Release Date: 11/7/2014
Director: Don Hall, Chris Williams
Starring: Scott Adsit (Baymax), Ryan Potter (Hiro Hamada), Daniel Henny (Tadashi Hamada), T.J. Miller (Fred), Jamie Chung (GoGo Tomago), Damon Wayans Jr. (Wasabi), Genesis Rodriguez (Honey Lemon), James Cromwell (Dr. Callaghan), Alan Tudyk (Alastair Krei), Maya Rudolf (Aunt Cass)
I’m generally sold when you utter Disney Animation Studios. I’m always sold when you utter Marvel. When you combine the two into one pleasant little treat I’m ready like the cute little dog in the short Feast. So honestly, I had very high expectations for Big Hero 6 an adaptation of a little known comic that very few people likely heard of. While the movie wasn’t so perfect that I freaked out and instantly proclaimed that I’d be watching it again. I did declare that this is a film that I will need to purchase. This was a movie I’m going to tell everyone who enjoys life and knows loss should go watch this movie. Big Hero 6 was a damn lot of fun. I’m ready for more.
The heart of Big Hero 6 is the bond between Hiro and Baymax. While Baymax may be a robot programmed to help the injured, we quickly see that Baymax is much more. He has the heart of Tadashi, while being his own self. Baymax instantly asserts himself as a force that is out to help fix a broken Hiro. It isn’t the robot’s humanity and caring that takes Hiro from depressed to finally happy. So when Baymax asks if Hiro is pleased with his service it is bittersweet. You come to care about Baymax and all his quirks just as much as Hiro does.
Big Hero 6 is Marvel giving away one of it’s smaller properties to parent company Disney for the good of the people. Disney took the concept of Big Hero 6, put it through the Disney ringer and out popped a movie that is a lot of fun. However, Disney also inserted some of it’s touches that make some Disney movies truly great. Rather than skirt around the topic of death and loss, the entire plot and motivation about the characters revolves around it. It is the death of Hiro and Tadashi Hamada’s parents that bond the brothers. It is the death of Tadashi that propels Hiro to become a hero with his friends. Big Hero 6 wasn’t afraid to get very emotional and deep in a way that felt satisfying and upsetting at the same time. In many ways it reminding me of Meet the Robinsons which dealt a very upsetting and heartwarming story (I still cry every time I watch it). While Big Hero 6 didn’t bring me to tears, I did get feels.
One of the thing that has come to pass over the past few years is my complete adoration for Disney Animation because of how stunning the films are. I’m talking animation that is so beautiful that I wanted to rewind and pause at so many points in time I probably wouldn’t have made it through the movie. San Fransokoyo was a beautiful mix of cultures that managed to play beautifully on screen. it’s rare when I’m so in awe of the landscapes that I catch myself wishing I could jump into the world. And more importantly feeling like I can. I can’t wait revel in all the beauty that was created on that screen. For that reason alone I loved Big Hero 6.
Let’s be honest, there were a lot of changes that came to Big Hero 6 when you look at the comic. That was largely expected with Disney behind this all. the Marvel logo didn’t even come up during the opening in an attempt to essentially distance itself from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This version was sanitized from the characters, which is really saying something considering that Big Hero 6 largely had a PG-13 vibe in the comics. Baymax for one isn’t the tough man robot from the comics, who protected Hiro at all costs. Instead Hiro was sweet and literally designed to be non-threatening. He was made cute for the movie. Luckily, there likely aren’t many people who would rage about all the changes they made to characters. Fred doesn’t even manifest his godzilla aura. Thankfully, the show manages to be entertaining in it’s own right.
There was only one period in the move when I felt like we were being detoured a bit too much. The pacing slowed down. While the sequences were amusing and beautiful, it felt noticeably different from a tightly paced movie. The events in the sequence were important as we saw the characters adapt to their new tools as they essentially trained to become heroes. We got a sky tour over San Fransokyo as Baymax learned how to fly with his new thrusters. The two side by side sequences ended up feeling out of place as a result. Yet, I’m torn about whether cutting down the scenes would have been beneficial or worth it. At the end of the day I found myself enjoying it enough that I prefer it as is.
The voice work in this film was really well done. The characters felt natural and in place with their animated versions. That said, the voice of T.J. Miller and Genesis Rodriguez stood out the most in a negative life. In the case of Genesis and her portrayal of Honey, it was certain words that stood out. The way she said Hiro stood out. It sounded how I would expect it to sound normally, but with everyone saying it in a more Americanized Hiro. Then there was the outlandish T.J. Miller’s Fred who stood out. I’ll admit part of this is because I couldn’t stop imagining him bouncing around rather than Fred. That said T.J. Miller gave a great performance that felt like it overshadowed his actual character.
I’m a tough nut to crack when it comes to comedy. So often, I’m just not impressed and rarely amused. Sure I may chuckle and I may grin. This movie had be happy and chuckling at all the right moments. It’s a relief to say that Big Hero 6 managed to be incredibly funny.
Big Hero 6 is one of the best movies I’ve seen this year. I have no problem saying that and proclaiming how much I enjoyed it. As one of few movies that you watch and feel like you could watch again and again and get something different out of it every time, I can’t help but recommend it to everyone from the top of mountaintops. The movie combines heart and comedy and a whole lot of tech based super heroes. Really, who can ask for much more than that in a movie?
If you go watch Big Hero 6 make sure that you stay through the end of the credits because there is a stinger. you head me, in the last few moments of the movie we got to see a bit more of the goings on in San Fransokyo. It’s a nice treat after the photo we see of Fred with his family mid movie. Getting to see Stan Lee’s animated self as a Fred’s father was a fun treat at the end. Especially when we saw them bond over how they wear their underwear. There was also a hint that there will be more in this universe and I for one am looking forward to it.
Check out the Big Hero 6 Gallery here.
What did you think of the movie?