Once again doing a big catch up list. Here is my 8-Bit version of Seikima's Stainless Night, my first try at a Let's Play of Sanctum, the first couple episodes of The First Templar, Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders, my first impressions on EvilQuest, and my first Watches episode in almost a year.
From the makers of animated successes/cash cows, Frozen and Wreck It Ralph, comes Disney’s first dive into their recently acquired bin of Comic Book IP, Marvel's Big Hero 6. The movie is the story about a cocky child prodigy named Hiro Yamada, played by Ryan Potter, learning to cope with Disney’s continued streak of Family Murder, as his brother Tadashi is killed during a freak fire at the university Hiro planned to attend. Now shut down emotionally Hiro spends his time in a deep depression, until he accidentally activates his brother’s invention, a personal healthcare robot/walking marshmallow named Baymax played by Scott Adsit. Alongside Baymax, Hiro discovers that a masked super villain started the fire and stole one of Hiro’s inventions, miniature microbots, and is now using them to tear up San Fransokyo. Wishing to avenge his brother’s death and capture this masked foe, Hiro upgrades Baymax and four of Tadashi’s fun but weird classmates, Gogo, Honey, Wasabi and Fred, and transforms them into the super high tech and awesome superheroes. Now seeing as Big Hero 6 was based off the comic book of the same name, first things first, does it resemble the comic at all?
No. Thankfully it seems this is a reimagining of sorts, so no outside context is required to understand the movie. It’s just a story of a little brother’s depression and how one overcomes grief. The best part of the movie’s story is with the brotherly relationship between Hiro, Tadashi and oddly Baymax. Disney just seems to have a real understanding of sibling connections. Like with Lilo and Nami, Elsa and Anna and now Hiro and Tadashi, all these connections feel natural to watch and enjoy. And after the guaranteed tragedy this brotherly motif gives us a more subdued story of grief from Hiro, wanting to bottle up his sadness rather than express anything. But his brother's protector role transfers to his huggable invention Baymax, and the two continue the quasi-brother motif from then on. The best moment of Baymax and Hiro relationship is a shot of Baymax and Hiro watching the sunset as the sunlight silhouettes them. If you really look for the similarities you’ll notice the rapid growth of their connection isn’t just emotional but subtly physical which was a nice touch.
But hell you could’ve not had the scene in there and Baymax would have still sold the movie for me. Everyone in that theater I watched Big Hero 6 in with loved Baymax. Every innocent gesture, every clumsy mistake and every heartfelt pillowy soft word that came out of him invoked a grand reaction from the audience and its hard to not notice why. Design wise, like the movie states, he has a cute non-threatening look to him that makes him very naturally appealing with a big soft body and cute little eyes, and his very basic personality connects well with people on a very base level. In fact the whole relationship of Baymax and Hiro reminds me of another robot and kid combo movie I saw a while back. Can you guess which one?
Yep, The Iron Giant. In fact Big Hero 6 would what I call the Brother’s version of The Iron Giant, with its similar focus on familial and surrogate familial connections. Big Hero 6 however has one advantage over Iron Giant. It’s a Marvel Action movie so, it takes full advantage of Disney’s CG Animation department to its fullest extent, giving us some super creative fight scenes and the visual treats of seeing more “practical” super powers from the 6. The world of Big Hero immerses itself with technology that is practically used right now, the biggest example being 3D printing. The inclusion of this technology makes the world a lot more practical to view, not realistic obviously, I'll wait until I see a giant marshmallow robot flying around the city until I say that.
But what I can say is that Big Hero 6 has a fantastic grasp of animation and movement. With each of the Heroes' varied modes of motion the camera movement matches perfectly to give us the most action packed and fluent shots making every action scene a visual treat to watch. The animation itself is also very colourful and the design itself is like if you mixed the bright colours of The Incredibles and mixed it with the proportions of The Iron Giant, creating a style that's both familiar and intriguing.
But with all these positives and fun inclusions, are there any cons to this movie? Well the only con I should warn about are the side characters, Tadashi’s four university friends. They… are total stereotypes. Badass chick, the dude, the quirky girl with glasses, and the hyperactive black guy. They each fit into these stereotypical archetypes perfectly. However Big Hero 6 has two things that make these stereotypical roles barable and even a lot of fun to watch. A) Their interactions with Hiro aren’t being used to solely feul their stereotypes. Their interactions work in tandem with the themes of overcoming grief which gives each of these stereotypes a human edge to them adding some slight dimension. B) The actors who play these four, Jamie Chung, T.J. Miller, Génesis Rodríguez, and Damon Wayans, Jr., just pull off these stereotypes so well. It’s like Gus from Psych. You know how stupidly stereotypical these characters are but they’re just so good at it you don’t care either way. My favourite out of this stupidly stereotypical squad is definitely GoGo for one scene during the climax. No spoilers, but her moment just put the cherry on the total bad girl sundae of her performance. So, if you’re into these sort of stereotypical characters then enjoy, if you don’t then this maybe will be a deal breaker.
Oh yeah, don’t worry if you get sad in this movie from the dozens of scenes depicting some really soul crushing stuff. This movie is a cashcow waiting to produce some money flow. Even in the credits it was already advertising that the 3DS game was already out. So this isn’t the last time we’ll be seeing Big Hero 6, if it continues making such strong box office returns. So, what do I think overall? Big Hero 6 is a super fun movie. Despite what I mentioned about its theming, it ain’t deep by any stretch of the term. However it understands the message it wants to convey and knows how to do it in a concise and fun way with fantastic flowing action, great characters and some sublime animation. So, if you want a movie experience much in the lane as The Iron Giant, but with more punching, then check out Big Hero 6.
URGENT PS. If you do watch this movie and like it STAY UNTIL AFTER THE CREDITS. You will not be disappointed.