“Big Hero 6” is Disney Pictures latest big film release and is set to hit theaters this weekend. Momo Chang at the Center for Asian American Media points out that the film itself is an homage to Japanese anime and also chatted with Ryan Potter, the 19-year-old voice actor for the film’s main character, Hiro.
So the main character, Hiro, is hapa, Japanese and white, similar to your own background. Could you relate to the character?
I mean, I could relate to the character, simply from the fact that we look similar. But then when you dive in deeper, we’re very similar, in the sense that when I set my mind to something, I get it done. Hiro’s very much the same way. We both get tunnel vision. Hiro’s much smarter than I am, but our intellect can get us into a little bit of trouble. Yeah, I mean, even when I walked into the audition the first time, I looked at the character design, and I thought, we kind of look similar!
The film also features a pretty diverse voiceover cast that includes Daniel Henney, Jamie Chung, Maya Rudolph, Damon Wayans, Jr. and Genesis Rodriguez. On that, Potter remarked:
When you hear the film, it sounds like we’re in the same room at the same time but it’s actually the opposite. We all record on our own, separately. And then the editors and sound engineers, they end up putting all the voiceover together. I mean, I worked with Maya Rudolph very briefly, maybe 20 minutes, max. But other than that, we all worked on our own.
Potter speaks to representation that’s seriously lacking in Hollywood. According to a study from the University of Southern California, Asians made up just over four percent of speaking characters across last year’s top 100 grossing movies.
Read more at the Center for Asian American Media.