Big Hero 6
Directors: Don Hall and Chris Williams
Cast Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit, Genesis Rodriguez, Jamie Chung, Damon Wayans Jr, TJ Miller
Original Release Date: November 7th, 2014
Big Hero 6 is interesting because its place within Disney’s pantheon can be viewed in two ways. On one hand it’s the next step for a studio which has redefined itself through CGI brilliancy in films such as Tangled, Wreck It Ralph, and Frozen. But also it represents the very first time that the mouse company has used a work by its subsidiary Marvel Comics in an animated motion film that does not bear the “Marvel Studios” name. Their first animated superhero is another breath of fresh air for the studio which constantly is surprising.
The movie is based on a semi-obscure part of the Marvel print universe but aside from the basic premise, the city of San Fransokyo, and the character names everything else has been swapped out by Disney for a new tale. In an alternate world’s future Hiro (Ryan Potter) is a young boy and robot inventor who competes in underground bot fights while being scolded by his older brother; role model and brilliant student himself Tadashi (Daniel Henney). As with any Disney film the parents are out of the picture as they live with their Aunt Cass (Maya Rudolph) and Hiro seeks to prove himself to the local university after a tour from his brother.
The cast of characters, once again like Disney’s track record, are strong. The titular team is made up of overwhelmingly adorable yet somehow action capable robot Baymax( Scott Adsit who’s robotized voice blended with brilliant animation flow make him the best part of the movie), bubblegum incarnate via personality and powers Honey Lemon(Genesis Rodriguez), risky and cool hoverskater Gogo(Jamie Chung), cautious energy blade wielding Wasabi (Damon Wayans Jr) and lastly the other comedic highlight comic book obsessed Fred (TJ Miller who has some of the film’s best lines too.) The writing between the characters makes one feel like they are really a team. Sure it can be a bit over saccharine but it gives the movie a sense of joy and fun.
This sense is also found through the amazing visuals. Each passing release by Disney has brought them to rival if not even risk succeeding what their peer Pixar does for lush visuals. The world blends the universes of Asia, the United States, and an optimistic take on the future to form a perfect backdrop for a pop art adventure like this. The addition of 3D to my experience was worth it as well.
The movie has some emotional moments of course but aside from that the story won’t blow anyone’s minds. It’s an adventure propelled by its sharp animation, funny characters, rousing score, and more action than usual (considering its superhero roots) that accomplishes what it sets out to and much more. You’ll come to see Baymax do silly things, and you’ll leave going “ooh” at the fun moments and outrageous lighthearted atmosphere. It won’t change the conventions of the genre but what it does prove is that Disney should borrow from Marvel more often since it works this time. 8.4 out of 10