Big Hero 6: Movie Review
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It seems implausible but the idea that Disney Animation Studios would make a well-mannered, 10-foot tall inflatable robot that looks more like a marshmallow than high tech defender of justice a star is pure genius.
Believe it or not, that is exactly what they have done.
Opening theaters this weekend, Big Hero 6 features the funny and heartwarming relationship between a 14-year old techno whiz kid and a lovable, gentle robot named Baymax.
Loosely based on a virtually unknown Marvel Comics series, Big Hero 6 is a wonderful adventure filled with super heroes and robotics in ample supply. But more importantly, the movie serves up many valuable life lessons about compassion, courage, and personal sacrifice. Simply put, Disney’s latest animated feature is a 10-year old’s thrilling adventure and a parent’s dream.
The movie is directed by animation veterans Don Hall (The Emperor’s New Groove) and Chris Williams (Bolt).
THE MOVIE IN A MINUTE
Teen prodigy Hiro Hamada (Ryan Potter) is struggling to find his purpose after graduating high school at age 13. By day he designs and builds microbots, by night he pits them in shady backroom battles.
When Hiro’s brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney, X-Men Origins: Wolverine) is killed in a horrific explosion, he finds comfort in a newfound friendship with his brother’s invention – an inflatable “personal healthcare companion” (Scott Adsit, 30 Rock). Designed to be a nurse robot, Hiro quickly discovers that Baymax is capable of far more than that.
Still mourning the loss of his brother, Hiro soon finds himself in the clutches of a criminal plot that is intent on destroying the lush environs of San Fransokyo, a curious hybrid of a city that blends San Francisco and Tokyo together.
Demonstrating a sense of courageous bravery well beyond his years, Hiro enlists the help of Baymax and four of his brother’s former lab partners to thwart the sinister plan and save their city. Along for the ride is impeccable neat freak Wasabi (Damon Wayans, The Other Guys), adrenaline junkie Go Go (Jamie Chung, Grown Ups), chemistry wunderkind Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez, Identity Thief), and ultimate comic book fan Fred (T.J. Miller, Yogi Bear). Together, this unlikely group comprises the super hero crime-fighting unit Big Hero 6.
THE GOOD AND BAD OF BIG HERO 6
In the spirit of Olaf the snowman from Disney’s super successful 2013 holiday release Frozen, directors Hall and Williams have created a character that is an animated superstar in the making. The gentle Baymax is instantly lovable for his gentle mannerisms, razor-sharp comedic timing, and sidesplitting physical presence.
Many scenes are uproariously funny as Baymax tries to squeeze through small spaces intended for humans only, not a 10-foot tall inflatable robot with the girth of an NFL offensive lineman. In one of the funniest scenes of the movie, when his batteries run low the compassionate robot experiences a partial deflation that reduces him to a giddy, mind-altered mess.
Faith-based audiences will be thrilled with several themes that find their roots in the Bible – from the opening scene that features many David and Goliath overtones to a climactic sequence near the movie’s end depicting the deepest example of sacrificial love. Big Hero 6 is rife with emotional moments that encourage the viewer to seek out the goodness of humanity rather than it’s dark adversary.
Big Hero 6 is visually stunning as well. Beginning with the vividly produced backdrops of San Fransokyo, complete with a Golden Gate-styled bridge with Japanese architectural touches, the movie is a true melding of eastern and western cultures. Furthermore, it does a tremendous job of incorporating older styled animation with the CGI-infused styling’s of today.
From a negative standpoint, the kabuki-masked villain might be a little too evil looking for some children. The villain’s malevolent nature might be too intense for those under the age of seven.
For the most part, Big Hero 6 steers clear of any rude humor with the exception of one character remarking that he never changes his undergarments. In addition, there is a scene depicting underwater peril following a car crash.
IN THE END
Big Hero 6 is a delightful introduction to the holiday film season. The movie delivers an uplifting message of courage in the face of tragedy, brings a newfound enthusiasm for science, but most importantly, it is filled with the hope for a better tomorrow. Throw in a consistent dose of great humor and you’ve got a must-see holiday blockbuster.
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