Big Hero 6 is a visually arresting, feel-good experience worthy of the very best Disney has ever produced. Ryan Pollard checks out its finer points…
Based on the Marvel comic-book series, Big Hero 6 is the latest big-screen outing from Disney after Frozen, and is set in the futuristic city of San Fransokyo where lives robotics prodigy Hiro (Ryan Potter) with his older brother, Tadashi (Daniel Henney), who wants his younger brother to do more with his talents other than use it for robot fights. When Tadashi dies in a devastating turn of events, Hiro is thrown into the middle of a dangerous new plot. His closest companion is Baymax (Scott Adsit), an inflatable, marshmallow-like robot created by Tadashi whose sole purpose is to take care of people, so he transforms Baymax and his other friends, Go Go Tamago (Jamie Chung), Wasabi (Damon Wayans Jr.), Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez) and Fred (T.J. Miller) into a band of high-tech heroes to go up against a supervillain wearing a kabuki mask and wielding Hiro’s stolen technology.
Big Hero 6 is undeniably a visually arresting experience with the streets of San Fransokyo looking and feeling alive, vibrant and completely dazzling, almost to a point where you feel like you would want to live and breathe that world. Similar to Spike Jonze’s portrait of a near-distant future in Her, Big Hero 6’s world is so arresting, you just want the movie to pause so you can examine and absorb the city’s exact detail, from the alley streets to the huge skyscrapers to the bridge in one memorable flying sequence. The action sequences are truly action-packed, enthralling both young and old, and enough to give Disney Pixar’s The Incredibles a run for its money.
The story is also very deep and personal. Disney always knows how to treat its audience when approaching dark and serious subject matters, and here, dealing with the themes of loss and close friendship, it makes the subject accessible for all audiences. You connect with the characters and you almost want to spend the entire time in their company, particularly in the case of Baymax, who is undoubtedly one the most iconic characters in Disney history. Voiced in a deadpan, Siri-like manner by Scott Andsit, Baymax provides real comic charm, wit and heart to the whole film, making you both laugh and cry with equal measure, and is a great counterpoint to the anarchy that unfolds on screen. Plus, he provides great slapstick throughout, from his mannerisms to his drunk-like energy-depletion (“Hairy baby!”).
In the end, Big Hero 6 is a genuinely feel-good experience, full of heart, wit, and constant vibrant energy, and frankly, I found it to be better than, not just Frozen, but The Incredibles as well. It’s that good, and is yet another touchstone to Disney’s ever-growing crown.