Review: Big Hero 6

BIG HERO 6

Since 2004’s The Incredibles, all people have wanted is a sequel. It hasn’t happened. There’s been a Cars 2, Toy Story 3, a sequel to Monsters, Inc, and countless Air Bud movies. Disney’s Big Hero 6 may be as close to an Incredibles as sequel we’re going to get.

Big Hero 6 is more than a story about a child prodigy named Hiro (Ryan Potter) and his inflatable robot Baymax (Scott Adsit); it’s a story about family.

When Hiro loses his brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney) in a fire at the university, he sinks into a depression. One day Hiro accidentally turns on the inflatable health care companion his brother created named Baymax. Baymax sees Hiro as a patient and wants to help with his depression.  This leads Baymax on a trip that takes Hiro to a warehouse where tiny nano bots Hiro created are stored. Hiro is puzzled because the nano bots were destroyed in the fire that took his brother’s life. Or so he thought. What Hiro does find is a masked man  who has plans to use the nano technology for his evil plan.

Hiro sets out to find who the mask man is – because he believes that’s who is responsible for his brother’s death – and stop him before it’s too late. Unfortunately, he can’t do it alone. Hiro gets help from his brother’s friends Go Go (Jamie Chung), Wasabi (Damon Wayans Jr.), Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez), and Fred (TJ Miller). With the help of the group (and Baymax), Hiro and his friends use technology to turn themselves into a superhero team to help solve this mystery.

The film, for the most part, is just like other Disney animated action films. It’s full of more comedy and action than an 80’s buddy cop movie. What separates it from Disney’s other films is the emphasis not only on Hiro’s relationship with his brother, but also his relationship with Baymax. I was impressed with how much emotion some of the Baymax and Hiro scenes were. It was easy to get lost in the moment and forget you were watching two animated figures on screen. A lot of the relationships in the film center around family and how important they are to all of us.

Despite the film having a very real heartbeat, it’s almost impossible for it to stray too far away from formula that seems to plague most animated films: Hero (or in this case Hiro) meets problem + tragedy (optional) + very bad guy + team up + adventure + team turmoil + morality twist and/or lesson learned + happy ending. You can even sprinkle in some comedy and a wacky character for good measure.

The animation is great. The film doesn’t need to be seen in 3D but the amazing San Franokyo world they’ve created makes the adventure much more fun.

Before the superhero team ups, inflatable robots, and swashbuckling action, audiences will be treated to a short called Feast. It’s absolutely fantastic. It’s the wonderful story of a food loving dog named Winston. You can pencil Feast in for best animated short at the Oscars this year. The short alone may be worth the price of admission.

Big Hero 6 is fun, but it’s something audiences have seen before. It’s a lot like going to Disneyland. It’s really fun the first time but by the 8th time – it’s still fun – but it will never be as fun as the first time you experienced it.

Grade: B

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