Based on the Marvel comics of the same name, Disney’s Big Hero 6 tells the story of Hiro Hamada (voiced by Ryan Potter) and a robot created by his brother, Tadashi, called Baymax (voiced by Scott Adsit), who was designed to take care of people.
But when a devastating event befalls the city of San Fransokyo it catapults Hiro into the midst of danger, as he turns his brilliant fellow nerds, and Baymax, into a band of high-tech heroes called ‘Big Hero 6.’
Scott Adsit and Ryan Potter spoke with journalists about their new movie, which opens this Thursday, November 6th, 2014.
This film has real human emotions. Can you talk about the exploration of that?
Scott: For me it was establishing this relationship and finding the arc to it, but within my limitations. He’s only programmed with a finite number of things he can say, with variables; at least [in] the beginning.
He does learn some things from Hiro. But I was really interested in seeing if I could have a relationship without displaying any emotions you could point to and say, there’s an emotion, and still have some kind of character arc and emotional life, in spite of the evidence.
Ryan: This film is very emotional, and they’re all very real emotions. I don’t think anything’s really overplayed in this. There’s loss, there’s happiness, there’s laughter, there’s all these different emotions.
I think for me the most important thing to bring to Hiro was [sensitivity]. I don’t want to sound hokey but I don’t put on an act, this is me, this is what you get. I’m a very genuine person.
That’s why I wanted Hiro to be very real. I wanted anybody to be able to relate to Hiro and didn’t want him to put on an act. I wanted certain things to affect him.
How far had the designs progress for your characters when you started to record versus how they ended up in the final film?
Scott: I think it was fairly close to the end by the time I got in the booth for the first time. What cemented the voice in my head was when I saw him in his soft form. I knew fairly quickly in my head what he sounds like.
I think before I went in, I was thinking he would be a bit harder and more robotic. But then I saw that design and I said, ‘Oh, I got this.’ He’s helpful, benign, a caregiver.
Ryan: It was basically the final product when I went in. It was interesting to see that the rest of the story evolved, and other characters evolve, but your characters stayed the same. I thought that was really cool.
[My] character goes through an arc. But through the creative process, there’s no real change. It’s you, the voice you use, the heart you give. It was nice being able to go into the booth each time and come to almost a familiar place.
I know in a lot of animated movies they encourage you to move around in the booth, and they film it. Did you do that for Baymax?
Scott: They didn’t have a camera on me. I think part of the joy of Baymax is that his voice doesn’t match his actions all that much. So they don’t need to see what I’m doing.
Generally I would stand there keeping my hands in one place so that my voice wasn’t affected by me moving. It was a lot of reining it in.
Ryan: For me it was the opposite. They had a few cameras on me. And I was just jumping all over the place. When you see how physical Hiro is in the film, he’s running, he’s being picked up, being thrown, falling.
The creators of the film created an awesome environment for me to just be able to play. I was like a kid in the sandbox.