When Marvel was first bought by Disney, fan-boys everywhere rejoiced, imagining amazing animated movies featuring the characters from Marvel’s super-hero line-up. Sadly this didn’t come to pass… until now.
Big Hero 6 is based on a Marvel property about 6 obscure superheroes. But don’t let the obscurity fool you. As Guardians of the Galaxy proved, even the most unknown group of misfits can prove to be box-office gold if they are handled the right way, with clever writing, and Big Hero 6 manages to keep the upward trend of Disney Animation going with its heart-warming story of a boy and his robot.
The movie is set in an alternate time-line in the city of San Fransokyo, an amalgamation of both Eastern and Western sensibilities. The audience follows a teen-aged genius named Hiro as he struggles with the death of his older brother, Tadashi. Also along for the ride are the five other characters who will go on to form the 6 man team in the title: buff but nerdy Wasabi, adorkable Honey Lemon, girl with an attitude GoGo Tamago and the weird but mostly harmless Fred. Oh and let’s not forget Baymax, the robotic medical companion.
Whilst most of the supporting characters are perfectly fine in their roles, they come off as a little cookie-cutter. Which is to be expected in a movie with a large ensemble cast. But it’s the relationship that Hiro has with Baymax that really elevates Big Hero 6 from mediocrity into something that deserves to be added to the Disney Hall of Fame. Baymax is a state-of-the art robot whose main priority is the well-being of Hiro but who also has the naivete of a five year old, which makes him quite endearing. There’s something instantly lovable about Baymax as he tries to integrate himself into Hiro’s life, and much like the Iron Giant, you quickly become attached to the cuddly robot.
The animation, as you would expect, is amazing, and the level of detail that has gone into building San Fransokyo is spectacular. The streets are fully populated with the denizens of the city, making it feel lived in, while the colour palette makes everything warm and cheerful. Coupled with the unique Japanese-American architecture, this is a city I would love to visit. The attention to detail doesn’t stop at just the environments of the movie, but is also seen in all the characters of the film. For a robot that has only one expression, the way that body language is used to convey Baymax’s emotions is amazing.
BH6 is a great family movie, with a wonderful mix of humour, action and animation. I have already added it to my list for repeat viewing and I hope you get a chance to watch it too.
I give Big Hero 6 an 8 out of 10.