From the obscure recesses of the Marvel Comics Universe to big-screen via Disney, the animated adventure Big Hero 6 follows a team of super-genius teenagers turned into superheroes after the tragic death of the elder brother of 13 year old prodigy Hiro Hamada, voiced by Ryan Potter.
Hiro inherits his late brother’s, Tadashi, voiced by Daniel Henney, final invention: an inflatable health care supervisor named Baymax, voiced by Scott Adsit, and they stumble across a man in a kabuki mask who intends to do them serious harm using a vast score of micro-sized robots capable of taking any shape and perform any command. Hiro and Baymax, alongside Gogo, voiced by Jamie Cheung, Fred, voiced by T.J. Miller, Wasabi, voiced by Damon Wayans Jr., and Honey Lemon, voiced by Genesis Rodriguez, pool their intelligence and resources together to find this mysterious foe and stop him from carrying out his mysterious yet dangerous intentions.
Big Hero 6 has creativity, vivid use of color and imagery and a solid story behind the visuals. It isn’t Disney’s best animated work to date, but it has merit to be among the best animated films of the year.
Where it succeeds is where many superhero stories have begun: integrating the use of tragedy to begin the hero arc for its main characters, Hiro and Baymax, and taking certain cues from past superhero movies including Iron Man and Spider-Man to give the story a sense of familiarity.
Big Hero 6 should strike audiences as the most colorful animated films in terms of imagery. The film is bright and distinct in its range of color usage, but that is where the sole value of the film lies.
Beneath the color, Big Hero 6 ranks as simply average. There is hardly any surprise or originality to this movie, in terms of plot, character, writing; directors Don Hall and Chris Williams and the screenwriting team of Jordan Roberts, Robert L. Baird and Daniel Gerson definitely give a good effort in trying to appeal to their audiences, children and comic book lovers, but, like the character of Baymax, there is hardly any personality; it comes off as very robotic at times.
Every twist and turn, is quite predictable and it is disappointing because there is no indication that Disney is trying to do something different like their last films such as Frozen, Brave and Wreck-It-Ralph or even their most successful films of the last few years such as WALL-E or Up.
Quite simply, the character of Baymax is the embodiment of Big Hero 6. It is robotic, lacks a sense of humor, it tries to be something that it isn’t and underneath it all, it just lacks a certain personality to really come through as a clear winner.
This movie will win children over though. Superhero features have a tendency to attract a large crowd, especially when it comes to children and this movie is especially marketed for young children in its use of promoting Baymax as a new age teddy bear.
Speaking from a personal tone, it was difficult to like this movie because of certain issues I have with Disney at the moment. I wanted to like Big Hero 6 a lot more than I did, but it was hard to be objectionable in terms of reviewing this film because of certain events that angered me with Disney.
Also, I didn’t exactly fit the film’s target audience and Big Hero 6 was a movie that felt as if it was trying too hard to live up to the expectations of last year’s big animated smash from Disney: Frozen. It was trying to hard to give dimension to the main characters of Hiro, Wasabi, Honey Lemon, Gogo and Fred, characters I simply found shallow and not entirely developed and it was trying to promote Baymax hard, the story behind it was rather safe compared to other notable Disney animated adventures and for a superhero movie, it felt really downgraded in trying to appeal towards children.
Adults who take their children to see this movie, will feel the babysitter effect: in taking the children to see this movie, they will be entertained while the adults will have an opportunity to relax and unwind for a few hours because Big Hero 6 will offer next to nothing for older audiences.
Big Hero 6 is a very beautiful animated adventure, but it isn’t Disney’s most aspiring product; it plays too safe compared to other works. Colorful visuals with a very bland story texture beneath it will charm children but it won’t win the adults in the same way.