This week we’ll be taking a look at Big Hero 6, Marvel’s first animated superhero film. Directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams, it stars Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit and Jamie Chung. It is rated PG for action and peril, some rude humor, and thematic elements.
Big Hero 6 follows young genius Hiro Hamada, who develops a close bond with a inflatable robot named Baymax. When an “accident” destroys his greatest invention and takes away his closest friend, Hiro turns to Baymax and his close, genius friends to help solve the mystery that lies behind the accident.
8.5 out of 10
Before I start, a side note: Will cannot write a post without making a snarky comment about me, so I don’t think you should take anything he says too seriously
However, I would be lying if I told you he was wrong about Big Hero 6. It is exciting, funny, and heartwarming and never relents. While it does get a little bit silly here or there, its execution is perfect.
The animation is among the best I’ve ever seen. Every character is so interesting, thanks a lot to their unique, subtle features. For example, each of their hairstyles are so different, a detail small but important in creating the chemistry that is crucial to enjoying the film. The actions and movements are so smooth, creating an exciting and intense environment that is filled with entertaining action sequences. Each of the characters’ superpowers is so unique, and the incredible animation only aids in making the movie so entertaining.
Even furthermore, beyond simple animation, these characters are remarkable in their own individual light. Each of them is different, both in powers and in personality. The difference between Baymax (a silly little blob shaped robot) and Hiro (a brash, intelligent, and scrawny human-being) is what makes the movie so heartwarming. The connection they form is gradual and we are watching every step of the way, which is what keeps us so invested in the movie. Big Hero 6 is entertaining and emotionally grasping because its characters are just that.
The plot is really well done The concept isn’t too innovative or stunningly brilliant– I predicted the supposedly surprise twist towards the beginning of the movie– but all the aforementioned details of the story, characters, etc behind it make it incredibly interesting. As a result, the storytelling is easy and smooth as silk. Everything is in the (relative) realm of believability. There are virtually no plot holes or random plot details that make absolutely no sense. The only time I was annoyed was when I was a bit confused as to why Hiro, an alleged super genius, couldn’t even come up with a theory about who the antagonist was, but this took away nothing from the movie.
I do agree with what Will said when he claimed that the first half of the movie is better than the second half. It trends towards being repetitive with the action sequences and dialogue. Mix that with the silliness of the movie in general, which was acceptable during the first half, and the movie got a little incredulous. It definitely could have been worse, which is why I’m not up in arms over it. It only accounts for why I didn’t enjoy the second half of the movie nearly as much as I enjoyed the first half, and why I chose to gave it an 8.5. However, this really says more about how good the first half of the movie was rather than how poor the second half was.
Overall, this movie was excellent and definitely worth a watch in theaters. The environment–one that featured 200 children laughing every second– was great (though I’m not sure if I was laughing at the kids or laughing at the movie). While I personally don’t feel it is as good as The Lego Movie simply because it isn’t as smart or relentlessly entertaining, Big Hero 6 is still a great movie nonetheless. It was definitely a movie I didn’t expect to see myself paying to see in theaters, but I’m glad I did end up seeing it anyway.
Yes, I know that this is the third straight nine that I’ve given. I don’t want you or anyone else in the hordes of Screenwars readers to think that I’m not critical enough or that I whitewash my reviews. I just watched Braveheart, a Best Picture Winner, on Netflix and would rate it a 5. Gladiator, another Best Picture winner, is, in my opinion, a 6.5. The string of nines is due to one and only one reason: the last three films I’ve watched have all been fantastic.
First I want to talk about Feast, the animated short that precedes Big Hero 6. In it, a dog rescued off the street comes home to live with a man and rejoices in the largely human and greasy food that his owner gives him. One day, though, the man gets a girlfriend and they start eating the finer foods, like roasted Brussels sprout, much to the dogs understandable dismay (take a hint, Mom). I don’t want to spoil the ending, but throughout Feast I was laughing and thoroughly enjoying the quick allegory of the dog’s experiences and choices. The only thing that might hold it back from winning the Best Animated Short Oscar is its similarities to last year’s winner, Mr. Hublot. Both involve compromise and both involve dogs. But, overall, bravo Disney.
Feast was fantastic, but Big Hero 6 was the main event. The first thing that struck me was its animation. It was absolutely gorgeous, from the details in the characters to the sprawling cityscapes of San Fransokyo (yes, it’s a corny name). It was really the best animation I’ve ever seen, much like The Incredibles was way back in 2004. The character movement was smooth and the environmental details sharp. The animation was truly top-notch.
What really shined the Big Hero 6 were its characters. Baymax, Hiro’s big, squishy, marshmallow looking robot was simultaneously hilarious and endearing. I can’t count how many times I was bellowing with laughter at Baymax’s oblivious comments and heartfelt sentiments towards Hiro, a young boy distraught after a familial tragedy. Hiro, too, was awesome, full of humor and teenage exasperation. Scott Adsit and Ryan Potter really did fantastic work as Baymax and Hiro.
Through the first hour of the movie I was in love. I was thinking that, just maybe, this might be the best animated movie of all time. It was that good. Unfortunately, towards the middle and end the plot development and character decisions started to get a little bit muddled and ridiculous (even for an animated movie), and it felt like the movie was trying to shove its message down you throat. The only reason that this movie isn’t at a 10.0 is because of the heavy-handedness of the last third of the film.
Still, though, Big Hero 6 is definitely worth a trip to the movie theater. It is sure to entertain all audiences; it’s colorful, slapstick moments will entertain younger crowds and its deeper, occasionally inappropriate humor will keep the parents interested (while flying safely over the heads of any children present). At the theater when Vig and I were watching the movie, a mother and son sat right in front of us. Throughout the entire film, both were laughing uncontrollably, as was the rest of the theater, which is a true testament to just how effective Big Hero 6 was.
Any other year, this movie would be the frontrunner for the Best Animated Feature Oscar. It is right up there in my opinion with the Incredibles, Shrek, Finding Nemo, Toy Story, and The Lego Movie. The problem, though, is that The Lego Movie will also be contending for top dog at the Oscars this year. I would cast a ballot in favor of Big Hero 6, but I know Vig will probably lean towards the Lego Movie. Just keep in mind that his favorite movie is the flat, problematic, and laughable Forrest Gump.
Like Big Hero 6? Hate it? Let us know in the comment section below.