The Art Of Big Hero 6, by Jessica Jules, Preface by John Lasseter, Foreword by Don Hall and Chris Williams
It can be a fascinating experience to read a book consisting mostly of artwork from a film that one has not seen and that one may not even like. For those who enjoy the complex art of film animation and the way that contemporary animated films seek to use similar techniques to live-action cinematography so as to preserve the expectations for visuals that people have when looking at live-action films, this book is definitely instructive. It demonstrates a desire to blend the sentiments of San Francisco and Tokyo together, and that is something I find more than a little bit dodgy, not least because I an think of few cities as devoted to the culture of death than those two cities, or two cities I would like less to live in. To their credit, the makers of the film sought to capture the shadow and light of their imaginary city as well as provide places that offer rustic comfort and even a mansion from someone who looks like a homeless bum, but clearly this film is being made for people who are not me, but rather those who want a San Fran & Tokyo-inspired Marvelesque hero comedy about a loving sibling relationship that is ended by death. At least I can be sure that this film and this book are being made for somebody, though, even if that somebody is not me.
This book is a bit longer than 150 pages and contains three sections. The book first begins with a preface, foreword, and introduction that allow the filmmakers the chance to talk about their film and how pleased they were with it and to set the stage of the ambitions of the filmmakers in making a superhero movie with heart that is based on an obscure part of the Marvel comic world that nonetheless fits Disney’s own approach to friendship. After that the three parts of the book contain a discussion of the world to Big Hero 6, which shows the way that Tokyo and San Francisco served as points of inspiration for the film, the characters of Big Hero 6, and then a discussion on the animated cinematography techniques that the film used. After that there is a discussion of the color script, which is itself pretty interesting, if brief, and acknowledgements. What is particularly notable about these is the way that the book shows how the color palatte of the film reflected the experiences of the main characters and that the film sought to play against type in its characterization, with likely mixed results.