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Big Hero 6 Review: Hiro is His Name, Hero is What He Becomes


November 13, 2014

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“I get by with a little help from my friends.” Regardless of whether you prefer The Beatles or Joe Cocker, these words could very well be the mantra of our main character, Hiro.

Hiro is a bit of a miscreant, and as something of a robotics prodigy he loves to hustle illegal underground bot fights. He is also a young man with limitless potential, unfocused as it may be. He scoffs at the idea of following in his brother Tadashi’s footsteps by going to university, that is until he sees the resources he would have at his fingertips to do what he really loves – designing and building robots.

Hiro’s future is beginning to look very bright as he prepares his project that will likely guarantee his entry to the same school that Tadashi and his friends attend. Unfortunately his moment of joy and accomplishment is short-lived as darkness and tragedy befalls him. In one night he loses his extraordinary invention and his brother in a horrific fire.

Hiro seems to have lost all direction, and has no interest in trying to continue on with school. He is a young man who has no idea what his future holds. That would change one day, when Baymax (the inflatable medical robot Hiro’s brother invented and built) quite literally leads him to destiny’s door.

He learns that there may be more of a mystery behind the recent tragic events than he thought. He also learns that to uncover this mystery and thwart a villainous plot, he and Baymax may need a little help from their friends. They will have to rely on their on their intelligence and ingenuity to face down a very dangerous foe.

Although the characters in the movie may be multicultural, they don’t feel the need to put too fine a point on it. They don’t become racial or cultural stereotypes or punchlines – they just exist, which I really appreciated.

I think sometimes animated movies (more than live action) focus too much on the things that separate people and won’t just let them occupy the same space without that implied division. Sometimes it is not only cliché but can also be somewhat insulting.

Hiro, Wasabi, Honey-Lemon, and Go Go are all exceptional and brilliant young people. Fred, while maybe not as brilliant, is just as well-meaning and devoted to their common goal. However it’s nice to see that they realistically stumble at first and must suffer a bit of a learning curve on their way to becoming a heroic team.

The villain in the movie is something of an enigma throughout most of the movie, and frankly I appreciated that fact. He gave no drawn out monologues outlining his evil master plan, there were no musical sequences where he sang about how evil he is and how he got that way while he dances around with some comical cronies.

He just showed up acted menacingly and mysterious while not disclosing his motives or his identity, which helps to make a villain much more ominous.

Big Hero 6 is FUN, FAST PACED, and THRILLING. It’s the kind of movie that should be able entertain everybody in the family. The animation is absolutely beautiful and seamless, which should be no big surprise. Action sequences offered incredible excitement and intensity, that gets pulses racing while still being appropriate for younger audiences.

The jokes and humorous moments were sophisticated enough for everybody to enjoy without it being lost on kids or seeming too tame for adults. Whether it was the funny but cute attempts to teach a robot how to do a “fist bump”, Fred being a hyper active spaz, or Baymax being so low on power that he seemed as if he was intoxicated – everybody could find something to make them laugh.

There are also some somber and sentimental moments, which I feel add to the total experience of the movie. It’s one of the things I appreciate about Disney’s animated movies is that they find a way to build an emotional connection with the audience, rather than being a one trick animated pony.

The voice casting for Big Hero 6 was excellent and  features the voice talents of: Scott Adsit, Ryan Potter, Daniel Henney ,T.J. Miller, Jamie, Damon Wayans Jr, Genesis Rodriguez , James Cromwell, Alan Tudyk, and Maya Rudolph.

Improper voice casting can be very annoying and jarring, especially when the voice doesn’t quite match up properly to the character, is unnecessarily annoying, or the voice is unremarkable. There is no danger of that here as all the voice talents were utilized extremely well.

I especially liked the dulcet and innocent tone used by Adsit to create the persona of the gentle and loveable robot, Baymax.

The directorial tandem of Chris Williams (Bolt, 2008) and Don Hall (Winnie the Pooh, 2011) did an impressive job with Big Hero 6. I’d like to see this become a franchise, and would also like to see these two back at the helm again on one or more of the sequels.

I was very impressed by the animated treatment this Marvel property was given, and believe it may open the door to help bring to life some other lesser well-known Marvel properties in the future. Big Hero 6 has hopefully created a whole new avenue with which Disney can expose audiences to the Marvel universe.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com

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