Big Hero 6

Hiro Hamada, voiced by Ryan Potter is a smart kid but not very ambitious. He graduated from high school in his early teens. But since then, he’s been drifting, getting into robot fighting with his advanced designs and encouraging people to underestimate him because of his youth. He has no desire to go to “geek school” like his is older brother, Tadashi, voiced by Daniel Henney.
A visit to his brother’s lab changes that, however. Tadashi has invented a robot named Baymax, voiced by Scott Adsit. Baymax is built to be a home health care robot. After seeing the robot and meeting Tadashi’s friends Hiro decides he wants to enroll, but to get in Hiro must invent something. He works on nano robots that can do almost anything just by thinking about it. Tadashi is killed in an accident at the school and Hiro’s nanobots are seemingly destroyed. Hiro goes into mourning. But when his tech shows up again and is used to attack the city by a powerful super villain, Hiro and his brother’s school friends have to fight back. The good news is they have a robot; the bad news is that the robot is programed to be friendly and nurturing and is inflatable. He doesn’t really scare anybody.
Big Hero 6 is Disney’s traditional animation division jumping on the superhero bandwagon. Unsurprisingly, given corporate connections, this movie is based on a Marvel Comics title, although loosely. The tone is not as dire as in most superhero movies. This is comedy that owes more to past Disney projects like Lilo and Stitch and Frozen than to The Avengers. But that’s alright. Superhero films are now so established that we fans don’t need to worry about another Batman and Robin. We can take a few jokes. Especially if they’re funny.
The technical aspects of Big Hero 6 are all excellent, which is hardly a surprise given the fact that it comes from Disney. The art and the animation are beautiful. Their depiction of the city, especially the seedier sides of it, is engrossing and detailed.
Unfortunately, the script, by Robert L. Baird, Daniel Gerson and Jordan Roberts based on a story idea by Roberts and one of the film’s two director Don Hall, suffers first from origin syndrome. The pace of this thing is slowed to a halt by the necessity of having to set everything up. Also there is a lack of imagination. You’ve seen all these characters before; you’re well acquainted with their motivations and you know at all times what’s coming next. This story is so hackneyed that it is really hard to immerse yourself into it, despite the pretty pictures.
Big Hero 6 is risk adverse filmmaking. Absolutely no chances were taken here. I’m not even sure kids will like it.


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November 2014
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