Big Hero 6 (2014)

I will continue to assert that Aladdin should have been named Genie. It felt like you were watching Robin Williams doing stand-up comedy as a shape-shifting genie in the middle of a legitimately good Broadway musical. Genie is what makes Aladdin from a good movie into a great movie, providing much needed energy to an otherwise serious children’s film while remaining crucial to the story, making the romance both possible and complicated, as their friendship forces Aladdin to find out what is important to him. Meet Baymax.

BaymaxCat

Baymax, as adequately called “balloon man” by a police officer, is what makes Big Hero 6 just an average kiddie affair to a very satisfying and enjoyable picture. He is the heartbeat of Big Hero 6, winning over more of the audience with each and every scene he’s in with his naive programming and dedication to his job as a nurse. It’s strange to see this huggable, inflatable figure transform into an Iron Man-like superhero, but the movie knows it, and it makes for some hilarious humor.

The other characters were alright, Hiro being my second favorite of the six. He’s initially made out to be a nervous, timid nerdy kid, but then turns out to be more of a rebellious, edgy nerdy kid, which is more in line with the recent social acceptance of nerds and geeks. With the entire cast being composed of nerds, the film showcases a real love for robotics and technology, something I always love to see in cinema.

HiroBored

Visually, the movie is glorious. I still think Tangled is the best textured computer animated film to date, but the flight scenes are How to Train Your Dragon good. I also don’t think I’ve seen as many moving pieces in an computer animated film besides maybe The Lego Movie and Up’s balloon sequence, as the villain’s technology requires impeccable animation. What really sets Big Hero 6 apart from any other animated movie I’ve seen is the size of its setting, a fictional fusion of San Fransisco and Tokyo. It’s gigantic. And it’s probably the largest playground an animated action film has had to work with since the jungle chase scene in The Incredibles. Also, the lighting is quite remarkable, made more obviously by the short that precedes Big Hero 6, Feast. My enthusiasm for the eye-candy, however, was off-set by some really bad soundtrack choices.

SanFransokyo

Comparisons will inevitably be made to The Incredibles, and even as I think The Incredibles is overrated, I would take The Incredibles over Big Hero 6. While Big Hero 6 is more fun and upbeat, a winning trend of Disney’s newest batch of movies, at least The Incredibles was original. Big Hero 6 is a standard, rather predictable superhero origin story, with the exception of maybe one twist. Like almost all superhero movies these days, it seems a sequel is destined, but I can’t say I’m too upset by this. I’m actually sort of excited to see where Disney can go with this set up.

People may be wondering, “Why follow the success of Frozen with this superhero flick?” I mean, Disney didn’t. It takes at least 2 years to produce an animated film (of Disney and Pixar’s caliber), so Big Hero 6 was already well underway as Frozen premiered to great success. Disney had already bought Marvel, so they now had access to Marvel characters. It makes sense that Disney do something besides the Broadway musical, because the Disney Renaissance proved its fallibility. Many fellow bloggers have compared Frozen to the likes of The Lion King and predicted Big Hero 6 to falter just like Pocahontas did. The difference here is that Disney learned their lesson, and as a result, Disney animation has had their longest stretch of diverse and fresh films in its new computer medium: Bolt, Tangled, Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen, and now, Big Hero 6. It goes to show that the musical format is not a necessity for Disney, as the studio is consistently nailing its comic relief characters, pacing, and jokes.

BaymaxHiro

While I would have liked to have cared more for the main human characters, this movie is more about the connections between its characters than liking the characters themselves. Baymax constantly asks, “Are you satisfied with your care?” But with the last few times he says it, it’s more like he’s saying, “Are you satisfied with this movie?” I can’t imagine anybody saying no at that moment when Baymax asks those questions. As long as you have your expectations straight, I guarantee that you will have a good time.

Final Grade: B- (81%)–An average superhero story turned into something more through a touching friendship.

Stay after if you're into post-credit scenes!

Stay after if you’re into post-credit scenes!

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17 thoughts on “Big Hero 6 (2014)

  1. I have watched and read some reviews on the film, and most (if not all) of the reviews said that the movie is predictable, but Baymax gave the film an extra edge. I can tell that this film is not going to be a favorite of mine, but I am interested to see it.

    Did you hear about Moana being pushed up 2 years, and it being released in 2016?

    • Hey animatedkid! Thanks for commenting.

      I have read many reviews similar to mine, so it seems I am in agreement with the general consensus this time around. It certainly isn’t my favorite film, but I think you won’t regret seeing it in theaters 🙂 Disney has been really consistent as of late, and I can’t wait for Moana. I never heard of it until you brought it up, but I just did some research on it. Is it both hand animated and computer animated? I’m a bit confused on that.

  2. This is actually the first review I’ve read on this movie – hoping to write mine tonight. I was with you until you said the Incredibles was overrated 🙂 your review does sound about right, and even though I saw most of the twists coming, I still thought they were done well enough that I didn’t care and just fell in love with the movie.

    • Whoo I’m glad my review reached you. I’ll be sure to head over to your site and catch your review, whenever it’s up. It’s interesting that you were agree with most of my points and end up at a different conclusion. I can’t say I loved the movie, but I definitely liked it. I guess we offer different perspectives since you know superhero movies a lot more and I’ve been focusing on animated movies the past year or so. Can’t wait for your review!

  3. Glad to know you enjoyed it! I haven’t seen it yet, but I can’t wait to! Judging by the reviews, it might even top Lion King in terms of ratings! (Last I checked, the IMDb score was 8.5)

    • Yeah, people have been receptive to Big Hero 6. I think as is the case with almost all new movies, the hype will fade away and it will stabilize well below Lion King on IMDb (7.6-7.9 is my guess at this point). But who knows! Maybe it will stick. Hope you enjoy it when you get the chance to watch it yourself!

      • Hey, update from the future! Just saw the movie, and I really enjoyed it! A little on the predictable side, and would have liked more screen time for the villain, but still thought it was a good film!

      • Hey Nat! I too thought it was a bit predictable, and I agree the villain could have used a bit more screen time. Baymax and his relationship with Hiro saved the movie for me! Glad you liked it.

  4. Fun review. It really is glorious to look at. I really enjoyed it and bonded more with the characters than some but I totally get a B-. Very fair review.

      • If pushed I would have to agree that The Incredibles is better but only because the villain there is so great and there is more tension. But I thought this wasn’t far behind and I am not normally a superhero movie person.

  5. Pingback: Zootopia (2016): Marks a Utopian Time for American Animation | taestful reviews

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