The Season 3 premiere of Big Hero 6 The Series is nearly here! After the dramatic conclusion to last season, the new one begins with Hiro, Baymax, and all the rest of the team dealing with the fact that half of them have graduated -- and the machinations of the villainous Noodle Burger Boy, who takes center stage. Ahead of the first episode dropping next week on September 21st, ComicBook.com had the opportunity to speak with executive producers Mark McCorkle, Bob Schooley, and Nick Filippi all about what folks can expect.
"Hiro and a short-handed Big Hero 6 team attempt to stop Noodle Burger Boy and his new family," the description for the first 22-minute episode of Season 3 -- "The Hyper-potamus Pizza-Party-torium" -- reads, in case you missed it. And the voice cast for the show includes Ryan Potter as Hiro, Scott Adsit as Baymax, Jamie Chung as Go Go, Khary Payton as Wasabi, Genesis Rodriguez as Honey Lemon, and Brooks Wheelan as Fred. Maya Rudolph also features as Aunt Cass.
As noted above, Big Hero 6 The Series is set to return for a third season on Monday, September 21st at 7:30PM EDT/PDT on Disney XD as well as DisneyNOW. You can check out all of our previous coverage of the popular animated television series right here. And keep reading to check out the full interview with McCorkle, Schooley, and Filippi!
ON SEASON 3
ComicBook.com: What can you tell us about the arc of season three that we don't already know?
Bob Schooley: Well, for season three, we came up with these new mascot characters that sort of go with Noodle Burger Boy, who always been one of our favorite characters. It's really sort of exploring these new sort of robo villains and what they're up to. The big difference for this season is the stories are shorter. They're 11-minute comedy stories, so it's a bit of a break from the first two seasons.
Mark McCorkle: Yeah, it was a chance, I think, for our writers and directors and storyboard artists to really work some different muscles. Everybody on the team had a blast. We went into it, I think, with the philosophy that if we can surprise one another with some of these creative choices, then we'll surprise the audience. I think the crew did a fantastic job.
Nick Filippi: We had so much fun with the shorts that we did for seasons one and two that here's an opportunity to get some shorter, fun stories. Everybody just really embraced it and enjoyed it.prevnext
ON EVIL ROBOT MASCOTS
Why evil robot mascots, of all things?
MM: I don't think I'm spoiling too much by saying this. Noodle Burger Boy has been with us since season one and he's always been kind of part of what he sees as a family. At the start of season three, he has this sort of emptiness in his life where he wants a family and he decides more robotic mascots like him converted to evil is just what he needs to complete himself.
BS: And it sort of parallels with Hiro kind of finding a new family over the course of the series, that the rest of Big Hero 6 become kind of a family to him. It's just sort of a different way to explore, I think, those family issues.
NF: And evil robot mascots are fun.
BS: Yeah. I mean, once you start digging into the world of Japanese mascots, it's pretty wild.
MM: They're fantastic. They're such wonderful ideas and always consistently amazing designs. It was a fun world to explore for us.prevnext
ON BIG HERO 6 MAYBE NOT BEING 6 ANY LONGER
You talked about the parallels to Hiro finding his family. From the premiere, it would appear that the season could mark a serious status quo shift for the team. With possibly members moving away, will Big Hero 6 look to recruit this season, potentially?
MM: Well, I guess that was addressed to some extent in that 22-minute kickoff episode. We get to explore all kinds of different permutations, which is... I think you'll have a good time. I think the audience will have a good time.
One of the other things aside from the Noodle Burger Boy and his new family he has created to wreak havoc on the city, we've built up this ensemble of teachers, friends, villains, and we're having a lot of fun mixing and matching and exploring some surprising revelations about a lot of those characters. A lot of our favorites, we get to discover new things about so I think that's another sort of big underpinning to the season.prevnext
ON THE IMPACT OF COVID-19
You mentioned some of the logistical changes going to the 11-minute shorts but obviously, everything has really changed this year thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. How has the show handled this cataclysmic shift?
BS: It's a challenge, but the whole company... In a way, animation has just been a really flexible media, I think, for dealing with at-home production that we can do mixes, listening in from home. We've recorded actors from their closet. It's challenging, but it's nice that animation can continue production, not without a little bit of hiccup, but it's actually pretty impressive what the studios have pulled off, I think.
MM: Yeah, and I think any kind of creative endeavor like this, you have a variety of people bring different skills to the party but also, we have animation partners who are overseas and this is a global pandemic so it... We always work as a team, but this definitely offered some new challenges. Like Bob said, you sort of feel your way and do the best you can and try to be patient with one another and do your best.
BS: It's pretty impressive how the technology sort of filled in the gaps pretty quickly, that everyone sort of jumped in pretty fast at keeping everything moving.
NF: And we were very fortunate to have such a strong team in-house that when we had to split up and work remotely, everybody already knew what they had to do and we were able to... Once we worked some things out, we're able to get to it.
Speaking of working things out, recently, Amphibia's Matt Braly was talking about how they were completing an episode like the week prior to airing. How has this sort of worked for y'all? Is it a big crunch or is this stuff sort of coming in around the same time?
MM: I think our rollout was planned in such a way and we're doing okay in that regard. I don't think we're doing any midnight hour wrapping up of things. We're doing pretty well in that regard. I think we've had a decent window to wrap stuff up post-wise. We're not rushing at any phase at this point. I mean, it's challenging to keep up the pace as always, but I don't think we're quite in his situation.prevnext
ON THE LOOMING SHADOW OF OBAKE
Speaking narratively, going back to sort of a Noodle Burger Boy being this antagonist the season, last season was also sort of a relation of Obake with Trina and then, of course, Obake himself. Are there plans to sort of move the show out from under the shadow of Obake, or is he going to continue looming over everything?
BS: I think he looms to a degree, but I feel like in this season, not nearly so much as last season. It really is sort of like this continuing of the family story line, but with different characters. I think it sort of has a genesis in Obake still, but not really in any kind of tangible way.
MM: Obake looms large largely because I think our artists came up with a great design for that character and Andrew Scott's acting was just awesome. That big epic conclusion to season one was very cinematic and big so I think he was definitely elevated and teed up to be this character who can actually sort of inform and infuse himself through the remainder of the series without ever literally appearing. It's his power.
BS: In a lot of ways, it's like a parallel to Tadashi, Hiro's brother who's sort of... Is sort of in the background of every story in a lot of ways, but not physically present other than flashbacks and stuff. I think that in terms of the flip side of the family dynamic, that's Obake's role.prevnext
ON WHAT THEY HOPE THE AUDIENCE TAKES AWAY
We talked a little bit about the logistics of the COVID-19 pandemic but obviously, releasing during this is also its own challenge. What do you hope folks take away from the show as it premieres while we're still going through all of this?
MM: I just hope people are entertained because I know personally, entertainment is helping me get through this.
BS: I think we're very cognizant of because we're all in the same boat, having some entertainment escapism is more important than ever. Hopefully, it serves that role for people.
NF: We're really hoping to amp up the comedy, amp up the character in this new format. I think people gravitate toward it because we really had fun making them. I think they're really fun shows.
BS: I think in a way, it was just fortuitous that this season emphasized sort of lighter comedy, sillier... Because I'm not sure a heavier season would've been what people are looking for right now. It's not what I'm looking for.prevnext
ON MOVING TO 11-MINUTE SHORTS
What do you think sort of the 11-minute shorts bring to the table versus what Big Hero 6: The Series was before?
MM: Well, I think one thing is it's a chance to focus on a few characters at a time. I mean, some of them have everybody but some, we just get to do a spotlight, maybe just on Hiro, Baymax and Honey Lemon, say, or Hiro, Baymax, and Go Go. It's such a big ensemble and all the characters are so wonderful, it's an embarrassment of riches in the previous seasons. It was very hard, I think, for the writers to give everybody their moment. There was so much to explore because they're all such great characters. I think the 11s did give us a chance to shine the spotlight on characters in a different way.0comments
BS: And to do some really sort of a experimental kind of, for us, forms. There's an episode that has a K-Pop band in it that allowed us to do a pretty musical episode, and then we have another one that's another musical episode that features a lot of karaoke stuff that was a lot of fun to do. There was a lot of stories along the way where we were like, "Eh, that's probably not enough for a 22. That would be a great 11, though," and we kind of filed them away and got to use them finally.
NF: It gave our writers and our artists and our designers a chance to really explore some things that we didn't have a chance as much in the overall arcs of season one and season two, so just a lot of fun opportunities.prev