By Jocelyn Buhlman
Are you ready for the return of your favorite team of San Fransokyo super geniuses—back to save the day once more? The TV movie Baymax Returns, which launches Big Hero 6 The Series, premieres Monday, November 20 on Disney XD and Disney Channel (8–9 p.m. EST). We recently heard from some of the series’ cast and crew about why we should be pumped to blast off with Hiro, Baymax, Go Go, Wasabi, Honey Lemon, and Fred in this new series of super adventures through the fantastic city of San Fransokyo.
1. There’s a super team at the helm.
Executive producers Bob Schooley and Mark McCorkle are no strangers to Disney animated TV series and there’s a reason why everyone was thrilled that they’re heading up another action-packed heroic series. As Ryan Potter (voice of Hiro) puts it, “It was in good hands from the get-go, because these guys did Kim Possible.”
Schooley and McCorkle agree that their experience made them eager to take on the challenge of this super team. McCorkle explains, “The movie came out three years ago, and we had done a bunch of other shows for Disney—we were like, ‘Yeah, we’re in!’” Of course, “a bunch of other shows for Disney” weren’t just any shows. This writing duo made animation so not the drama by creating Emmy® Award-winning Kim Possible and working on beloved shows such as Goof Troop, Hercules, and Buzz Lightyear of Star Command.
There was one new challenge they hadn’t anticipated in taking on the world of Big Hero 6. Schooley jokes, “It had to go win the Oscar®, to put even more pressure on us!”
2. It Starts Where the Movie Ended.
If you got to the end of Big Hero 6 and wished the movie never had to roll credits, fear not! Big Hero 6 The Series will take you right back into the world of the film. McCorkle explains, “We thought that a story of getting the team—and Baymax—back together would be fun.”
Although the new series departs from the film’s CG animation for a more traditional 2D style, it’s still the same super team you know and love, back in action! To Schooley and McCorkle, the TV movie is the perfect transition. “It leads you back into the world in our new style,” Schooley says.
3. Its Influences Are a Little Unexpected…
Of course, the Big Hero 6 The Series team wasn’t going to make the show without talking to the original Big Hero 6 film team first. While the animation style is changing, the spirit and heart of the story’s inspiration stays the same. And what is that inspiration? “101 Dalmatians-meets-anime,” McCorkle laughingly explained. The original film’s team frequently cites 101 Dalmatians and other Disney classics of the era as visual influences, and that carries into the new series.
4. There’s a Little Bit of Big Hero 6 in All of Us.
Everyone in the cast and crew can see themselves in this super team. Han-Yee Ling, a writer for the series, recalls her own connection to the show: “I’m sort of the Fred of my family.” Of course, that doesn’t mean that she spends her free time running around in a fire-breathing mascot costume, but as she is the only creative mind in a family of physicists, engineers, and doctors, she can relate to Fred being surrounded by great scientific minds. Being surrounded by a bunch of geniuses certainly helps her write about the super-genius cast of Big Hero 6 The Series. She says, “Because my family has this background, I can mine them for stories, and my dad always loves lecturing about physics.”
For Ryan Potter, the character connection runs even deeper. He auditioned for the role of Hiro when he was 17 years old and recalls seeing the design for Hiro and noticing a striking similarity. Even the director the movie, as Potter remembers, exclaimed, “Wow, that’s creepy,” upon seeing the resemblance!
But it’s not just about looks for Potter—his connection to Hiro comes from the heart. As a kid who went to kindergarten in Tokyo and then grew up in America, Potter was used to only seeing relatable characters in anime shows, until Big Hero 6 came along. “The kid in me will always relate to Hiro,” he says fondly.
5. It all comes back to science and learning.
When Schooley and McCorkle first walked out of the theater after watching Big Hero 6, they had already fallen in love with the film’s themes. They saw the film’s message as “science and learning are positive things—and that’s how you solve problems.” For them, having the chance to build a whole series around that optimistic message was a dream come true.
The heart of the series all comes back to one thing. McCorkle explains, “Being heroic and being a good person is the ultimate theme of the series, but there’s something nice about saying ‘It’s cool to learn. It’s cool to be smart.”
Or, as Potter puts it, what drives the show and the team is simply, “carrying on Tadashi’s original goal of helping people.”
Are you ready to be satisfied with your care? Big Hero 6 The Series premieres with Baymax Returns on Disney XD and Disney Channel on Monday, November 20, at 8 pm EST.