Disney does a great job of conditioning movie viewers into thinking: “I HAVE to see this film!” We join this massive hype train, swearing allegiance to the fandom before ever seeing the actual movie, and I full heartedly admit this happened with me and Big Hero 6. However, Big Hero 6 didn’t garnish massive hype for no reason; the film delivered an enjoyable experience that Marvel and Disney enthusiast will be sure to appreciate.
Big Hero 6 is a delightful animated, family friendly take on a lesser known Marvel comic series. Disney took some designer and writers privileges, by reworking the cast to be more dynamic in ethnicity and less than typical stereotypes; rewrote some of the plot and character devices, but it all worked out pretty good, producing a movie that fits perfectly into Disney standards…..Both, a good and bad thing.
Overall, Big Hero 6 is a great movie, but we’ve seen this kind of story told before, over and over again. (even in Disney films!) Your protagonist is set straight by a loved one and said loved on meets an untimely end. Loved one leaves behind something (in this case robot) that allows the protagonist to move forward with their stupid/great plan to avenge the deceased. Eventually the left behind item helps the protagonist learn the true meaning of love and doing the right thing. Been there, done that, about a dozen times.
This cookie cutter of a movie plot really could have ruined Big Hero 6 (you like how I didn’t give away details for spoilers?) but Disney was able to develop a secret technique that made sure you were absolutely unable to look away from the screen: the marshmallow mascot, Baymax. The adorable healthcare robot truly shined on screen, and managed to carry most of the movie on his cuddly shoulders. What made Baymax such a great companion was not his naivety (that could have gotten annoying really quick) but his interpretations of things happening around him that made Baymax so very lovable. I mean, who else calls a cat a “hairy baby”? Or diagnoses puberty and thinks it can be fixed? And the noise he makes when completing a fist bump? Gah, too cute. Baymax gives BH6 a good portion of the comedy relief and makes viewers fall in love with him.
There is a reason why this movie is called Big Hero 6: their hero squad is made up of six members, but honestly the movie is only about two members: Hiro and Baymax. This gives BH6 a slight downfall to its story telling. You have a very large cast, a majority of which aren’t getting much screen time and rushed character development. To be expected because the story is driven by Hiro and Baymax- but sad none the less. Disney obviously took careful care to make a diverse cast (as comic readers will know the BH6 crew in the movie does not match the comic squad) that would appeal to many different people; but didn’t care to give them much more development other than being supportive. A shame, because Honey Lemon, Fred, Wasabi, and Tomago, were characters that you could relate to but not memorable enough to be in your favorite parts of the movie….which is really frustrating because it was like Disney was on the verge of making some really great depth characters, but decided to stop short.
Regardless of their cut short character development, the rest of the BH6 gang is a great supporting cast and a lot of fun. Even if Disney decided to cut them short, they did give the other characters enough spunk to add some magic to the overall movie. Personally, I think Fred was able to contribute the most from the secondary cast; he’s just a hoot and so easy to relate to because he’s a geek fanboy. Love him!
Besides the adorable Baymax, Disney did manage a flawless execution in a few others areas that saved Big Hero 6 from the movie redundancy pitfall.
All around the animation in BH6 is clean, sharp, and looks great. It’s on board with the rest of the Disney 3D animation style; it’s crisp and definitely wasn’t half-assed….which means, the film was actually surprisingly good in 3D. Generally, I hate watching films in 3D (glasses on top of glasses in not comfy) but I coughed up the extra bucks to see BH6 pop out at me from the screen, and it did so without any of the cheap gimmicks. Just smooth 3D, adding the extra dimension to an already rich in design screen.
This brings me to another thing I loved about BH6: the world design. Disney does an amazing job in immersing their audience in the environment of the movie, and I have to say San Fransokyo was a fun city with a lot of character. You could definitely see the clash of the cultures in this make believe city; the sloping hills of San Francisco and the décor and elegance of Japanese culture. What was even more awesome about this immersion was that it wasn’t just esthetics that was infused from both cultures, but clearly the cultures were ingrained to the inhabitants of San Fransokyo. Lucky cats all over the place and in each back drop, open markets, advance wind energy floating above the city in the form of good luck koi fish. Small detail, but a lot of it, and makes the story feel very complete.
Lastly, how can you not enjoy the Stan Lee cameo in this film? Yes, you read that right Stan Lee. Remember: Big Hero 6 was originally a Marvel comic book, but it’s Disney first endeavor of animating any source material from Marvel. So, naturally there is going to be Stan Lee cameo- and it was awesome. Also, because this is technically a Marvel flick, stay till after the credits.
Besides a very used story line and plot devices and cutting some character development short; Big Hero 6 is a solid movie with a lot of heart that squeezes out a few tears from your eye ducts, and will have you laughing at simple things. Its animation is nothing short of clean and gorgeous. Baymax clearly steals the entire movie, and wins the award f or being the best movie mascot ever.
By: Stephany Brown/Scarlette
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