“Big Hero 6” Review
By Rob Jefchak
Between the powerhouse juggernaut of Disney’s “Marvel studios” and the creators behind two of Disney’s most successful animated films “Wreck-it Ralph” and “Frozen;” it’s no surprise that the House of Mouse decided to combine the two and create one of the most visually stunning and engaging family films of the year. Loosely based on Japanese manga (comic books) of the same name, “Big Hero 6” follows the life and adventure of the prodigy genius boy Hiro (Ryan Potter).
Hiro is a robotics genius; as is his older brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney), both have created revolutionary robots that could change the world; for better or for worse. When Tadashi dies in an accidental explosion, Hiro is left with Baymax (Scott Adist); an unusual medical robot Tadashi created that wishes to help Hiro solve the mystery of his brother’s murder and stop a masked. But to do that, Hiro must join forces with Tadashi’s robotic engineer friends and work together with them and Baymax as a team dedicated to helping keep the world safe.
Being a fan of anime, Japanese culture, super heroes and the same amazing team behind two of my newest all-time favorite Disney films; this film had “win” written all of it and after seeing it, my expectations were not only met but surpassed with phenomenal flying colors. Granted, I feel the visual flare and whimsical humor and antics of these geeky robotics kids working together as heroes will please even those who are unable to enjoy the flavorful flare of Disney’s latest Marvel-esque outing.
What I admire best about the film’s message is its relationships; the most obvious being Hiro and his brother but expanding on that theme is Hiro and his relationship to Baymax. Sure, Baymax and Hiro are a cartoonish comedic duo with hilarious time and chemistry but even with the gags and goofiness of this balloon robot; something deeper and more meaningful exists that helps produce a charming bond that warms the heart.
As much as I miss traditional hand drawn animation, I must admit that CGI crafts spectacular action sequences and robotic elements that are not only amazingly colorful and bright; but have a natural feel and fit for this unique world. Downtown Fransokyo is like a mix of Tomorrowland, Japan and San Francisco and yet; the mixture feels natural and still maintains futuristic wonder and whimsy you’d expect from a film about kids fighting with robot super suits.
The boundaries of maturity never get pushed too far but neither is the film too scared to shy away from serious subjects like death, vengeance and dealing with the pain of loss. At times I wished they could have darker and explored a more mature course of action, but that does not deter or downgrade the quality of the film’s storytelling in the slightest bit.
One chink in the film’s armor I did find had to deal with the rest of this “team”, namely the lack of development with the rest of Hiro’s nerdy crew. With a great cast like Jamie Chung, TJ Miller, Genesis Rodriguez, Damon Wayans Jr. and the hilarious talented T.J. Miller; it seems like such a waste to have such colorful characters get such slim amounts of development.
Granted, Miller’s character “Fred” is a master of witty one liners and definitely helps the film’s humor to reach even more memorable heights; but I just can’t help feel there’s a missed opportunity by not exploring the other team members in a film called “Big Hero SIX.” Overall, despite some slight shortage in exploring character’s backgrounds; “Big Hero 6” is a vibrant, fun filled, action crammed collision of fun new characters to explore and enjoy.
I was full of laughter and love by the time the credits rolled and if you love Marvel’s after the credits stingers, be sure to STAY after the credits for “Big Hero 6” and their own amusing after scenes clip.
I give “Big Hero 6” 3 stars out of 4.