If one were to look back at Disney’s earliest creations to try and find the reason why it is so successful, one would discover the classic films that the helped shaped the nation’s youths. “Pinocchio” taught us dishonesty doesn’t get you anywhere, “The Lion King” stressed taking responsibility for your actions and “Hercules” encouraged us to persevere. Disney has always tried to imbue meaning into its works for its viewers’ enjoyment in the hopes that they would take something away from it. Disney’s latest film does just that.
“Big Hero 6” is not only entertaining for even the most woefully ignorant viewer who has no clue what the movie or what “Big Hero 6” actually is, but also for the diehard Marvel Comics fans who have read the comics in the past. The movie is in fact based on the Marvel comic book series of the same name. The film itself is directed by Don Hall (“Emperor’s New Groove,” “Meet the Robinsons”) and Chris Williams (“Bolt”), both of whom have previous experience with movies that tug at people’s heartstrings.
The movie catches the crowd’s attention from the get-go with the bright lights of the futuristic city of San Fransokyo, featuring a fusion of American and Japanese culture. Enter the protagonist, 14-year-old Hiro Hamada, who appeals to the audience with his likable charm and mischievous wit. Hiro’s brother Tadashi tries to help his little brother get off the streets and stop wasting his potential by competing in illegal robot fights. To do this, Tadashi introduces Hiro to his friends at the robot university he attends. The rest of the crew is introduced as the need for speed girl GoGo Tomago, the obsessive-compulsive personality of Wasabi, mad scientist Honey Lemon and the comically insane Fred. The last member of the crew is Baymax, the robot Tadashi invented as a personal medical care unit.
The movie really grabs viewer’s attention after introducing heartbreak and loss, the likes of which haven’t been seen since the opening scene of Pixar’s “Up.” The reality of human nature and how people deal with loss, even in such a fictional world, captivates the audience and has them rooting for the heroes during the entire movie. More than anything, the directors behind the movie did a tremendous job trying to teach younger kids how to deal with death and their feelings.
The voice casting is exceptional with the “30 Rock” star, Scott Adsit, as Baymax. There’s only so much emotion that a robot can exhibit, but Adsit does superb job demonstrating just how much Baymax learns from watching people and showing how much he cares about keeping people safe. The ensemble cast of actors like Damon Wayans Jr. from “New Girl” and Alan Tudyk (“Wreck It Ralph”) create a wonderful chemistry between the characters that everyone enjoys.
An underlying theme is downplayed throughout the film as well was the attempt to get people to think creatively and innovate. The phrase, “look at the problem from another angle” is repeated multiple times, which is a perfect phrase for any person confronting a problem. The movie itself is almost geared towards engineering, partially due to it being about robots, but also due to the fact that coming up with ideas that could help change people’s lives for the better by channeling their drive to innovate.
Overall, the film surprised me with just how much I could learn from understanding that bad things do happen in real life and you can’t cope with everything all by yourself. “Big Hero 6” shows just how much thinking outside the box can create something wonderful that everyone can benefit from. Disney did just that.