Shiyoon Kim (김시윤) is a Korean-American animator who currently works for Walt Disney Animation Studios. His major role was when he started working on Big Hero 6, as chief character designer who designed the lead characters of the film along side with character design supervisor, Jin Kim, another Korean animator. According to Shiyoon Kim in an interview, he said he mainly focused on Hiro Hamada and Baymax.
|2009||Prep & Landing||Character Designer|
|2011||Winnie the Pooh||Character Designer|
|2012||Wreck-It Ralph||Character Designer|
|2013||Frozen||Character Designer: The Duke of Weselton|
|2014||Big Hero 6||Lead Character Designer: Hiro Hamada/Tadashi Hamada/Go Go Tomago|
|2016||Zootopia||Character Designer: Mayor Lionheart/Assistant Mayor Bellwether/Flash/Gazelle/Bonnie and Stu Hopps|
Big Hero 6: Lead Character Designer
In Big Hero 6, Shiyoon Kim worked as lead character designer for the the film. As a major character designer, Shiyoon Kim wanted Korean characters to be in a Disney film for the first time. According to Jin Kim, Shiyoon Kim originally designed the lead [Asian] characters, (Hiro Hamada, Tadashi Hamada and Go Go Tomago) as Korean characters
“Early designs were drafted by Kim Shiyoon, a fellow Korean animator, who originally created the characters as Koreans. Of course, there are no mentions of specific nationalities in the film, but that was what we, the artists, imagined,” (Jin) Kim said.
Although Shiyoon Kim originally decided the three characters as Koreans, the film needed at least one Japanese characters. Despite such efforts trying to introduce Korean characters into a Disney film, Shiyoon had no choice but to drop Hiro Hamada and Tadashi Hamada's Korean ethnicities by giving them Japanese names, going against his original intentions. Despite giving them Japanese names later on, fellow artists (Such as Jin Kim and other animators) carried out and kept Kim's original motives as Korean characters throughout production. Although he had to give up on Hiro Hamada and Tadashi Hamada's intended ethnicities, he was able to succeed in making Go Go Tomago as Disney's first Korean character.
Even though Hiro Hamada and Tadashi Hamada are portrayed as Japanese characters, his original Korean-based character designs are still evident as he did say that Tadashi Hamada's appearance was influenced by his Korean-Irish-American voice actor, Daniel Henney and Go Go Tomago by her Korean-American voice actress, Jamie Chung.