The Good: Decent moments of theme, Voice acting
The Bad: Dull story, Unlikable (bland) characters, Obvious reversals, Fairly unimpressive animation
The Basics: Disney and Marvel’s first big animated crossover is one of the worst Disney animated films in years.
For me, it’s always interesting to see how hype lives up to substance. Even when there are films that are hyped to an extent that I am actually excited about them, I try not to let hype (or anything else outside the actual work I am reviewing) affect my review of it. In the case of Big Hero 6, it was one of the films from 2014 that my wife and I were actually disappointed we missed seeing on the big screen. So, with it now out on DVD and Blu-Ray, we eagerly picked it up to watch it. And we were both severely disappointed.
Big Hero 6 is the first demonstrable result of Disney buying out Marvel Comics; with Disney using an obscure Marvel graphic novel as its source material. Appealing to the Manga crowd, Big Hero 6 is a pretty generic super hero story wherein smart young people come together to use technology to solve a crime. Even if it were not for Marvel’s creation of vastly more memorable heroes, Big Hero 6 would have been a painfully obvious and generic super hero story. The result is a film that might not be as bad as it is boring and predictable.
In San Fransokyo, Hiro Hamada uses a versatile little robot that he created to defeat bigger, more powerful robots in the local robot fight club. Hiro’s older brother, Tadashi, has Hiro come visit him at the San Fransokyo Institute Of Technology where his friends embrace him and encourage his creativity and technical genius. Hiro applies for admission to the Institute Of Technology using innovative microbots, small robots who work together and respond to (essentially) telepathic control. Unfortunately, after exhibiting the microbots for the head of the Institute, Robert Callaghan, a fire breaks out in the exhibition hall and kills Callaghan and Tadashi.
While working through his grief, Hiro uncovers Tadashi’s creation, the medical robot Baymax (which Tadashi showed him prior to his death). Baymax notices the actions of Hiro’s microbots and that leads them to a factory that is producing Hiro’s microbots. After surviving an assassination attempt, Hiro realizes that the masked man who tried to kill him might be responsible for killing Tadashi and stealing his mircrobots. With the help of Tadashi’s friends, Hiro and Baymax set out to find and stop the masked man and stop the microbots from being used for a nefarious purpose.
Big Hero 6 falls into the category of painfully familiar science fiction super hero stories. The film utilizes all of the most obvious conceits of super hero films. The dead who aren’t shown killed on screen never seem to die and the characters are given very weak characterization outside the protagonist. Hiro is surrounded by pretty generic sidekicks who, like Smurfs, seem to only have one distinct quality each.
The film’s main adversary is a generic villain who attacks Hiro for his technology and is only given the thinnest motivations – almost simultaneous with his defeat. Perhaps it is because I have watched so many James Bond films lately, but the adversary in Big Hero 6 suffers from being thinly drawn and somewhat obvious (being that he is voiced by the biggest actor in the ensemble who is not the lead hero or main robot. The result is an entirely unimpressive villain and yet another film where the casting undermines the plot “reversals.”
While the animation is all right, there is nothing exceptional about the visual stylings of Big Hero 6. Big Hero 6 is just boring and unoriginal; not worth watching.
For other Disney animated films, please visit my reviews of:
Toy Story 3
A Christmas Carol
The Princess And The Frog
Lilo & Stitch
Atlantis: The Lost Empire
The Lion King
Beauty And The Beast
The Little Mermaid
The Great Mouse Detective
Lady And The Tramp
The Sword In The Stone
For other movie reviews, please check out my Film Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2015 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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