Big Hero 6. 2014
Directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams
Starring Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit, Daniel Henney, T.J. Miller, Jamie Chung, Damon Wayans Jr., James Cromwell, Alan Tudyk
The special bond that develops between plus-sized inflatable robot Baymax, and prodigy Hiro Hamada, who team up with a group of friends to form a band of high-tech heroes.
For an animated film, Big Hero 6 is bursting with originality and many welcome refreshing concepts. Take the city backdrop for example, San Fransokyo, an amalgamation of San Francisco and Tokyo that creatively blends the two cultures into one unique world. There are even twists put on historical landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge, which now has Japanese-style pagodas standing tall at the ends of each side. Simply put, the world on display here is fascinating, but is only just the beginning of the amount of praise Big Hero 6 deserves.
Continuing along with its imaginative setting of mixing American and Japanese cultures, the movie also features a cast of predominantly Asian characters, but they aren’t stereotyped into oblivion; the route most animated features these days would take for cheap laughs. And that’s because Big Hero 6 is out to tell an emotional story about dealing with loss and friendship just as much as it is out to please viewers of all ages with laughter. In other words, there is no room for stupidity.
What there is room for though is a loveable marshmallow reminiscent looking robot named Baymax, who is here to assist our hero not only with an adventure, but also during a time when he needs a friend most. I’m not going to divulge much of the plot since the trailers left me not knowing what the movie was really about, and I think more people should experience it that way, but I will say that similar to Disney Animation’s recent outings with Frozen and Wreck-It Ralph, it is a surprisingly emotional story with some plot points and themes many people probably won’t be expecting.
It’s not all serious though, as obviously this is a Disney movie, meaning there has to be an attraction of fun, and thankfully there is. Baymax is a delight to watch, primarily due to the level of innocence he has while seeking knowledge. There is a scene where Hiro teaches him something as basic as a fist bump, and it winds up being one of the most heartwarmingly hilarious scenes all year. Naturally, the astounding animation and excellent detail plastered all over the film makes these characters even easier to like.
The only real shortcoming with Big Hero 6 is that its supporting cast of characters are underdeveloped and feel rather useless. One of the themes of the film is clearly supposed to be that just because someone is a nerd, it doesn’t mean they’re not capable of accomplishing great things, which is a good thing, but it only really feels fleshed out and expressed for Hiro. He gives his friends superhero outfits and creative gadgets to use, but ultimately they have nothing of major importance to do in the film. If anything they just consistently have their asses handed to themselves. That could be a blessing in disguise though because the characters aren’t all that memorable anyway, outside of the token moron of the group.
There are some interesting things done with the villain, but you also can’t help but feel the movie rushes through its running time and could have benefited from having more exposition and fleshing out characters better. It’s great that Disney nailed bringing Hiro and Baymax to life, but there are some stumbles along the way with the rest of the cast.
With that said though, Big Hero 6 never one ceases to be anything other than entertaining, and is another homerun for Disney Animation. As a matter of fact, I think I’m going to start saving all the money I get from doing these reviews, and use it to build my very own Baymax. He’s that adorable and awesome.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Robert Kojder – An aficionado of film, wrestling, and gaming. He currently writes for Flickering Myth, We Got This Covered, and Wrestle Enigma. Follow me on Twitter.
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