A great film whizzing with colourful and cuddly delight, ‘Big Hero 6’ delivers on fun, adventure and heart in perfect equal measure combining the welcoming animation of Disney with action packed superhero sequences for the Marvel crowds. The look of the entire movie is beautiful with detail in every city corner and the story packs a robotic punch as you root for the central boy to overcome his emotional darkness.
13 year old Hiro Hamada (Ryan Potter) is keen on tech wizardry and uses his know how to compete in illegal Bot Fights but on seeing the amazing Nerd Lab school that his brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney) attends, Hiro becomes set on creating a new invention that will please his mentor brother and school professor Robert Callaghan (James Cromwell), but Hiro’s microbots are something that a villainous masked figure wants and soon he and Tadashi’s lab mates must unite with a wonderful inflatable healthcare robot named Baymax (Scott Adsit) to stop the bad guy.
The animation of this film is just brilliant. Detailing of the San Fransokyo city is captivating and the place breathes exhilarating life, mixing concrete aspects of America and the sweeping Golden Gate Bridge with a cool oriental flavour dotting the streets and shops. The characters themselves are really well done, still sitting in that general Disney appearance but skin, hair and rubber inflation texture are crystal clear and entice you in. It would be nice for Disney to have differing characters that Dreamworks utilise more often, as girls always look the same and for a Japanese inspired creation they look more American than not.
The notion of good versus evil isn’t tiresome as it can always be used to pull the wonder of children and adults alike. The way this film expands is nice, in opening us to the struggle of Hiro’s world after a personal tragedy. The trailer of course gives away the loss but that doesn’t make the event any less impacting as we see how Hiro deals with trying to fight back against the person who killed his brother. As Hiro goes on a course of discovery and what is right and wrong in the light of an easy revenge path you feel for Baymax and the Nerd group caught up in trying to help.
Baymax is a sweet and cute tool and moving from the monster origin he has in the comics, we get a designed balloon nurse who shuffles along like a dopey marshmallow with blinking eyes and the softest voice to melt even the iciest hearts. The comedy comes a lot from how Baymax deals with his surroundings, from diagnosing Hiro to getting used to his space and fleeing swarming microbots. It’s a character that may even capture kids imaginations long enough to take over from the wave of Elsa fanatics.
Henry Jackman’s score is uplifting and booms with that recognisable tension of music used in live action superhero movies. The elevating sounds and big beats make the heroic set-ups more impressive and the orchestral overtones of Baymax’s first flight are done so well to make the flying scene more evocative as this big invention sees the world in a new way as we do too. Fall Out Boy’s ‘Immortals’ track comes into the film and over the credits as a rocky pumping tune and works nicely, not feeling out of place like Rihanna’s song in ‘Wreck-it Ralph’.
Scott Adsit from ’30 Rock’ fame and hilarity manages to give wonderful warmth to a robotic character and Baymax sounds truly loyal and caring while still maintaining a emotive and humourous quality. Ryan Potter is a great leading vocal talent with little film or TV experience to date he makes Hiro a realistic lad to follow. James Cromwell uses that assured and gravelly tone to make Robert sound like the intelligent professor he is. T.J. Miller gets a lot of the comedic lines as hero obsessed Fred Zilla and the hint of stoner teen is not pushed but there enough for him to play with. In fact all the players of the team Big Hero 6 sound right and give their characters depth to stand up as their own identities, whether flame breathing or chemistry mad.
This is a delight of a film, feeling happily different to past Disney efforts and in my eyes overshadowing the overrated ‘Frozen’ phenomenon. Bursting with futuristic innovations and a unique Japanese city inspiration this movie plays on themes of heroism, grief and friendship to excellent standards and is full of enjoyable feels.