Last updated on March 16th, 2017 at 12:54 am
Big Surprises in Big Hero 6
If you don’t already know that I am a huge fan of comic books and film adaptations of comic books, clearly you haven’t been reading. You may also know from past reviews that I really enjoy animation, and am usually stoked to see each one released in theaters. Not since The Incredibles has there been an animated Disney film influenced by the superhero genre. The Incredibles is still one of my favorite films to date. Disney now re-enters the comic book foray with the help of unstoppable Marvel Comics bringing the mostly unheard of Big Hero 6 to the big screen. Unfamiliar? Big Hero What? It’s ok! If Guardians of the Galaxy has taught us anything about films with ties to Marvel, it’s that they will surprise you every time.
Big Hero 6 Story
Big Hero 6 tells the story of Hiro Hamada (Ryan Potter), a young boy with an immense knowledge of technology. Hiro uses his special gift of hustling unsuspecting robot fighters in the streets of San Fransokyo. Hiro’s hustling leads him to trouble with the wrong people quite often. Thankfully, Hiro’s older brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney), also a tech savvy guy, watches out for him. In an attempt to keep Hiro out of trouble, Tadashi invites him to visit Tadashi’s college campus. Hiro discovers the amazing technologies being built by Tadashi and his fellow college students. Tadashi’s invention is a healthcare robot named Baymax (Scott Adsit). With new found inspiration, Hiro drops his desire for money and enters a competition to pursue enrollment at the college. During his showcase, tragedy strikes. Hiro is left to mourn the untimely death of his brother and seek answers to what happened. Hiro finds Baymax hidden in his room and concludes that the health care robot has some untapped potential and can help him discover the truth about his brother’s death.
What surprised me about Big Hero 6 was its ability to create a unique story despite the oversaturation of Marvel films. The film really held its own and didn’t feel like any of the previous live-action Marvel films. The film felt fresh, although it often relied heavily on many superhero tropes. For example, most Marvel films include some sort of sacrificial death that attempts to bear emotional weight. (*Possible Spoilers: Groot, Iron Man, Professor X, etc.) I felt that the heavy reliance on plot aspects such as this one made the film predictable.
Big Hero 6’s success was mostly due to the setting and the characters. Each character was charming and interesting. I particularly enjoyed Baymax because he presented the most laughs. I recall one scene that had the audience dying. After a long day of ‘superheroing’, Baymax’s battery is low which is interpreted as him being heavily drunk. Hiro and his team of heroes also contribute to the laughter and action. The montage of everyone learning their new abilities was one of my favorites. The weakest character is the villain of the entire film. His motives are oversimplified, and his revelation can be spotted a mile away. He wasn’t convincing, or as dangerous as the film makes him out to be. All the other characters shared heart. They bonded with you and made you care; like so many Disney films before it. (Still crying because UP).
The city of San Fransokyo is delightful. It is the perfect mixture of traditional Japan, modern Japan, and modern San Francisco. The city has such diversity. It flaunted the treacherous nights in dark alley ways and the picturesque skyline of the beautiful city. San Fransokyo had it all, and all I wanted to do was pack my very few belongings and make the trek West.
Despite some shortcomings, Big Hero 6 is a beautifully animated story with plenty of laughter, heart, and action. The convergence of Disney and Marvel delivers a solid film, and I look forward to potential sequels or other animated Marvel character adaptations.