Thursday, November 13, 2014


Disney Animation's features tend to have their high and low points for me. I get something really good like Tangled one year, then another year there'll be something like Frozen, which was a really big hit, but which I personally found to be pretty mediocre. The newest release for this winter-time is in the form of 'Big Hero 6', and for me it is a Great Big Hit!

The story follows a young lad, Hiro Hamada and his older brother Tadashi. Both orphaned and adopted by their aunt, and both who are geniuses in robotics. However, while Tadashi spends his talents trying to create a robot named 'Baymax' whose purpose is to be a medical assistant that helps people, Hiro spends his creating battling robots to use in robot death matches and illegal betting. Tadashi tries to steer Hiro into a more productive direction by introducing him to his College lab and classmates at their city's Institute of Technology led by a well renowned professor. Hiro, impressed, tries to earn an application by creating something for school's expo in order to earn entry at his young age. However, a tragic occurrence leads to Hiro not only losing his creation, but also a loved one. Hiro deals with this loss by cutting himself off from everyone. His state activates his brother's robot Baymax who tries to help Hiro cope with his loss. As Hiro tries to get along with his brother's bumbling creation, he discovers that there might've been foul play involved that led to the theft of his creation and so with Baymax's help, he seeks to uncover the truth and confront the culprit who looks to unleash something dangerous upon the city using Hiro's own technology.

Not since the Incredibles have we got a great ensemble animated hero movie, and Big Hero 6 acts as a sort of origin story that looks to most definitely deliver more in the future with Hiro, Baymax, and Hiro's friends who come to his aid when called upon. Each of these characters are humorous and geniuses in their own way by utilizing their own research to put together a super-team in order to help Hiro and stop the villain. A very endearing cast that we'll definitely enjoy seeing more of. The star of the show in undoubtedly Baymax, the fluffy blow-up helper robot and his bubbly nature who tries his best to understand and help Hiro along with the world around him.

Disney also looks to have come a long way in the CG department as technically I was wowed by the amount of detail from the background work, textures and crowd detail! It also helps that the creators went for a wild city in the form of 'San Fran Sokyo' a mix of American and Japanese aesthetics that really work well. According to the film's art director, the logical explanation for how San Francisco became this was was due to an Earthquake which found the city rebuilt by Japanese immigrants. I recall this was going to be a similar approach by whoever was trying to make a live-action Akira set in New York instead of Tokyo... Anyway, the scenery is definitely one of the film's finest visual strengths from its urban environment to the metropolis sections, even incorporating forward-thinking technology such as air balloon windmills and other cool things.

I managed to watch the film in 3-D and like most animated features it will benefit the visuals, though can also be perfectly enjoyed without them. Though that could just be because of the setup at the theatre I was in which felt a bit dark. But if you have a 3-D capable television at home, then you will likely enjoy it better on there as most people do. But what the theatre will have the benefit of is a Dolby ATMOS setup, which you should really try for in order to get the best experience. Either way, whichever way you choose to watch it, Big Hero 6 is a winner for Disney, and makes me anticipate seeing more from this franchise in the future and the interesting things it sets up with regards to a larger expanded universe?

A question that Big Hero 6 raised was whether or not the film in some way was benefiting from Disney's buyout of Marvel Comics. And indeed we can see some of Marvel's fingerprints all over the place. If you're looking carefully, you'll notice them alongside shout-outs to anime favourites as well! And I definitely recommend staying in your seat until after the credits have rolled!

Well paced, with great action, great humour, and some of the best animated visuals Disney has ever put on screen, with the only fault I can think of being some plot moments of contrived convenience, you certainly won't regret the overall good Big Hero 6 will do for your movie-going health! And if you love what you see, then drop by our store to grab the art book!