Film - Big Hero 6

Big Hero 6

Nate McKenzie reviews an animated film and tries to not talk about food for a whole review...

First of all, I have to say that Feast, the animated short that plays before Big Hero 6 is wonderful. If an animated puppy can elicit the warm-fuzzies in a staunch "No Pets" guy like myself then you know it was done well. The now staple trend of mini-movies before features reminds me of stories that my Dad and uncle used to tell me about going to the cinema on a Saturday morning and watching cartoons for multiple hours. That sort of hearkening is important in drawing people back to the cinemas despite the accessibility of movies in-home. I am always pleased to see these additional films and Feast is one of the best yet.

Feast

After the delectable appetiser of Feast, Big Hero 6 was sure to be a fulfilling main course. (I swear I'm not going to talk about food for the whole review.)

Hiro Hamada is a child prodigy; building and fighting robots in an illegal underground fighting circuit in the city of San Fransokyo. After a mysterious explosion destroys his newest invention (microbots that can be controlled with a neural transmitter) and kills his brother and would-be Professor Callaghan, Hiro Hamada utilizes the help of Baymax, his brother's pet project, to get to the truth of the circumstances surrounding the explosion. Baymax is essentially the offspring of Siri, the Michelin Man, and a very dull nurse, with a prime directive of applying medical knowledge to offer assistance in the event of injuries. Enlisting Tadashi's former lab-mates, Hiro forms the titular group self-tasked with defeating a villain who wears a Kabuki mask and has control of the microbots that Hiro thought were destroyed.

The Big Hero 6: Hiro, Baymax, Go Go, Wasabi, Honey Lemon, and Fred are a fantastic mix of well-developed characters. Each one has a distinct personality but none really obscure the others. Of course, the humor provided by TJ Lane as Fred does steal a few scenes. The diversity of the group is also great to see, especially in regards to Go Go's strong will and Honey Lemon's brilliance; great female characters are becoming more of a staple instead of a nice surprise.

What I love about this film is the strong scientific angle, not just for the purpose of the storyline, but the filmmakers seemed to want to make science look cool for the young viewers. The inventions that the characters had been working on derived practical and exciting uses when Hiro used them for their crime-fighting personas. Disney and Pixar do a great job of sharing morality messages but there is a more canvassing attempt to inspire viewers with this particular film.

Visually, Big Hero 6 is impressive. Most of the scenes have so much going on that it is impossible for the mind to take it all in on one viewing. What really impressed me though was the animation of Baymax in his different states of inflation. Particularly, the scene in which Baymax' battery power has almost run out and he begins to function like a heavily intoxicated person, his movements and slurred speech are spot on. Big Hero 6 is a beautiful movie to see and requires multiple viewings to catch all of the little idiosyncrasies on display - or buried, as is the case with the easter eggs throughout. I especially enjoyed the references to old Japanese mecha-anime and all of the nods to other Disney franchises within Fred's bedroom.

The story is engaging and the action thrills in Big Hero 6. This is an exceptionally original take on the superhero genre - mostly considering that Disney and Marvel could have decided to mature characters and bastardise the story and make it another big budget action film. Instead, kids get their very own Avengers/Guardians of the Galaxy-esque experience and for that I think Disney deserves a big round of applause.

Images - Disney.