Big Hero 6 is one of those animated movies that was a huge success, but doesn't necessarily feel like it because it didn't go on to dominate pop culture the same way as, say, Frozen. It not only earned over $650 million worldwide, but it won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature, which was a surprise to everyone who thought How to Train Your Dragon 2 had it in the bag.
Usually critical and commercial success like that for an animated movie means we're going to see a sequel in just a few years, and today brings news that Big Hero 6 will indeed be getting a follow-up, it's probably not in the form fans are expecting. Disney has instead decided to continue the story as a TV show.
This is a somewhat common route these days, with Monsters vs Aliens, Kung-Fu Panda, The Croods, and How to Train Your Dragon all getting TV shows, but Big Hero 6 does have some talent up its sleeve that could easily put it over the top of some of those shows. It's coming from Mark McCorkle and Bob Schooley, the Emmy-winning team who made Kim Possible and wrote Sky High. They know how to combine heroic antics with genuine heart, all at a pace and sophistication that can appeal to both kids and adults.
So far the specifics of the plot are pretty vague (they could just as easily describe the first movie), but here's how Deadline described the series' focus:
"Produced by Disney Television Animation, the series picks up immediately following the events in the 2014 feature and continues the adventures and friendship of 14-year-old tech genius Hiro and his compassionate, cutting-edge robot Baymax. Alongside them on their journey are control freak Wasabi, scientist Honey Lemon, fanboy Fred and no-nonsense Go Go, who together form the legendary superhero team Big Hero 6. As the new prodigy at San Fransokyo Institute of Technology, Hiro now faces daunting academic challenges and the social trials of being the little man on campus. Off campus, the stakes are raised for the high-tech heroes as they must protect their city from an array of scientifically enhanced villains."
That last part is particularly encouraging, as one of the coolest aspects of Big Hero 6 was the way it showed kids that science is fun and exciting. Granted, it's not exactly the most realistic science around, but it's refreshing to have a story that's not about superheroes who are given their powers at birth, but ones who have to earn them through hard work, determination and old school responsibility.
Expect the Big Hero 6 TV show to premiere some time in 2017 on Disney XD.