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Film Review: Big Hero 6 (2014)

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Walt Disney’s latest flick, Big Hero 6, is without a doubt one of the best action-packed animated films in recent history. Filled with plenty of heart and laughter, you will embark on a unique adventure with Hiro Hamada and Baymax to save the city from destruction. Big Hero 6 is ultimately the sequel to Disney-Pixar’s The Incredibles that we haven’t got yet — possibly better.

Directed by Don Hall (Winnie the Pooh) and Chris Williams (Frozen, Bolt), Big Hero 6 tells the story of Hiro Hamada (Ryan Potter), a 14-year-old robotics genius who lives in the futuristic city of San Fransokyo.

Spending most of his time participating in back-alley robot fights, his brother, Tadashi Hamada (Daniel Henney), decides to introduce Hiro to the world of real robotics at his university. Captivated by Tadashi’s friends and their creations, Hiro decides to apply for the university to hone his skills.

Creating a project about microbots — also known as swarms of tiny robots that can link together to form the imaginable — he gains respect from Tadashi’s professor, Professor Callaghan, and the President of Krei Tech, Alistair Krei. But when a fire breaks out on the same night, Tadashi rushes to save Professor Callaghan, but unfortunately dies in the fire along with his teacher. As a result, Hiro ends up losing his brother and his microbots creation and eventually ostracises himself from society.

Big Hero 6 is the first fully-fledged superhero film from Walt Disney Animation that surpasses previous action films such as Wreck-It-Ralph and Bolt. For a story set in a futuristic hybrid city of San Francisco and Tokyo, the film’s art direction is absolutely breathtaking and realistic in its portrayal. 

Unlike other animated films inspired by Japan’s culture such as Disney-Pixar’s Cars 3, Big Hero 6 felt naturally authentic when it comes to portraying Japanese elements. Surprisingly, no comedic puns or cliches were made about Japan, and because of this, this made Big Hero 6‘s setting wonderfully immersive for the audience.

Based on the original Marvel comic, most of the original story’s concept and characters were kept and adapted to suit Walt Disney’s audience. Mixing Marvel and Disney’s storytelling formulae into one, Big Hero 6 is basically the sequel to Disney-Pixar’s The Incredibles that we haven’t got yet. 

Big Hero 6 is an emotionally complex film that has an indepth story complete with laughter, raw emotions, and enlightening values.  After Frozen‘s success of sisters Anna and Elsa, Walt Disney has once again created another memorable duo, and this time, it is Hiro and Baymax (Scott Adsit) whom will immensely entertain the audience.

Similar to Hiccup and Toothless’s relationship from DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train a Dragon, the film enlightens the audience with morals and values about one’s identity, compassion and journey through difficult times. 

Hiro’s bold and rebellious personality may amuse us from time to time but Big Hero 6 is all about Baymax. With his inflatable marshmallow appearance and unique robotic personality, Baymax brings life onto the screen in a highly-comedic manner.  Baymax isn’t the most useful and caring individual that has been created on the planet — he is also one badass fighting robot that you don’t want to mess with.

Although it is a shame that we couldn’t get to know more about Tadashi, we got to meet his friends in his place. After encountering the Masked Man, Hiro recruits Tadashi’s friends to be part of his superhero team: GoGo, Wasabi, Honey Lemon, and Fred. These side characters perfectly played the roles of geeks transformed into superheros, but unfortunately we don’t have much insight about their characters or their bonds with Tadashi which could have added extra substance to the plot.

Probably on the same par as any Marvel movie, we must applaud Big Hero 6‘s brilliant art direction and animation of the climatic battle scene. As much we loved the epic battle between Hiro and the Masked Man, the film felt oddly intimate as the battle did not involve any other civilians and/or the overall city of San Fransokyo whatsoever. In addition to this, the film felt rushed towards the conclusion of the film, but it was ultimately Hiro and Baymax’s moving moment in the vortex that stole the spotlight. Big Hero 6 had the potential to elevate its status to something more grande, but nevertheless, this battle was quite fitting for Big Hero 6’s first real mission as a superhero group.

 22.jpgWith the ending’s cliffhanger, we can’t help but wish for a sequel as we later see the six friends continuing their exploits through the city and fulfilling Tadashi’s dream of helping those in need.

Overall: Filled with heart and humour, we highly recommend Big Hero 6 for all Walt Disney fans out there. From the story to its characters, everything about this film will captivate you and leave you wanting more adventures from this dynamic team of amateur superheros. Besides, how can you say no to more Baymax? 

Rating: 9/10

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