the attention to all of the San Francisco landmarks—you have the Transamerica building, the Golden Gate Bridge and Treasure Island and Broadway Street and Little Tokyo.”

Chung also had high praise for her animated alter ego GoGo Tomago, who functions as the silent backbone of the Big Hero 6 team. “She’s a woman that believes that actions speak louder than words. She’s kind of the first one really to step up and try to convince the guys that they should turn into Big Hero 6,” she said.



Despite the unique array of teen heroes like Hiro and Gogo Tomago featured in the film, Chung predicted Baymax will likely steal the spotlight and that kids will soon be clamoring over toys created in the inflatable nurse robot’s likeness. “I think everyone [will want] Baymax. It’s the one that everyone wants, but there’s only like two in the batch, and it just drives you crazy,” she said, as she clenched her firsts to emphasize her zeal. (We’re unsure of whether for candy or cute robots.)

On a more serious note, Potter, who is of half-Japanese descent, expressed his excitement over the opportunity to portray a Disney protagonist who is also half-Japanese. “If you’re going to call the United States the melting pot of the world, you’re going to need films and television to represent that,” he said. “All the mixed-race kids are going to be able to see this film and go, ‘Wow, I see myself up there.’”

Here’s a peek at Big Hero 6, which hits theaters Nov. 7.

All images: © 2014 Disney