Fancy some fun? Bright colours? Action? Family bereavement? Okay, maybe not the last one, but be prepared for that and more if you sit down to watch the family friendly Big Hero 6. The 2014 animated superhero movie is another success to add to Marvel’s portfolio. Not part of the MCU by any stretch but still giving us the same sort of thing we have come to expect from superhero origin films.
So what’s the plot? Well, IMDB says;
“When a devastating event befalls the city of San Fransokyo and catapults Hiro into the midst of danger, he turns to Baymax and his close friends adrenaline junkie Go Go Tomago, neatnik Wasabi, chemistry whiz Honey Lemon and fanboy Fred. Determined to uncover the mystery, Hiro transforms his friends into a band of high-tech heroes called “Big Hero 6.”
Let’s get right into it, our protagonist has super bad luck. He and his brother Tadashi live with their Aunt as their parents died? I’m not entirely sure what happened to them, Hiro says they are gone so we can assume they are no longer in the land of the living.
After being convinced to use his incredibly high genius level intellect for something more than bot fighting, Hiro gains a place at the prestigious college where his brother works. Unfortunately, after making a bunch of new friends, meeting one of his intellectual heroes and impressing everyone with his neural controlled microbots, tragedy occurs. Hiro’s brother Tadashi rushes into a flaming exhibition centre to rescue his mentor only for the building to explode, killing him and anyone else in the building instantly.
The rest of film follows Hiro as he struggles to cope with the loss of his brother. Your heart will break with Hiro’s but luckily we have a friendly, cuddly robot to help us out. Enter Baymax, the Personal Healthcare Companion, designed and built by Tadashi. He quickly becomes Hiro’s best friend and without going into too much detail, helps Hiro track the person responsible for his brother’s death.
Out matched by the Kubuki masked adversary, Hiro enlists the help of his friends to form Big Hero 6. Using their own developed tech as a starting point, Hiro upgrades everyone giving them superhero capabilities which are all awesome! The individual power sets are impressive and their lack of ability and training is clear on their first mission when they get in over their heads quickly. The only thing I will say is that it’s very lucky all of his friends are incredibly athletic. It’s one thing being able to create and adapt this technology to use, another thing entirely to be able to successfully fight bad guys like seasoned veterans!
Though the comedy and action are entertaining, the real interest is in Hiro’s emotional journey. He puts everything into his friends new suits and gadgets, clearly trying to stop himself from mourning. He goes so far as to try and kill the person responsible until his friends stop him, even to the point of removing Baymax’s healthcare chip and replacing it with a killing machine! It is only with the help of his friends he is able to pull back from the brink and do things the right way.
When Hiro breaks down for the second time you are right with him. His rage is justified and weaker people would have given in and ended it then, Hiro however is not weak, and he has his friends to back him up. I don’t want to go into the end of the film too much because I think it should be seen first hand but I will say this. Sacrifice is hard to watch when it involves characters you love, and a believable villain will always have an understandable motive, there is reason behind the madness.
Overall the film is a happy and action packed story full of funny moments and genuine feeling. The seamless blending of American and Oriental themes throughout the city of San Fransokyo is incredible. From the language used by most of the characters even down to some of the posters in the back alleys, you can believe that a city like this exists. Even the Golden Gate Bridge has been given and Japanse twist and it looks great!
Though Hiro is the main character, the fan favourite will always be Baymax. He is the kind, caring, loveable robot who will do anything to ensure his patients are satisfied with their care. Not only is he extremely good at providing medical care and assistance, when given the right programming he is a force to be reckoned with. His upgrades are great and you can see the writers childhood dreams coming to life. Who hasn’t pretended their toys can fly? And who hasn’t at least once wished they could be a superhero? I know I still wish it everyday! All I need now is lots of money and a genius level intellect……….damn it!
The film isn’t shy about it’s comic influences and draws many things, particularly the team members directly from its comic counter part. The aesthetic may be different but the essence of each character is there. Subtle changes like Baymax not being able to transform into a dragon, GoGo not being a criminal and having the Silver Samurai as the team leader have been made to reduce the complication in the story. This is aimed at a younger audience so each character doesn’t have to have a deep and meaningful backstory. You don’t need to know anything about the comic to have a really good time with this film.
It’s not a perfect film by any stretch but it’s entertaining and what more could you want than that? And of course being a Marvel movie, the obligatory Stan Lee cameo is there……you want to know what it is? Then go watch the film!!!!
Big Hero 6 gets 4 beans on the Geekstalk.
Seen the film? What did you think? Let us know in the comics below.