Review of ‘Big Hero 6’
Submitted by: EJ Newbold
My Rating: 9/10
I had been lucky enough to see a preview of ‘Walt Disney Studios’ newest computer animated film on Sunday 4th January, where agonisingly the official release is 30th January 2015 for other film goers.
With ‘Big Hero 6’ being a highly anticipated film I was shamelessly impatient to see it, after hearing about it early summer 2014 and teased for months over clips of the character introductions. With the trailer [see below] the amazing story synopsis drew me in.
From the teasers, use of music as well as the CG models and set design that had been shared, I was extremely hyped up even making my way into the screening and my seat, where I was not surprisingly joined by others in their 20s as well as a few families.
Walt Disney is loved by all ages and I for one was proudly brought up on them in my childhood, my younger-self echoed in me as the smile grew when the title appeared on the silver screen and the film began.
Co-directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams, Big Hero 6 is a fast-paced computer animation with a deeper narrative than what is set up through the teasers. Yes, it’s about the bond that is developed with the main protagonist of 14-year-old roboticist Hiro Hamada (Ryan Potter) and Baymax (Scott Adsit) – the blow up robot that his older brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney) had created to give personal assistance to those in need within healthcare – who join forces with first time with some unexpected others to fight together, but it’s also a coming-of-age story. It covers themes of loss, compassion, self-doubt, healing and friendship. You learn that with the help and support of those around you, you can achieve anything you can set your mind to and in this film that’s definitely in more ways than one…
I feel that “finding you’re potential” is the most prominent theme in the film and as a teenager Hiro is at the age where he has to make decisions; something that Tadashi feels as he may not be taking seriously.
We are introduced to Hiro and his interests through his attempts of winning against champion Mr. Yama in the illegal underground bot fight and learn that even though he has pride in things he can achieve, despite his intelligence he’s very young, shy and awkward. This changes when Baymax is introduced into his life and when we understand Tadashi’s devotion in his work. Hiro becomes more appreciative and outgoing and this’ weaved through the rest of the story with the help of the new unbreakable bond.
With being the founder of the Big Hero 6, Hiro helps Tadashi’s six best friends form their super-heroic suits with the science they’ve created to help protect future city of San Fransokyo against the super villain as Yokai has his own mastermind for vengeance.
I have to admit this scene was my favourite of all the film; it made me laugh and smile. There is some great cinematography with the use of lighting, different camera angles and editing that showed the development of each of the characters customising their suits – I loved it! It’s also backed with Fall Out Boy’s song ‘Immortals’ they wrote especially for the Disney film… it’s Fall Out Boy, how can you not like it?!
There were several funny scenes, such as those in the trailers with Baymax following the butterfly as well as when he’s with the cat (while low on battery) as he repeating states “hairy baby!” drunkenly petting Mochi. Though happily Disney hadn’t included all the humorous parts of the film getting an audience to watch it, these are still some of my favourite parts.
They provoked laughs from the audience along with a few other clever moments in the script that you automatically smirk at when shown. As they’re key story elements I won’t ruin it, but I will say to enjoy the sections where we’re shown more of San Fransokyo city with Baymax.
When Disney had obtained Marvel they wanted to bring an aspect of it into the animation world but not around one of its bigger titles. The film is based on the comics of the same name but the boy-genius Hiro having a close relationship with robot Baymax is what they’ve developed around and with concepts and modelling other ideas other characters have been re-invented.
While watching Big Hero 6, it’s obvious that there’s major inspiration of anime, robots and Japanese pop culture. The quirky city hybrid name I find clever (San Francisco and Tokyo) as the film shares many references of both places – stereotypical as well as designed based – as if it was actually a comic book animated on screen. This is shown through the character holding poses for longer and the clever use of space in the scenes like each part is a section of a comic strip.
The small details made it for me from the floating balloon cats Hiro and Baymax end up lazing across, to the lanterns and Japanese architecture styles that are spotted on traditional Muromachi period buildings with their curved roofs and decorated posts.
The water and cloud simulations blew me away especially when of Hiro and Baymax fly around the San Fransoyko Bridge. It reminded me somewhat of Hiccup and Toothless from ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ as exploring new places as well as Baymax being dependant of Hiro to fly.
I know there was more a lot more rendering for this film over the other Disney Box Office films (Tangled, Wreck it Ralph, Frozen…) and this is obviously why Big Hero 6 is stunning. Even the use of colours and how the matte painters and artists have toned the environments and textured items that we see is aesthetically pleasing.
I watched it in 3D and though thought that items may have come out of the screen like other 3D films have, this one didn’t. However, I feel that the details and Baymax in general looked more realistic than if I had seen it in normal 2D. It felt also suitable to watch it in 3D especially knowing the stories technological aspects of the film within the science, ‘Microbots’ and robots.
Throughout Big Hero 6 there are many voices used within the characters you may recognise such as Stan Lee’s cameo, T.J Miller who plays fanboy Fred (How to Train your Dragon 1 & 2/She’s Out of My League), Jamie Chung as Go Go (The Hangover) as well as Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids) who plays Abigail.
The main voices you may identify however are Dan Howell and Phil Lester (danisnotonfire and AmazingPhil) who cameo as technicians 1 and 2. You should have seen my face when I thought I had heard them in the flashback… and yes, this is confirmed, ironically days after I had actually watched it. Though Dan and Phil only seem to be voice overs in the UK version, not any international, and it’s a very small part, I find that their voices are suited well for the CG world.
Overall though the action adventure is family orientated and a bit predictable in what happens in the narrative, I recommend it to all as it’s an amazing Marvel Disney film. It’s Walt Disney’s 54th animation and one I will be happy to watch again and add to my DVD collection.
Even days after me watching it, the “they live on through you” aspect of the film is still intense. I don’t think you’ll be leaving the screening without going through a bit of heartache or getting quite emotional.
KUDOS to the Walt Disney team, I fully believe this film will do great in the upcoming awards it’s been nominated for from BAFTAs, Golden Globes to The Academy Awards for ‘Best Animated Feature Film’ these coming months!
US Official trailer:
‘Meet the Team’ clip:
Stan Lee Cameo Featurette: