Classic Movie Review: Big Hero 6 (2014)

Posted: September 19, 2015 in Animation, Comedy

BIG HERO 6

Hiro (Ryan Potter) is a 14 year old robot prodigy who uses his skills to participate in robot fighting.  His brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney) goes to college and studies robotics.  Tadashi has built a healthcare companion robot called Baymax. (Scott Adsit)  Baymax is made out of a soft, spongy, balloon-like material, and dispenses hugs and scans people for symptoms.  Tadashi feels Baymax will help a lot of people.  Hiro is sufficiently impressed by Baymax that he accompanies Tadashi to his college.  Hiro is absolutely blown away by his college visit, especially meeting Robert Callaghan, (James Cromwell) Callaghan is a seminal robotics innovator.  Tadashi tells Hiro that if he can come up with a new innovation in robotics, the school might give him a scholarship.

Hiro comes up with an innovation, which he calls microbots, nanobots which have a variety of uses, including building, and locomotion.  Callaghan is so impressed with Hiro’s microbots, that he offers Hiro a scholarship right away.  But before Hiro can enjoy any of the fruits of his labor, a deadly fire at the college takes the life of Tadashi and Callaghan.  Hero is lost in grief and sorrow, but with the help of Baymax, Hiro finds out that his microbots have been stolen and kept in a locked warehouse, stolen by a mysterious man wearing a kabuki mask. Hiro learns later that the man in the mask may have purposely set the fire that killed Tadashi.  Baymax calls on Tadashi’s friends, Fred, (TJ Miller) Go-go (Jamie Chung) Wasabi (Damon Wayans Jr.) and Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez) to help him grieve, but Hiro imbues them with super powers, and they all go on a quest to find and unmask the man in the mask.  Do the find him, and reveal his true identity?

Big Hero 6 is a wonderfully made and fairly complex story for a kids’ movie.  It’s very funny, and heartwarming, but the writers should be commended for weaving in elements of grief, anger and resentment into an animated film.  Young kids will enjoy the soft, huggable Baymax, older kids and adults will appreciate the lesson on how and how not to deal with grief after the loss of a loved one.  The writing is so good, even the villain has a backstory, there’s lots of sad moments on this film, but they feel genuine and not contrived, and the ensemble cast adds to the overall fun of the film. Aspects of the film reminded me of The Incredibles, but Big Hero 6 is very much its own movie.

Scott Adsit of 30 Rock has a wonderfully calming and soothing quality in his voice, he is perfectly cast as the gentle healthcare robot, transformed into action hero.  Ryan Potter and Daniel Henney play realistic and supportive brothers. TJ Miller, Jamie Chung, Damon Wayans Jr. and Genisys Rodriguez added a lot of fun and camaraderie to the film, they all worked together to achieve a goal. James Cromwell plays a very complex character, and he’s the perfect actor to do it.

There’s more action in this than a lot of action movies I’ve seen, good pacing by the directors and they pulled good performances from everyone.

The animation is spectacular.  San Francisco/Tokyo looks beautiful.  The characters and backgrounds seem more real and less animated than ever before.  This movie is an absolute treat for the eyes.

Big Hero 6.  A Hero named Hiro tries to save the day.

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