‘Big Hero 6’ is back! HL talked EXCLUSIVELY with star Genesis Rodriguez and the show’s producers about what fans can expect in the highly-anticipated TV movie ‘Baymax Returns’ and beyond!
For all the Big Hero 6 fans out there, you’re in for a real treat. Your favorite characters — Hiro, Baymax, Honey Lemon, and the rest of the gang — are all coming back for more adventures in Disney XD’s Baymax Returns and Big Hero 6 The Series. The primetime TV movie will premiere Nov. 20 at 8 p.m. ET on Disney XD. The series is set to debut in early 2018. Baymax Returns will air simultaneously on Disney XD, Disney Channel, and will be available on the DisneyNOW app and Disney XD VOD. You can pretty much watch it anywhere, anytime.
HollywoodLife.com got the chance to talk to the show’s executive producers, Bob Schooley and Mark McCorkle, and Genesis Rodriguez, the voice of Honey Lemon, all about the series. From where the TV movie picks up to scoop on some of the villains, our Q&A has everything you need to know about Big Hero 6’s next chapter. Check out our interviews below!
So this is a TV movie that kicks off the series, so where does the TV movie pick up when we last saw these characters?
Genesis Rodriguez: It picks up right where we left it. Baymax is kind of in the unknown and in this episode, we see how Baymax returns. I would say, watch the movie before you watch the TV movie. It is like seamless from the first to the second. For those who want to see the premiere, it would be good to have a little backstory of how these characters got together, and who they are and why they are friends. And why they have all these cool, crazy costumes and are fighting villains.
What has Honey Lemon been up to? What can you tease about where she’s at and where she’s going in the series and TV movie?
Genesis Rodriguez: Oh my goodness. I did her voice for about a year for the movie and then with this TV series, the character has developed so much. Some of the episodes will be episode centric on one character, like Honey and Go Go’s dynamic or Fred’s comic book obsessions or Wasabi. You get to really know the Big Hero 6 a lot better. One of the big things I’ve realized is that Honey Lemon, she’s so highly energetic all the time and that kind of personality needs to sleep a lot, too. So I find myself in a lot of episodes snoring constantly, and I’m like, “Geez, Honey Lemon has become the biggest snorer in the series. I never imagined this.” And they were like, “Well, how do you think she can have this energy all the time? She’s a big time sleeper!”
Can fans expect any surprises or twists over the course of this series and the TV movie?
Genesis Rodriguez: Oh my gosh, yes. There are so many super villains. There are so many villains that come up. We’re well into season two and each one of them has an incredible personality. There are a lot of characters coming into the series, and if you think Baymax is cute in the movie, you will not expect how cute he is in this series. He is just the best. Oh, and also, Mochi, the cat who is slightly highlighted in the movie, now becomes a bigger character in the series.
The TV movie is titled Baymax Returns. So what can you tease about the return of Baymax?
Genesis Rodriguez: That he, indeed, returns! In the movie, it leaves off with Baymax being in the black hole, and we didn’t know what was going to happen to him. But Hiro was able to take Tadashi’s chip and reinvent him, and it’s pretty great. Baymax gets into a lot of trouble because he’s so clumsy, but he’s so brilliant. It’s going to be really, really cute just to see the first encounter between the both of them, because they have such a loving relationship. It’s more like a reminder of his brother. So it goes off of how the movie was and how to deal with loss and tragedy.
Why is a TV show the perfect way to continue the Big Hero 6 story?
Genesis Rodriguez: I’m really happy about this because it’s a beautiful reminder every week for kids. They’re constantly seeing superheroes with these super powers, and these superheroes that are going to be coming into their homes every week is something attainable. It’s something that they could actually do. This is exploring sciences and teamwork, and these are super powers that they can have if they apply themselves and if they explore sciences and mathematics. It’s empowering for kids to be able to know that you can be like these kids. I think it’s a super positive influence and a good message to our youth. We’re battling with a lot of things — superficiality and social media — so to have a TV show that can awaken you to use your minds is a beautiful thing.
What stood out to you about taking on the Big Hero 6 story and making it into a TV series?
Bob Schooley: I think when we saw the movie, which was three years ago now believe it or not, the way the movie ends with them all sort of coming at camera and implying there’s some big adventures to come, we felt that it was a good TV series and you can do a lot with those characters and that world. We were pretty excited to hop into it, because we’ve certainly done similar things before, but sort of the nature of the size of this cast and the diversity of it was a fun, new thing for us.
Mark McCorkle: I think the other thing, too, from a story point of view, and that’s the aspect Bob and I tend to concentrate on is the writing side of things, we had a lot of potential there. Even though Hiro went through his emotional journey in the movie, there’s still growth that we could see in that character. We felt like starting at school was going to present new challenges. Trying to be a better kid in terms of how he behaved for Aunt Cass and being new at being a superhero, we thought right away that you can see he’s still the kid who’s smart, takes risk, and is maybe a little reckless and stubborn. Those are all great character traits for writers to work with. He has more to learn. That’s the thing we always look at. Especially when you’re doing family entertainment I think, where so often our stories are about some kind of emotional character growth, we felt like there was still room for Hiro to learn more.
The TV movie is focusing on the return of Baymax, so what kinds storylines can you sort of tease about what’s to come in the series.
Bob Schooley: Endless shenanigans. That’s our middle name. High jinks and shenanigans. Well, with the series, because the movie kind of had that villain that was arrested and dispensed with at the end, we had to create all new villains, so we kind of created a range.
Mark McCorkle: One of our challenges I think that we set out for ourselves was let’s tell a variety of stories. We think the audience today is the same old thing every episode. I don’t know, there’s so much out there for kids to choose. Our thing was let’s have a nice variety. We have an episode with Andy Richter that is going to be hysterical, but we have an episode with Andrew Scott that’s going to be menacing and dangerous. We always have comedy with the adventure, but there are times when we like to pick one of these lanes and knock it out of the park.
Was it refreshing to have most of the original cast back in their original roles?
Bob Schooley: It’s always great to get as much as you can from an original cast just because they know those characters so well. Scott [Adsit] especially with Baymax. He’s such a unique kind of character. Scott always reminds us that he is still a robot and everything he does has to sort of come out of programming with his original goal, which was to be this comforting health companion. He’ll definitely remind us if something doesn’t sound quite right coming out of Baymax, and we’ll rewrite on the spot. That’s the kind of thing that’s invaluable to have the original cast for. When Disney does features the casting is always spot on and great, so getting as much of that as you can is fantastic.
Mark McCorkle: I think that’s the other thing that makes it a huge blessing for us. With some of the characters in the feature, we didn’t get to see too much of them. We got to know them only a little bit in the movie. So here we have these really talented actors and actresses who created characters, and they clearly love the character they created, so they’re passionate about doing the show. We get to explore more with them. Hiro and Baymax are the heart of this series, but we do let the spotlight go to those other characters, so the audience can get to know them more, too. Having those original voices is terrific for us.
HollywoodLifers, are you excited to see a Big Hero 6 TV Show? Let us know!