Released in 2014, Big Hero 6 proved to be a big hit for Disney; taking over $657 million worldwide and becoming the highest grossing animated film of that year. Based on a Marvel comic, the film centered around 14 year old robotics prodigy, Hiro, and his 'healthcare companion' robot, Baymax.
Talk of a Big Hero 6 sequel has rumbled on and off since then, for those reasons - and while a proper move followup could still happen, Disney have now announced plans for a Big Hero 6 TV series to premiere on Disney XD in 2017.
Variety reports that production on the series has already begun, with Mark McCorkle and Bob Schooley lined up to executive produce the show. The pair are also the creators and producers of Disney Channel's Kim Possible. In a statement, president and chief creative officer of Disney Channels Worldwide, Gary Marsh said:
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to further develop these characters into a world-class animated series — full of fun, action and the kind of endearing storytelling that only Mark, Bob — and Baymax — can deliver.”
The Big Hero 6 series will pick up where the film left off; following Hiro and Baymax as Hiro takes up his place to study robotics at the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology. Honey-Lemon, Wasabi, Fred, and Go-Go, who together with Hiro and Baymax make up the Big Hero 6, will feature in the series too, as the team try to protect their city from scientifically enhanced villains. Away from their super-hero adventures, the series will also focus on Hiro as he adapts to his new academic challenges and being such a young prodigy on campus. It is not yet known if any of the original voice artists will return for the TV series.
The idea of bringing a popular animated film back as a TV series seems to be a popular idea for Disney of late. Following on from the apperance of several Disney Princesses on Sofia the First, the Disney Channel are set to premiere an animated Rapunzel series in 2017, with Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi returning to voice their roles of the titular character and Eugene, respectively. Last year, Disney Junior also launched The Lion Guard, based on the Lion King films.
Given the appetite young children have for these characters, it makes sense for Disney to launch a series which can run for a period of time as opposed to a movie. Big Hero 6 was full of fun, exciting, and inspirational characters for children of all genders, as well as Baymax, who proved to be wildly popular for his bumbling, affectionate, caring ways and amusing catchphrases. Merchandise is always a factor to consider, especially among the younger market, and certainly a TV series will give a wider opportunity for Disney to continue to sell toys, clothes etc aimed at children.
Big Hero 6 was an almost faultless film in terms of plot and characters; it had the perfect mix of action and adventure for children (and adults) to enjoy as well as a story with real heart. Hopefully the series will follow a similar premise and also contain lots of Baymax - which, let's face it, is really what we're all here for.
Big Hero 6 will premiere worldwide on Disney XD in 2017.