Marvel, of course, is far better known for the coterie of ageless super humans that populate films like "The Avengers" and "Guardians of the Galaxy."
Set in the fictional city of San Fransokyo, a hybrid of tech havens Tokyo and San Francisco, "Big Hero 6" tells of a young prodigy who assembles a motley crew of heroes to counter a gathering threat to the city. The plot draws heavily on some of the tropes of a live-action superhero movie—dazzling fight scenes and blazing weapons battles—but imbues the script with a surprising amount of drama and family tension.
Thanks to brand new technology, "Big Hero 6" featured several characteristics that set the movie apart from its brethren in the Disney catalog. To generate the ambience of San Fransokyo, the studio used something called Hyperion, a cloud-based rendering tool that creates lifelike scenery and lighting.
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Creating the landscape and denizens of San Fransokyo "was a really ambitious project," Driskill explained. "It had Disney's heart and a strong emotional arc, but had the spectacle and…sense of scale and amazement of a Marvel cinematic film," he added. "We were really trying to do both on this."
Disney already has at least 5 more animated projects in the pipeline, Driskell said. Given Big Hero's success, however, will audiences see another installment, or will they be forced into an interminable wait along the lines of "The Incredibles," the 2004 Disney-Pixar smash hit that earned more than $600 million, but has yet to see a sequel?
Driskell was noncommittal. "Directors look for movies they can get excited about," he said. "We'll do a sequel if the folks involved think there's a good story."