Meet the voices of Big Hero 6. Scott Adsit plays Baymax and Ryan Potter lends his voice talents to Hiro Hamada, the central characters of Disney’s latest feature. We got to catch up with the pair before the release of the movie at a roundtable where they shared their experiences making this fall’s release. Hit the jump to find out where they got their inspiration for the characters, how they felt about watching the movie for the first time and also seeing the characters they voice walking around Disney Parks.
Question: This film has real human emotions. Tell me about the exploration of that.
Scott Adsit: For me it was establishing this relationship and finding the arc to it but within my limitations. He’s only programmed with a finite number of things he can say with variables–at least the beginning. He does learn some things from Hiro. But I was really interested in seeing if I could have a relationship without displaying any emotions you could point to and say, there’s an emotion. And still have some kind of character arc and emotional life, in spite of the evidence. That was my challenge and that was the great joy of this. We (Ryan and I) didn’t get to work together.
Ryan Potter: This film is very emotional. They’re all things that- I think most people have experienced before and they’re all very real emotions. I don’t think anything’s really overplayed in this. There’s loss, there’s happiness, there’s laughter, there’s all these different emotions and these things that you feel. I think for me the most important thing to bring to Hiro was–I don’t- want to sound hokey but I don’t put on an act. This is me, this is what you get. And, I’m a very genuine person. That’s why I wanted Hiro to be very real. I wanted anybody to be able to relate to Hiro and didn’t want him to put on an act.
Q: How far did the design progress for your characters when you started to record versus how they ended up in the final film? How much of that did you get to see?
Scott Adsit: I think it was fairly close to the end by the time I got in the booth for the first time and that’s what cemented the voice in my head was when I thought- saw him in his soft form. And I knew fairly quickly in my head what he sounds like. I think before I went in, I was thinking he would be a bit harder and, more robotic. But then I saw that design and I said, “oh, I got this”. You know this is just- this is just helpful, benign, a caregiver.
Ryan Potter: It was basically the final product of when I went in. It was interesting to see that the rest of the story, kind of evolved and other characters evolve, but your characters stayed the same. Your character goes through an arc. But through the creative process, there’s no real change. It’s you, the voice you use, the heart you give, and what the character looks like. Everything else around is changing you know. There’s different dialogue and different scenes but, it was nice being able to go into the booth each time and come to almost a familiar place. Hiro was that familiar place every time. Everything else was changing, but Hiro was that familiar place. It was- just me, you know.
Q: Do you see yourself within those manners and stuff?
Ryan Potter: Absolutely. So the best example of it is if I see something funny or entertaining, I’ll go, “huh” and Hiro does it twice in the film. They mirror each other. Once when he’s on the back of the Moped with Tadashi, they jump up, he sees himself in the reflection of the glass and goes, “huh.” And the second time when he’s on the back of Baymax and it’s a very symbolic moment. It’s like coming back to a familiar place when he’s on the back of Baymax back to the place where he was on the back of Tadashi. That’s something that I noticed and I then absolutely loved seeing.
Q: How was everyone’s reaction to see everything tied together in the final cut of the film?
Scott Adsit: Well, it’s so much grander than anything we saw in our heads when we were recording. That’s the thing – there’s so much going on that we just never even imagined. I mean we knew what was happening in each scene. We knew what the relationships and all that, but all the bells and whistles and the tiny, bits of acting that the animators did for the characters, it enhanced what we did so much. And each character is really an ensemble piece of animators and lighting and effects and voice.
Q: How surreal has it been to see the characters in toys and theme parks and stuff?
Ryan Potter: I mean you asking that question is surreal. Like using the word surreal. It’s all very surreal. Like I spent my first birthday at Tokyo Disneyland. I’m a Disney fan. My favorite Disney film is Treasure Planet, who the executive producer of that, the creator, is Roy Conli and he worked on Big Hero 6. It comes full circle for me and it’s very surreal.
Scott Adsit: And I have in my life collected action figures and have them displayed and stuff. But I still have them all and I’m still very much interested and I still buy them. So to then pick up one that speaks with my voice, that’s something. But then I know that other people are playing with it and that’s weird.
Q: Ryan did you geek out with Roy over Treasure Planet?
Ryan Potter: You know I-
Scott Adsit: You threatened- you threatened to steal something today from his office.
Ryan Potter: Yeah, his office has a bunch of Treasure Planet stuff and I asked him if he took inventory of all the stuff he has. But no, I [SIGH] I haven’t geeked out because you gotta play it cool. No. You know you wanna give people the respect of certain things they worked on, but sometimes you don’t wanna totally go into it. I actually took inspiration from the character Jim when he’s riding the solar surfer–when he’s flying around. I imagine like that’s Hiro riding on the back of Baymax and you know, he’s, you know, he’s, going, “Oh! Ha! Ha! Woo-Hoo!” And he does that “woo-hoo” at the end and that’s how I match it, I see how similar it sounds and you know, I straight stole. I admit like that “woo-hoo: that Jim does when he’s flying around, you know I changed it a little bit, but it’s very much that same sense of, “I’m flying!”
Scott Adsit: What a dream though. You get to- you watched that growing up and then you get to be that. It’s amazing.
Ryan Potter : And people are like really? Treasure Planet? That’s your favorite film? I’m like it is.
Big Hero 6 opens this Friday!