Director(s): Don Hall, Chris Williams
Starring: Scott Adsit (v), Ryan Potter (v), Daniel Henney (v), T. J. Miller (v)
Release Date (US): 7th November, 2014
Company: Walt Disney Animation
“On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your pain?” – Baymax
Big Hero 6 is the latest Disney animated adventure on the back of a string of recent hits that includes Wreck It Ralph and Frozen. Directed by Chris Williams (Bolt) & Don Hall (Winnie The Pooh), the movie focuses on the special-bond formed between a tech whiz kid named Hiro and a plus-size inflatable robot called ‘Baymax’. The studio demonstrates their versatility once more, this time teaming up with Marvel Comics and the wildly popular superhero genre, with this fun-filled tale about young team of high-tech heroes.
Somewhat surprisingly, Big Hero 6‘s central story is arguably more simple than other recent Disney ventures. Its key element is the friendship between a young boy and his robot – allowing for plenty of fun and laughter to ensue as the two characters bond. However, with their friendship also comes a much deeper emotional connection, which runs throughout the movie, providing the heart in this animated adventure.
Bot-fighting maestro Hiro is a teen genius who seems to permanently be at a loose end. Determined to challenge his brilliant mind, Hiro’s brother, Tadashi, encourages him to enrol at the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology. However, when one of Hiro’s inventions is stolen by a vindictive masked rogue, Hiro teams up with his fellow pupils and an inflatable robot to form a team of fighting superheroes. The plot is jarringly formulaic, but the beautiful animation and two engaging leads help keep things ticking along nicely.
“Flying makes me a better care provider.” – Baymax
Baymax has to be one of the most likeable animated characters of all-time. Honest, kind, compassionate and loyal, he’s the perfect companion – and certain to be a fan favourite amongst audiences worldwide. Yet it’s his faults that make him so god darn adorable. Big, clumsy and, at times, completely hopeless, he’s single-handedly responsible for all of the film’s funniest moments. The fact that these antics all come from a well-meaning desire to help Hiro, only makes their friendship sweeter. He is the heart and soul of this movie.
Hiro is an engaging protagonist – a Peter Parker-esque teen with a chip on his shoulder. Alongside his friendship with Baymax, his relationship with his brother, Tadashi is one of the most charming elements of the story. Sadly, the rest of the characters are a little less well fleshed-out. Fred entertains as the team’s resident Joker, but for a movie devoted to a superhero ‘team’ – there’s very little time spent on developing the other members.
Direction & Tone
I confess to having been a little underwhelmed by the tone of this movie. As a tale of friendship, it worked to perfection – but as a superhero movie? Not so much. The Incredibles and the live-action Sky High are better examples of family-friendly superhero affairs – both having fully embraced all the quirks and tropes of the superhero genre. Big Hero 6 worked emotionally, but the story felt a little bit like a missed opportunity.
- I’m not sure if I stressed enough just how entertaining Baymax was. Put it this way: I would have been content to just watch him bumbling around San Fransokyo for 120 mins. Incredibly happy, in fact.
- Somebody get Bob Iger/Disney on the phone – I’m gonna pitch them Baymax’s Big Adventure!
- If they ever do actually do a sequel, I think they should call it Big Hero 5 – and just quietly remove one of the side-characters from this movie. I bet no one would notice.
- In a very strong year for superhero movies in general, this struggles to top the likes of The Winter Soldier or X-Men – but it can boast what is arguably the best post-credits scene/easter egg of them all. I’ll say no more… but it’s brilliant.
Disney’s latest animated adventure delivers plenty of laughs, thrills and a lot fun too, but it’s hard not to see it as a step-down from the likes of Frozen or, indeed, The Incredibles. Baymax is a truly phenomenal character, and ensures the movie has plenty of heart.