Computer Graphics World

November/December 2014

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 31 of 51

30 cgw n o v e m b e r . d e c e m b e r 2 0 1 4 isney studios might be known more widely for animation than technical advances, but anyone involved in computer graphics knows that pushing filmmaking science and technology forward has been part of the studio's DNA from its black-and-white beginning. At Walt Disney's stu- dio on Hyperion Avenue, Mickey Mouse made his debut in the 1928 film Steamboat Willie, the first animated short to success- fully synchronize sound and images. Walt Disney Hyperion Studios was also the first to use three-strip Technicolor, and the first studio in the US to produce a full-length animated feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Inventors there refined the multi-plane camera and replaced it much later with the digital CAPS system, developed in conjunction with Pixar. This year, the staff at Disney played homage to that tradition in its latest animated feature, Big Hero 6, a visually extrava- gant, action-packed, super- hero comedy adventure. One superhero, called Baymax, oen looks more like a balloon than Iron Man. The others are whiz kids, techie teenagers who are brilliant and funny. "This movie is a celebration of science," says Don Hall, who directed the film with Chris Williams. "We have a film about characters engaged in cutting-edge science made by people engaged in cut- ting-edge science." Based loosely on a Marvel comic of the same name that celebrated Japanese pop culture, Big Hero 6 centers on a 14-year-old supergenius named Hiro, who lives in San Fransokyo, which is, as it sounds, a mash- up of San Francisco and Tokyo. At the beginning of the film, Hiro spends his time wastefully. To inspire him to give up 'bot fighting, his older brother, Ta- dashi, takes him to his university lab and introduces him to a group of friends. Tadashi has invented a Personal Heathcare Companion named Baymax, a plus-size inflatable robot that detects and treats any ailment. Aer Tadashi dies, Hiro transforms Baymax into a crime-fighting warrior who, along with Hiro and a group of young geniuses, form the Big Hero 6 superhero team. In a stunning scene, Baymax ignites his new thrusters and soars over San Fransokyo with Hiro on his back, flying north beyond the Golden Gate bridge with its pagoda-style stanchions, west to the Pacific Ocean, east over the entire city, and above the Oakland Bay Bridge, swoop- ing down to fly nearly at street level, then back up, dodging balloon-like wind turbines that dri 1,500 feet above the city. D IMAGES ©2014 WALT DISNEY ANIMATION STUDIOS

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Computer Graphics World - November/December 2014