Big Hero 6

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

The film is set in a fictional futuristic metropolis called San Fransokyo (a portmanteau of San Francisco and Tokyo). Hiro Hamada is a 14-year-old robotics genius who spends his time participating in back alley robot fights. His older brother, Tadashi, worried that Hiro is wasting his potential, takes Hiro to the robotics lab at his university, where Hiro meets Tadashi’s friends, GoGo Tomago, Wasabi, Honey Lemon and Fred, as well as Baymax, a personal healthcare robot Tadashi created. Amazed, Hiro decides to apply to the school. He presents his project–microbots, swarms of tiny robots that can link together in any arrangement imaginable–at an annual exhibition to gain admission. Professor Callaghan, the head of the program, is impressed, and Hiro gets in. When a fire breaks out at the university, Tadashi rushes in to rescue Callaghan, but the building explodes and both are killed. As a result of losing his brother, Hiro secludes himself from others.

One day, Hiro accidentally activates Baymax and discovers a single microbot left in his jacket. Baymax believes the bot is trying to go somewhere and follows it to an abandoned warehouse, where he and Hiro discover that someone has been mass-producing Hiro’s microbots. They are attacked by a masked man controlling the bots telepathically. Realizing this man has stolen his project, Hiro decides to catch him and upgrades Baymax with armor and a battle chip. After the masked man attacks Hiro, Baymax, Gogo, Wasabi, Honey and Fred, the group joins Hiro in the fight, and the six form a superhero team.

Baymax locates the masked man on a quarantined island. There, the group discovers a former lab of Krei Tech, a prestigious robotics company, that was experimenting with teleportation technology. The test went awry when the human test pilot vanished inside an unstable portal. The masked man is revealed to be Callaghan, who explains he started the fire so he could steal Hiro’s microbots. Realizing that Tadashi died for nothing, Hiro angrily removes Baymax’s healthcare chip, leaving him with only the battle chip, and orders him to kill Callaghan. Baymax almost does so until Honey manages to insert his healthcare chip back in. Angry at the group for preventing his revenge, Hiro goes home but breaks down when Baymax asks him if killing Callaghan will make him feel better. To soften Hiro’s loss, Baymax plays humorous clips of Tadashi running tests on him during Baymax’s development. Hiro realizes that killing Callaghan is not what Tadashi would have wanted and makes amends with his friends.

The group discovers that the test pilot was Callaghan’s daughter Abigail and realize that Callaghan is seeking revenge on Alistair Krei, the president of Krei Tech, whom he blames for her death. They save Krei and destroy the microbots, but the portal remains active, becoming increasingly unstable. Baymax detects Abigail from inside the portal and he and Hiro rush in to save her. On their way out, Baymax’s armor is damaged and he realizes the only way to save Hiro and Abigail is to stay behind to propel them forward with his rocket fist. Hiro refuses to leave Baymax behind, but Baymax insists until Hiro tearfully deactivates him. Hiro and Abigail make it back, and Callaghan is arrested.

Some time later, as Hiro is finally moving on, he discovers Baymax’s healthcare chip, which contains his entire personality, in his rocket fist. Delighted, Hiro rebuilds Baymax and they happily reunite. The six friends continue their exploits through the city, fulfilling Tadashi’s dream of helping those in need.

In a post-credits scene, Fred talks to a photo of his father in the family mansion, telling him he would be proud of him. Fred accidentally opens a secret door and, upon entering, finds superhero gear. His father arrives and states they have a lot to talk about before the two embrace.

REVIEW:

Well, here we are again, with an animated feature from Disney that  some have said is another that is better than what Pixar has put out lately. Personally, I can’t challenge that statement, but I cannot defend it, either. Big Hero 6 is interesting in that it actually is part of the Marvel Universe. Yes, this was a comic and I think it may still be in print. I may have to swing across town and find an issue or two at the comic book store. In the meantime, how was the film?

What is this about?

In this animated adventure, genius robotics engineer Hiro Hamada finds himself enmeshed in a nefarious scheme to wipe out the city of San Fransokyo. Accompanied by his robot best friend, Hero joins a ragtag team intent on saving the City by the Bay.

What did I like?

Appeal. So, the last film Disney released, Frozen, while wickedly popular, it was aimed for more of a female audience. That’s fine, but you can’t leave the boys out in the cold, as it were. This film not only brings in the boys, but by the sheer fact it is an actual comic book, opens up all sorts of avenues for merchandising, franchising, and maybe…and this is a longshot…appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe!

Marshmallow fun. Think back to Ghostbusters. Remember how that even though Stay Puffed Marshmallow Man was the harbinger of doom, we all just wanted to play with the big guy? Well, there co-protagonist in this film, a robot named Baymax, is sweet, innocent, helpful, and an overall fun character. In this dark, cynical world we live in, it is good to see a simple character such as this, especially in contrast to the mood swings of his human counterpart, Hiro.

Stan the Man. Being a Marvel property, you know there has to be a Stan Lee cameo somewhere, right? Well, I won’t spoil anything about it, other than to say stick around after the credits. This is perhaps the most interesting of Lee’s cameos, not to mention, other than his character as a janitor in Ultimate Spider-Man (or whatever it is currently called), I don’t think he has ever been animated. The animators outdid themselves with Stan, though. I got chills when I saw him, it was so perfect!

What didn’t I like?

Angry robot. So, the innocent robot, who obviously has the strength and power to level and entire city is turned into a killing machine for a bit. Big surprise, right? I fail to see why this had to be done, other than to give some emotional depth to Hiro, who was still suffering because of the loss of his brother. For me, I understand it from a filmmaking standpoint, but I still think it was a waste. At least he didn’t stay in that angry mode for very long. So there is that.

City is at war. From the opening shot of this film, you can tell that is nothing more than hybrid of San Francisco and Tokyo. They show what I imagine is the equivalent of the Golden Gate Bridge, and it has Japanese architecture, for lack of a better term, holding it up, instead of the usual structures. The entire city is just like Tokyo. So, what is it that I have a problem with? With such an expansive location, why not use it all? Instead, everything seems to be centralized. I compare it to whenever battles happen on film in places like New York or Washington, D.C. They tend to gravitate toward Times Square or the White House, just because those are the most recognizable places, and stay there, even though the cities have much more real estate. I may just be nitpicking, but I just felt that the battle could have gone elsewhere in the city.

Portal. One of the most beautiful scenes in the film takes place inside this portal. It truly shows how far computer animation has come. However, this little burst of psychedelic color was enough to have the audience wanting more. However, by the time we get to this point in the film, it is already running a bit long in the tooth. Still, it would have been nice to get an excursion and explore the portal some more, if for no other reason than to show off the brilliant animation that took place in there. Sadly, everything from the final moments of the climax to the final act felt rushed.

Big Hero 6 could be the start of an Avengers style film for kids. Time will tell on that one, though. Even though I had a miserable time at the theater today (late getting there, place was nearly packed, had to sit in the front row), I really enjoyed this film. It has heart, action, comedy. For those that insist on every race being represented, it even has that. How violent is it? Not very. Remember that this is an action film, so there are fights and whatnot, but nothing too horrible. If you shy away from this film because of the “violence”, then you really need to examine your life. Do I recommend this flick? Yes, very highly! So, stop reading and go see it!

4 1/2 out of 5 stars

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One Response to “Big Hero 6”

  1. Mystery Man Says:

    Reblogged this on Mr Movie Fiend's Movie Blog.

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