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Spoilers below for Big Hero 6 The Series' special presentation premiere, titled "Baymax Returns."
The past few days gave fans two of Marvel's best live-action TV shows yet with Netflix's The Punisher and Hulu's Runaways. But audiences that skew a bit younger, or prefer action in animated form, were likely pumped for Disney XD's double-sized Big Hero 6: The Series debut. "Baymax Returns" not only allowed Hiro to rebuild the beloved fist-bumping robot, but it also ended on the briefest of introductions to a brand new big bad being introduced for Season 1. Co-showrunners Bob Schooley and Mark McCorkle spoke with CinemaBlend recently, and they shared some sweet details about the new villain and more.
Bob: One of the unique things for us on this series was the first season order was 25 [episodes], plus six shorts. From the get-go, we kinda planned out an arc for the first season. There's a villain that you meet at the end of 'Baymax Returns' who becomes the key villain for the season, and we sort of reveal him slowly. But there was a master plan about what he's up to, and it sorta ties into the history of the city, the history of Granville. There's a lot of things set up in that pilot that will pay off over the course of the first season, so it was nice for us to be able to do that kind of storytelling for a change. It's not completely serialized.
Mark: There's a mystery that unfolds, both for Hiro and for the viewers, which we had a lot of fun planning.
A lot of fans should be pumped to hear that. Animated series tend to avoid serialized storylines for the sake of rewatchability, and while that's not always detrimental to one's enjoyment of the shows, the episodic resets do tend to water down the stakes. (Yes, even cartoons could and should have realistic stakes when applicable.) Big Hero 6: The Series will still feature some standalone arcs and episodes -- and both of the showrunners talked about creating a variety of fun villains for more temporary storylines -- but it sounds like this over-arching new villain will be viewers' main thrust in diving deeper into the Big Hero 6 universe and mythologies. (Don't expect any licensed Marvel characters to show up, though.)
Currently nothing more than just a dark outline from behind, Big Hero 6's new TV villain sounds like an interesting way to explore San Fransokyo and its history. The film did such a good job of showcasing the gorgeousness of the hybridized location that it would have been unfortunate to not see the setting get developed as heavily as the characters themselves. One of those characters we'll be learning more about is the new addition Professor Granville, Hiro's strict instructor at the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology. Voiced by black-ish star and Disney vet Jenifer Lewis, the brusque Professor Granville might not initially seem like she's destined for the most exciting storylines, but she's definitely intelligent, and it'll be interesting to see if her backstory ends up connecting with the villain. Even if it takes a while to get to that reveal.
Fans who have already watched "Baymax Returns" will likely want to give the episode a rewatch to see what clues can be gleaned concerning the unnamed villain's future. Everyone should keep that eagle-eyed approach intact throughout those 25 episodes, too. Since Big Hero 6: The Series got a Season 2 renewal fairly early in the Season 1 production, Bob Schooley and Mark McCorkle were able to look forward and formulate some big-picture plans that they might not have been able to without Disney's renewal-ordering confidence. Here's what Schooley is already able to tease about the story beyond the first season.
Because we got the early pick-up, we got to think in terms of, we're sort of treating each season like a semester of school. So there was a sense of being able to set up, in Season 1, something that seems a little innocuous, ends up becoming the big villain in Season 2. So it's fun to be able to world-build like that.
Not to sound full-on paranoid, but anyone we meet in Season 1 could potentially become the big villain next year. Probably not anyone actually within the Big Hero 6 team or anything. But maybe?
While "Baymax Returns" opened things up for Disney XD's Big Hero 6: The Series on Disney XD, Season 1 isn't going to officially start until 2018, so we'll be waiting at least a couple of months to see more from this mysterious threat. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more about the premiere and more about what to expect form this awesome new show.