Disclaimer: When I first began reviewing movies I promised that I would never review an animated film because I’m (not so) secretly a child at heart. I only broke that promise once, with The Secret World of Arriety because, c’mon. But now that I’m actually working with a team of (awesome) writers, I have no choice but to relax my stance and review whatever comes my way.
That was basically a long-winded way of saying that the following review is going to contain bias because I was too busy being entertained to remotely deconstruct this film.
With that out of the way, Big Hero 6 was lots and lots of fun. The advertisements do an excellent job of showing the viewer what kind of movie it is without revealing any of the details. Sure, there’s a kid inventor and a robot that looks like a huggable balloon but there’s so much more to it.
Set in the fictional world of San Franokyo, the film begins with Hiro (Ryan Potter) entering a tiny robot into an underground robot death battle. Despite the harmless appearance of both Hiro and the robot, there’s much more here than meets the eye. Soon we are introduced to Hiro’s older brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney) and discover that both of them are geniuses. In an effort to refocus his little brother’s ambitions, Tadashi shows him the robotics lab at the university he attends. He also shows Hiro his own experiment, a medical robot named Baymax.
Hiro is immediately smitten with the endless possibilities and begins working on a robotics project that may get him accepted into the university. He invents microbots that can be controlled with a transmitter and demonstrates their ability to create, transport and build. This wins him an invitation to join the university.
Unfortunately Hiro’s experiment is stolen and things go downhill fast. Stuff happens and he and Baymax encounter a masked man who seems to have stolen the microbots. At this point Hiro vows to both stop and unmask the man with the help of Baymax and a few of his classmates.
They work together using their scientific knowledge and build themselves outfits so they can challenge the masked man and his (her?) microbot minions.
What I like most about Big Hero 6 is that it doesn’t coddle the audience. Yes, it’s ostensibly a children’s film but when the emotions flow they’re not held back. There is sadness, jubilation, anger and joy present within the film. By the end of the movie I found myself genuinely liking every character on screen.
The plot is fantastic and it’s no surprise that this is loosely based on a Marvel comic series of the same name. There is actual characterization at work here. Despite being animated, everyone is more three-dimensional than most recent films can boast.
Obligatory: The voice acting is excellent and the animation is gorgeous. It feels like they hired an expert fight choreographer to help them with the action scenes.
If you’re looking to take your kids to a film that won’t bore you, check out Big Hero 6. The only downside is that we probably won’t ever get to see them show The Avengers how to really kick ass.
Top image © Disney.