This delightful animation and its lovable icon is a legacy here to stay
Warning: Spoilers ahead!
Disney has done it again. Big Hero 6 may look like feel-good action cartoon packed with laughs, but it’s all lies. It wasn’t just fun and games – there were many moments I wasn’t emotionally prepared for.
One minute I was munching on popcorn and happily enjoying a fantastical superhero movie. The next minute, I found myself weeping uncontrollably underneath my 3-D glasses.
It’s like they have discovered the magical formula for an emotional rollercoaster – one which I would gladly sit through again and again.
Hiro the Hero
Big Hero 6 follows 13-year-old tech prodigy Hiro Hamada (voiced by Ryan Potter), who dabbles in underground robot fights with his wicked machine. His older brother, Tadashi (Daniel Henney), craftily steers him towards the prestigious robotics programme at his own University.
After seeing Tadashi’s awesomely cute and cuddly invention, a white balloon-like healthcare assistant called Baymax (Scott Adsit), Hiro is convinced about joining the programme.
Now brace yourself for the waterworks [and the spoiler ahead]. Just as the two brothers share a nice blissful moment, Tadashi is killed. Hiro plunges into depression, cooping himself up in the room he used to share with his brother.
One day, Hiro stubs his toe and yells “ouch”. This activates Baymax, the legacy that Tadashi left behind, and it begins bobbing about, helping Hiro to grieve and move on.
Except that this grieving entails some superhero fighting and action, as Hiro and Baymax uncover a twisted mess of conspiracies behind Tadashi’s death.
A Big Adventure
Joining the motley revenge crew are Tadashi’s schoolmates: Wasabi (Damon Wayans Jr), Honey Lemon (Génesis Rodríguez), GoGo Tomago (Jamie Chung), and Fred (TJ Miller). If you want some explanation to their funny names, you’ll have to watch the movie!
The team hunts down the perpetrator of Tadashi’s death, thus forming the titular “Big Hero 6”. There’s something hilarious about watching the white inflated giant that is Baymax bouncing and wiggling and getting stuck in windows.
It’s almost therapeutic, and it helped me to cope after all that crying from Tadashi’s death. Well, Baymax is a healing assistant after all.
But don’t let your guard down – there are more tears to come. Disney teases out every emotion such that you’ll question how much your stomach can hurt from laughing, and how much the human heart can ache.
In one striking scene (among many), Hiro watches footage of Tadashi testing the Baymax prototype, when Tadashi says: “Don’t give up, I believe in you… You’re going to help so many people.” Cue hysterical sobbing.
There are also twists in the story that will floor you, and subtly radical details that will overturn your expectations. For example, the film entertains our fantasy of vigilantism and revenge, but shows that ultimately, there are legal consequences to be faced.
Needs More Character
But like how Hiro was grieving over Tadashi’s death, I have slight grievances about Big Hero 6 too.
For one, the film is set in the fictional metropolis San Fransokyo, a portmanteau of America’s San Francisco and Japan’s Tokyo. I couldn’t see how this mash of cultures added value to the movie.
San Fran and Tokyo are international cities, and I bet you could find the same hybrid mix of people and landscapes in each city without having to clash the two together.
I also felt shortchanged about the other four heroes that accompany Hiro and Baymax. I walked away knowing way more about the robot than those human characters, and I felt like there was more to the Big Hero 6 team than we were shown.
But all in all, it’s a lively and moving story that the whole family can enjoy, giggles guaranteed. Be sure to watch it in 3-D – the art and animation will really pop out, creating a highly engaging experience. The 3-D glasses can also hide your tears.
Tip: Stay for the end-credits scene for a special guest appearance!
By Pamela Chow
See our special behind-the-scenes feature here!
Big Hero 6 [PG]
Directors: Don Hall, Chris Williams
Starring: Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit, TJ Miller, Jamie Chung, Damon Wayans
Genre: Action, Comedy
Run Length: 100 min
Release: 13 Nov