By ANGELA DAWSON
Front Row Features
HOLLYWOOD— Daniel Henney and Ryan Potter are excited to be part of Disney’s “Big Hero 6” cast, not only because being part of a major Hollywood studio film has bolstered their resumes, but also because the family film’s message about brotherhood, teamwork and friendship is resonating around the world.
The animated adventure film has become a worldwide blockbuster, earning more than $500 million in ticket sales. On Sunday, “Big Hero 6” took home the Oscar for Best Animated Feature. It is available Tuesday, Feb. 24 in a Blu-ray Combo Pack, that includes the Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD versions. Bonus features include an exploration of the comic book that influenced the movie, a behind-the-scenes making of featurette with Disney animators and deleted scenes.
Potter, 19, voices the lead character Hiro, a 14-year-old robotics prodigy, who, like many boys his age, would rather play videogames than focus on his schoolwork.
Hiro’s older brother, an inventor named Tadashi, voiced by Henney, urges Hiro to put his mechanical skills to positive use by applying to the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology (located in a city that is a mash up of Japan’s capital and the America’s scenic city by the Bay). There, he meets other smart kids, who are using their scientific skills to make useful inventions.
When a personal tragedy strikes, Hiro turns to an inflatable robot named Baymax for companionship that his beloved brother invented as a health caregiver. They soon form an unbreakable bond. Together, with kids at the Institute, they form into a band of superheroes to track down a masked man responsible for a terrible catastrophe that San Fransokyo.
Before “Big Hero 6,” Portland, Ore.-born Potter made his feature film debut in the independent comedy, “Senior Project.” He previously starred in the Nickelodeon series “Supah Ninjas” playing a high school student who learns he is descended from a line of warriors.
Henney, 35, previously played Agent Zero in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” He also had a supporting role in “The Last Stand,” opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger. He has a recurring role on the new “Hawaii-Five-O,” and is slated to star in the ABC detective series “Agatha,” later this year.
Adopted by a Korean mother and Irish father, Henney was raised an only child in Michigan. Though mechanically inclined like his onscreen character, he also was drawn to the arts. In his early 20s, he traveled to South Korea to explore his roots. While there, the tall and handsome actor modeled and appeared on a popular Korean TV series. He learned to speak Korean on the job.
Potter and Henney are part of large multiethnic voice cast on “Big Hero 6” that includes Jamie Chung, Damon Wayans Jr., Genesis Rodriguez, Maya Rudolph, Scott Adsit and T.J. Miller.
Neither grew up with siblings, but they have formed a brotherly bond since working together on the film. They recently sat down for an interview to discuss the “Big Hero 6” phenomenon, playing brothers and what’s ahead.