Over the past few years, Walt Disney Animation Studios has bounced back and forth between modernizations of archetypical princess fairy tales (Tangled, Frozen) and films that explore other sorts of fantastical worlds and genres (Wreck-It Ralph). That trend continues with the upcoming Big Hero 6, a movie adaptation of the Marvel comic book series that will be released this November; since it’s based on something of an obscure graphic novel property, though, it comes as little surprise to see that the Mouse House has gotten started on building up awareness for the animated feature now.

The Big Hero 6 comic property was created by Duncan Rouleau and Steven T. Seagle in the late 1990s, and contains visual and plot elements that pay homage to Japanese sci-fi Manga traditions. Disney’s computer-animated movie – only loosely based on the source comic – is also a pastiche, with its futuristic setting (a.k.a. “San Fransokyo”) being a blend of American and Japanese cultural influences. That landscape (glimpsed above) provides the backdrop for the story, wherein young Hiro Hamada and his robot Baymax join up with “a reluctant team of first-time crime fighters” in order to keep their city safe from evil-doer types.

Baymax, however, starts out as – in essence – a nurse robot, rather than one fit for superhero duties. However, thanks to the efforts of his human pal Hiro, the mechanical character gets a major upgrade – one which, judging by the first images released from Big Hero 6, transforms him from being the Michelin Man to a miniature Jaeger. Don Hall (Winnie the Pooh), who co-directed the film alongside Chris Williams (Bolt), is quoted by USA Today as having said that this boy-and-his-robot relationship is very much the narrative’s emotional core – the “beating heart of the movie,” as he put it.

Check out the first official Big Hero 6 movie stills, below (click the image for the high-resolution version):

The animation style in Disney’s Big Hero 6 – based on these initial shots – looks to be more Westernized than the illustrations featured in the source comics, though there still appears to be something of a distinguishable Asian flavor, with regard to the overall world design. Disney Animation has already confirmed that the movie’s first trailer will premiere online this Thursday (via the studio’s Twitter account), so it won’t be long before we find out how the world and characters of Big Hero 6 look in motion.

Speaking of “characters,” here’s USA Today‘s rundown of the four remaining folk who join Hiro and Baymax, as members of the eponymous squad in Big Hero 6:

The youngster also forms a heroic team with his big bro’s talented teen friends: adrenaline junkie Go Go Tamago, neat freak Wasabi No-Ginger, master of chemistry Honey Lemon and resident fanboy Fred.

Interesting trivia bit: the Big Hero 6 team, in graphic novel form, has on occasion included residents of the X-Men comic universe, including such mutant and/or super-powered folk as Madame Hydra/Viper, the Silver Samurai, and Sunfire, among others. Most likely, no such characters will be making an appearance in Disney’s 3D cartoon adaptation. Nonetheless, there is always a chance that the film’s animators will slip in an Easter Egg or two referencing such famous elements, as a shout-out to longtime fans of the Big Hero 6 comic.

Disney, apparently, doesn’t plan to officially announce the voice cast for Big Hero 6 until sometime this summer, so it seems safe to assume that the teaser will be heavily focused on establishing the film’s universe – and won’t feature much (if any) dialogue. According to reports from insiders, though, the film’s voice cast so far includes Maya Rudolph (The Way, Way Back) as a main player, along with Jamie Chung (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For) as GoGo Tomago, and potentially T.J. Miller (How to Train Your Dragon 2) in a currently-undisclosed role.

We’ll be sure and let you know when Disney formally reveals the Big Hero 6 voice cast. In addition, be sure and check back here on Thursday, when the film’s initial teaser drops!

Big Hero 6 opens in U.S. theaters on November 7th, 2014.

Source: USA Today