In a surprise win to many, the Disney feature based on a Marvel Comics series took the top toon prize tonight at this year’s Academy Awards. “We would really like to thank the Academy for honoring our film,” said Big Hero 6 co-director Don Hall onstage, as he was joined by fellow co-director Chris Williams and producer Roy Conli for their Best Animated Feature win. “This has been an amazing year for animated films, and we are privileged to be in your company,” he added of the category’s fellow nominees.
A visibly awed Hall also made a big point of thanking John Lasseter, “the best boss in the world,” and everyone at Disney during his remarks at the Dolby. This is the second Disney win in a row in the category, coming after last year’s Oscar going to the blockbuster Frozen. With Warner Bros’ The Lego Movie not getting an Oscar nomination on January 15, Big Hero 6 was up Sunday against DreamWorks Animation’s How To Train Your Dragon 2, the Laika-produced The Boxtrolls plus Cartoon Saloon’s Song Of The Sea and Studio Ghibli’s The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya. The latter two were distributed in North America by GKIDS.
Having premiered at the Tokyo International Film Festival on October 23, the tale of a group of student scientists-turned-superheroes and a personal healthcare robot named Baymax has made more than $547 million worldwide. While the San Fransokyo-based film lost out in the big categories at the Annie Awards to Dragon 2 last month, Big Hero 6 was the big winner at the 13th annual VES Awards on February 4.
With that typical Marvel homage to the comic legend, the 3D toon featured a voice-over cameo from Stan Lee plus work from Maya Rudolph, James Cromwell, Damon Wayans Jr., T.J. Miller, Jamie Chung, Genesis Rodriguez, Alan Tudyk, Katie Lowes and TV host Billy Bush as a newscaster. Lead Hiro Hamada was played vocally by Ryan Potter with Daniel Henny as his older brother Tadashi Hamada and Scott Adsit of 30 Rock fame as the inflatable and seemingly undefeatable Baymax.
No word yet on a Big Hero 6 sequel, but tonight’s win certainly will increase the chatter over at Disney HQ.