- Jared Huizenga
‘Big Hero’ = Big Fun
Every movie company has its ups and downs and Disney is no exception.
After becoming pioneers in field of animation – “Bambi,” “Dumbo,” “Snow White,” etc. – the company seemingly hit a lull until the likes of “Aladdin,” “The Little Mermaid” and “The Lion King” gave the company another boost.
Then came competition from the likes Pixar and DreamWorks and Disney seemingly was the forgotten studio.
Then the company opened its checkbook and brought Pixar into the fold. And now it seemingly has a third life. Admittedly, I’m quite impressed with what Disney has done with its animation division since acquiring Pixar. While it would have been easy to just scrap Disney Animation Studios altogether and make Pixar the company’s default animation arm, they elected to keep them separate.
Hiro Hamada and Baymax share a moment in Walt Disney Animation Studios' "Big Hero 6." (Photo Courtesy and property of Walt Disney Pictures.)
And what have they done since then? Well, there was the highly entertaining “Tangled” and the even more entertaining and critically-acclaimed “Wreck-It Ralph.” Oh, and a little animated indie called “Frozen.”
And now they’ve gone and (at least in my eyes) topped all of those recent efforts with its latest film “Big Hero 6.”
“BH6” is about teenage robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who would rather create fighting robots and hustle the locals than move forward with his education.
That comes to an end when his older brother Tadashi inspires him to strive for more by introducing him to his school – San Fransokyo's Institute of Technology; his friends – Honey Lemon, GoGo Tomago, Wasabi and Fred; his mentor – professor Robert Callaghan; and his robotics project – Baymax, an inflatable healthcare robot.
Hiro creates the revolutionary microbots, which not only catch the eye of Callaghan, but of businessman Alistair Krei, who doesn’t take kindly to Hiro’s rebuttal of his lucrative offer.
When tragedy later befalls Hiro and his friends and his creation falls into the wrong hands, will they be able to save the world from what he’s created?
And that’s truly where the fun begins.
“BH6” masterfully mixes amazing animation, eye-popping 3D effects, solid storytelling and superheroes (it’s based off of a team of Marvel Comics characters) for just under two hours of fun.
The thing I appreciated the most about it is that while it is assuredly a family-friendly/kids movie, there’s enough there that a single, 35-year-old can enjoy it as well. It delivers a positive message without being preachy. It reaches out to children without pandering to them. And it strikes a chord with adults without delivering the thinly-veiled adult-themed jokes that many animated films rely heavily upon.
When all is said and done, “BH6” is one of the best animated films to come down the pipeline in quite a while.
★★★★1/2 of ★★★★★