Starring the voices of: Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit, Daniel Henney, T.J. Miller, Jamie Chung, Daman Wayans Jr., Genesis Rodriguez, Alan Tudyk, Maya Rudolph, James Cromwell.
Rated: PG. Animated. Running Time: 1 hour 42 minutes.
From the Disney team that brought us the recent classics Frozen and Wreck-It-Ralph, their most recent offering Big Hero 6, may not quite measure up to the high bar those films set; but it’s not far off. Hiro Hamada (Potter) and his older brother Tadashi (Henney) are genius quality minds, growing up in the fictitious, hybrid city of San Fransokyo. Tadashi spends his days at “Nerd” University with a group of fellow geniuses, pushing the envelope on cutting edge robotics & technological inventions, designed to further mankind. Hiro, who is 14, may be the smartest of them all, but he’d rather hustle money at underground robot fights than waste his time in school. That all changes one day after he gets pinched by the cops and Tadashi has to bail him out. He subsequently brings Hiro to Nerd U., and the younger boy realizes that this is where he truly belongs. Shortly thereafter, we meet Baymax (Adsit), a Michelin Man looking creation of Tadashi’s, that is programmed to diagnose and treat human beings with pains or ailments. Baymax is easily the most endearing mechanical creation since Wall-E. It isn’t long before a text book Disney catastrophe strikes and the movie spirals off into a different direction.
I wasn’t thrilled about the idea of a fictional, hybrid city, but once I got over San Fransokyo, I saw there were many things to enjoy about Big Hero 6. It was continuously entertaining with much of the story centering around the action that ensues when Hiro investigates the disappearance of his sought after invention: microbots. Some clever, yet simple humor fuels the sometimes dark storyline. And Baymax lightens up the scene with his benevolent nature, which off sets his larger than life, and sometimes spaces, appearance. It was no surprise to me that this was the work of the Man of Action writer’s collective, which also spearheaded the Ben 10 series. There are some obvious similarities surrounding the style, tone and execution between the Ben 10 series and the MOA’s first silver screen debut, Big Hero 6. They filtered in some good lessons involving family and loyalty, which I always like to see. And they even figured in a nice little twist. But of course, Ross Gallo knew what was going on the whole time, as he so often does.
I am kind of tuned in lately. We watched a movie on HBO the other night, Fierce People (not bad by the way), and I nailed the perp in that one quickly too. Big Hero 6 does have a bit of a twist, but the heart of the movie is Hiro’s relationship with Baymax and his new found “super hero” friends. His growth from selfish boy to responsible young man and most importantly, laying the foundation for what promises to be another multi-million dollar franchise. I’m not knocking that at all, I can’t wait to see the next Lego Movie, but make no mistake, BH6 is only the first installment. It is certainly worthy of the chance, as these Caucasians with Japanese names are a force to be reckoned with. Add in their exotic yet still familiar Japerican hometown, the technology on display, and all the writers need to do is create a villain worthy of the 6.
I have no beef with franchises, but one thing I find incredibly irksome is the necessity to split every final installment into two parts, i.e. The Harry Potters, Twilight, and more recently The Hunger Games. It is a total money grab. I wish I could say that I am protesting such ludicrous Capitalism, but I will be going to see Mockingjay parts I & II. And don’t let Ross fool you, he hasn’t been tuned in lately – he’s ALWAYS tuned in. And he was right on point with Big Hero 6. This is a must see for those of you with boys, especially if they have gravitated towards Ben 10. This film has a nice mixture of sci-fi and action that will help keep your attention as well.
Ross’ Rating: 3.5 Gummy Bears out of 5.
Maria’s Rating: 3 Gummies.