Big Hero 6
Directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams
Starring the voices of Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit, Daniel Henney, T.J. Miller, Jamie Chung, Genesis Rodriguez, Damon Wayans Jr, James Cromwell, and Alan Tudyk.
When Disney bought Marvel back in 2009, the animation community went all abuzz. Since superheroes and animation seem to be made for each other, did this mean we’d get Disney animated films of classic Marvel heroes? So, the world was stunned when, after diving into the Marvel archives, Disney Animation came back up with Big Hero 6, a barely-remembered mini-series from the early 2000s. The original comic came along when anime and manga were starting to figure prominently in pop culture, so it was Marvel’s take on many of the superhero tropes in Japanese pop culture. What would Disney do with such a property?
Hiro Hamada is a robotics prodigy, having finished high school at age 13, and now spending his time hustling for cash in back-alley robot fights. Hiro’s older brother Tadashi is equally prodigious, and has invented Baymax, a personal healthcare robot. At the urging of Tadashi, and Tadashi’s friends, Hiro begins applying himself to get into university. For his entrance exam, Hiro invents microbots…tiny, thought-controlled robots that can create anything you can think of. But, during Hiro’s presentation, there’s a fire, and Tadashi is killed. A few months later, Hiro and Baymax come face to face with a villain using the microbots for his own nefarious purposes. Hiro concludes that the fire was started to cover-up the thefth of his microbots. Now, convincing Tadashi’s friends to weaponize their projects, Hiro, Baymax and the gang become superheroes to bring the villain to justice. Will they succeed, or will Hiro become consumed with vengeance?
What I Liked
It’s Disney, so of course, the animation is beautiful. It takes place in the fictional city of San Fransokyo, an amalgam of Tokyo and San Francisco, and it’s just a treat to look at. Even though Disney’s been downplaying the Marvel connection a lot, it’s nice that they respect some of the Marvel movie traditions, like a post-credits scene. The characters that round out our superhero team are so memorable, too. Each one’s got that fantastic little character trait to make them stand out. Which kind of leads into….
What I Didn’t Like
With so many characters on the team, it would have been nice if we’d spent a little more time with them and got to know them better. I’m longing for the good ol’ days when Disney would turn their latest animated hit into a Saturday morning cartoon, because then we’d get to know these characters a little more. And, since it is a superhero movie, it does fall back on a few of the tropes of the genre.
I just had a lot of fun with this movie. Disney’s been on a winning streak lately.