Ever since the announcement that Disney bought Marvel, many were worried that we would see Hulk with Mickey Mouse ears whilst Black Widow sings about finding something bigger in the world. Luckily as a few years have gone by and with movies like the Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor the Dark World, etc., fans' worries have been suppressed. Disney has been really nice about letting Marvel do their own thing and have creative control over their films but in 2014, Disney decided to collaborate with Marvel Studios to create, by far the best animated movie of that year (at least in my opinion).
Big Hero 6 in my opinion is one of the best animated movies I've seen in the past ten years and I cannot recommend it enough.
The story is about a boy genius named Hiro Hamada who builds an invention to get into the same college as his brother but when tragedy happens, Hiro inherits a care-giving robot named Baymax. When a threat comes to the city of San Fransokyo, the young Hiro, Baymax, three geniuses, and one mascot all band together to become a new team of heroes to stop said threat.
From that synopsis, it probably sounds like a generic superhero origin story and in some spots the movie can be but that never hurts the film. The origin story for this team is very enjoyable to watch mostly because of the great chemistry between actors and characters. There are characters who you think are going to be the Jar Jar Binks of the team but end up being one of the funniest things in the film or you think one is just going to be a stereotype but ends up being the opposite. That's one of the main things I give this movie credit on: making the characters feel real. The writers of this seem to excel at this as shown in Frozen and Wreck-It Ralph. Honestly I look forward to to seeing what they come up with next in the future.
Before I talk more about the characters, first I want to discuss the setting. It is a fictional city called San Fransokyo which is basically what would happen if a futuristic Japan and a futuristic San Francisco merged together and it is absolutely amazing to look at and explore. All the many Japanese and Disney easter eggs could drive any analyzers like myself insane with happiness. In terms of fictional settings I will put San Fransokyo in my Top 5 because the very first shot of the city had me grinning.
Now time to analyze each character and voice actor to see how they did.
First there is Hiro Hamada played by Ryan Potter and he is an excellent main protagonist. You really see this young boy grow up throughout the film and Potter's voice acting is some of the best I've ever seen. The boy is a genius but they made it believable that he's this smart unlike many shows and movies where kids are geniuses. He was one of the best characters in the movie.
Hiro has a character arc throughout the film which I can't talk about without revealing spoilers so if you clicked on this, just a warning. Hiro's brother Hadashi was the victim of the tragedy I mentioned earlier and the main moral that is shown in the arc is that you can't let mourning of someone you love control you. That person maybe gone and there is nothing you can do about it but they loved you and they will always be in your heart. Cliche but really worked, especially because the villain's story reflects what could happen to Hiro if you let the tragedy control you. I'll talk about the villain in a bit.
Baymax played by Scott Adsit is one of the most lovable characters I've ever come across. He's like a giant walking plush that you just want to hug but he can also be pretty epic once he becomes a hero. He's like the Iron Giant mixed with a marshmallow. The friendship that forms between him and Hiro will make you smile from beginning to end.
Wow Disney you like to tug on our heart strings don't you? First there was Up, Toy Story 3, now Big Hero 6? You just like to see us cry. Anybody who has seen the movie knows what I'm talking about.
Next there are the other four heroes: Wasabi, Go-Go, Fred, and Honey Lemon. With those names, you are expecting some facepalm worthy characters but boy would you be wrong. Every single one of them serves a purpose, they are very likable, funny, and completely awesome heroes.
Wasabi played by Damon Wayans Jr. is someone I was extremely nervous about. I expected him to be the stereotype "cool and tough black dude with a heart and deep voice." But no, he's a nervous OCD nerd who gets one of the coolest suit and weapons on the team if not the best. He and the next character are up for being my favorite characters.
Frozen and Tangled both gave us really strong and likable female characters and they certainly did that here with Honey Lemon. Oh my god, this girl is just so darn nice and fun. She's someone that if she existed in real life, I'd just hug her any chance I got. Genesis Rodriguez who you might know from Kevin Smith's Tusk plays her and she brought the character to life. She's like the big sister you want to have. Now you would think that since she is a pretty blonde girl in a Disney movie that she'd end up being the damsel in distress and again you'd be wrong. Not once does she ever need saving and she holds her own throughout the entire film except for one part where she's caught by the villain but she finds her way out. I love that. Also her weaponry and suit are really cool as well.
Next there is Jamie Chung's character: Go-Go Tomato. Again, a tough girl but still likable. Whereas Honey Lemon was more of just the nice girl, Go-Go acts as the tough one of the group. She likes to go fast and she's good at it. She manages to out speed the villain in a minivan. Her weaponry and suit were once again great to look at, especially during the main climax.
Then there is Fred played by TJ Miller. I had just seen this actor play one of the most annoying characters the same year in Transformers Age of Extinction and I was expecting the same thing here. Much to my surprise, Fred delivered some of the funniest lines in the movie and was really likable. At first I wasn't a fan of the suit design for him but it grew on me.
Even the side characters such as Aunt Cass and Alistair Krei were actually really good characters. As I've stated in many articles in the past: characters are the most important element in movies. If you can't like these characters then the great fight scenes are not as compelling. This is why Michael Bay's Transformer franchise fails because they give us horrible characters. Luckily Big Hero 6 gave us nothing but good characters including a decent villain.
Kabukiman is the one thing most reviewers usually say was the one problem with the film and while I don't think he is my favorite of all time, I thought he was a decent villain for the team to start with. His powers and his look were menacing and made him memorable.
Yes, I guessed that it was Callaghan, anybody could guess that one. It being Krei would have been TOO obvious. Plus he was played by James Cromwell so that added to the predictability.
Now this IS a superhero film, so with superheroes comes fight scenes and how were they here? Eye popping! This is mostly due to the fantastic animation. Everything was so crisp, vivid, colorful, and just perfect for the world and characters they created. This animation allowed the fights to be shot well with great angles and visuals. The villain's powers are especially great looking because of the animation.
The music was also something I was happy with considering the last few films I reviewed, the music was so bland. No here, it fit the setting and story. The highlight of music for this movie was Immortals by Fall Out Boy and yeah I loved it more than Let It Go. Currently listening to the song as I write this review. Props, Hollywood.
This is one of the only movies I have ever seen that doesn't have flaws. Most really good movies have at least one to three flaws but nope, couldn't find one here.
I loved Big Hero 6, the story was very mature for kids but in a good way, the characters were amazingly fun, Baymax is lovable, the action scenes were great, the music was great. I really hope Disney and Marvel collab for sequels. I give this movie a High Platinum which is a 9.5 or 10/10. But I give it more of a 9.5.
What were your thoughts on Big Hero 6? Did you like it? Hate it? Let me know in the comments below!