by REERA YOO | @reeraboo
Although the 87th Academy Awards were criticized for being the “whitest” Oscars since 1998, Asian Americans held their breath and cheered as they watched Disney’s Big Hero 6 win Best Animated Feature on Sunday night.
Set in the fictional metropolis of San Fransokyo, Big Hero 6 tells the story of a hapa Asian American teen prodigy and his marshmallow-like robot, Baymax. The animated film not only features multicultural characters but also a multiracial cast, including the voices of Ryan Potter, Daniel Henney and Jamie Chung.
While casting Asian Americans in animated films is nothing new to Disney, it’s an open secret that Hollywood has a long history of casting Caucasian actors in Asian roles. This includes live action films, such as Dragonball: Evolution, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and the upcoming Ghost in the Shell film adaptation.
So, when the envelope was opened and Big Hero 6 was named Best Animated Feature of 2015, Asian Americans took to Twitter to celebrate the film’s win and bring attention to Hollywood’s lack of diversity.
— The Nerds of Color (@TheNerdsofColor) February 23, 2015
— NBC Asian America (@NBCAsianAmerica) February 23, 2015
— Daniel Henney (@danielhenney) February 23, 2015
— Jamie Chung (@jamiechung1) February 23, 2015
— Jenny Yang (@jennyyangtv) February 23, 2015
— Hank Chen (@Hanksterchen) February 23, 2015
BIg Hero 6 wins for Best Animated Feature. The shot of Hiro and Baymax is the going to be the lone Asian representation tonight. #oscars
— Angry Asian Man (@angryasianman) February 23, 2015
— Jeff Yang (@originalspin) February 23, 2015
— Disney Big Hero 6 ⚽️ (@DisneysBigHero6) February 23, 2015
Big Hero 6 will release on DVD/Blu-ray on Feb. 24, 2015.
“Voices of Asian American Talent Featured in Disney’s Big Hero 6” by KoreAm Journal
“[VIDEO] Audrey Magazine Interviews Daniel Henney & Ryan Potter” by Audrey Magazine
“Film Review: Big Hero 6 Charms in Predictably Disney Fashion” by KoreAm Journal
Featured image via Greek Fire/Twitter