Director: Don Hall, Chris Williams
Starring: Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit, Jamie Chung, T.J. Miller, Damon Wayans Jr.
Marvel and Disney have collaborated to make one of the best looking, most loveable, and most importantly, charming animated films in a while. It’s hard not to leave the cinema with a big grin etched on your face.
Disney had a tough task to follow their 2013 smash hit Frozen, but by taking inspiration from a little known Marvel comic of the same name, Big Hero 6 turned out to be a bold, and clever move.
Big Hero 6 is a deeply touching tale about the bond between Hiro, a young 14-year-old robotics genius, who lives with his aunt Cass and older brother Tadashi, and his loveable, inflatable personal healthcare robot called Baymax. Before meeting Baymax, Hiro was most definitely on the wrong path, going from one back-street robot fight to another, yet all this changed when Hiro’s older brother Tadashi took him on a tour of his university’s incredible robotic lab, introducing him to not only to Baymax, but also to Hiro’s future super geeks superhero team.
After an unfortunate series of events Hiro is left with only Baymax for company. However, when Hiro runs into a mysterious villainous masked individual, who’s using Hiro’s microbots to cause havoc in San Fransokyo (a vibrant and colourful melange of San Fransisco and Tokyo), Hiro decides to turn Baymax from a loveable cuddly medical assistant, into an Iron Man like superhero robot.
Hiro gives Baymax trendy, if slightly snug, new body armour and a whole host of other useful gadgets and abilities, such as detachable flying fists and the ability to actually fly. Hiro, with the help of Baymax his brother’s former lab partners, decide to become a team, developing cool suits and abilities of their own, in order to fight this sinister threat.
The themes of grief, love, loss and friendship are at the heart of this terrific animated film. Watching this film is like going on a roller-coaster of emotions, going right up to the highest point and then plummeting down fast, doing a couple of loop-the-loops in the process.
Hiro is having to deal with some truly difficult emotions and watching him struggle with the loss of his brother, going through depression, anger, a desire for revenge and ultimately acceptance. It brings to mind one of Pixar’s truly great films Up, when you have a heart warming opening, only to then have a truly gut wrenching moment, which our main character has to deal with the rest of the film.
In fact, Disney’s fingerprints are all over this truly masterful animation. Firstly any lesser production company would have struggled with the film’s key concepts and would have probably taken a step back from them. Disney don’t do this, the film’s writers, animators and directors, Don Hall and Chris Williams, have gone all out of this film, making it as emotionally accurate as they can, putting their main character through his paces.
If there were to be some slightly negative points it’s that the film isn’t completely original, one can’t help but think of Pixar’s The Incredibles and Brad Bird’s masterpiece The Iron Giant whilst watching Big Hero 6. The plot is also a tad formulaic and nothing we haven’t seen in previous films.
Having said this, the relationship between Hiro and Baymax is truly heartwarming and funny. Baymax is a brilliantly loveable and amusing comedic presence, and a character who will undoubtedly spawn numerous sequels. Disney have delivered a wonderful film, which promises to become yet another money spinning franchise for the house of mouse.