Genre: CG Animation
Director: Don Hall, Chris Williams
Cast: Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit, Daniel Henney, Maya Rudolph, James Cromwell, Damon Wayans Jr., T.J. Miller, Alan Tudyk, Jamie Chung, Genesis Rodriguez, Katie Lowes, Stan Lee
Runtime: 1 hr 48 mins
Rating: PG (Some Intense Sequences)
Released By: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Official Website: http://movies.disney.com/big-hero-6/
Opening Day: 13 November 2014
Synopsis: With all the heart and humor audiences expect from Walt Disney Animation Studios, “Big Hero 6” is an action-packed comedy-adventure about robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who learns to harness his genius—thanks to his brilliant brother Tadashi and their like-minded friends: adrenaline junkie Go Go Tamago, neatnik Wasabi, chemistry whiz Honey Lemon and fanboy Fred. When a devastating turn of events catapults them into the midst of a dangerous plot unfolding in the streets of San Fransokyo, Hiro turns to his closest companion—a robot named Baymax—and transforms the group into a band of high-tech heroes determined to solve the mystery.
Damn you, Disney. The moment this reviewer walked out of the computer animated superhero comedy movie produced by the House of Mouse, he felt the urge to own every piece of Big Hero 6 merchandise available in stores. The 54th animated feature from the bigwig studio is inspired by the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name, and is the first Disney animated flick to feature Marvel Comics characters. Of course, this wouldn’t have been possible if The Walt Disney Company had not acquired Marvel in 2009.
The 102 minute movie tells the story of a young robotics prodigy who forms a superhero team to combat a masked villain who is responsible for the death of his respectable older brother. Yup, the story is that simple. Besides the big, pudgy robot Baymax (this character frontlines the movie’s marketing efforts), you get your usual array of characters - adrenaline junkie GoGo Tamago, laser blade innovator Wasabi, chemistry specialist Honey Lemon and the Godzilla obsessed fan boy Fred. The leader of this superhero team is Hiro Hamada, an Asian American teenager who's not only an orphan, but also deprived of a big brother figure (after he dies half an hour into the film). It is this grief that makes him assemble the motley crew of superheroes, and boy, what an adventure we will embark on.
The movie is for everyone because it is honestly endearing. The young ones will go crazy for Baymax (okay, this reviewer is a fan as well, because he is so squishy and cute), while the older adults will appreciate the humour and often intelligent script. Under the supervision of Pixar’s executive producer John Lasseter, directors Don Hall (Winnie the Poo”) and Chris Williams (Bolt) have created a genuinely charming story scripted by Robert L. Baird, Daniel Gerson and Jordan Roberts. There is much inspiration from Japanese anime here, and you will fall in love with the future megapolis that is San Fransokyo. Japanese architecture is incorporated into and around the Golden Gate Bridge, and vintage Victorians alongside futuristic towers, is nicely imagined. The movie looks detailed without being cluttered or overly busy.
Nerds are in for a field day with the countless Easter eggs in store, and like this reviewer, you’d want to hunt down the adorable merchandise like a kid. The movie relies on some predictable, worn out plots and plenty of visual flair. Hero suffers a big loss? Check. A mysterious villain threatens the city and the science-y kids must team up with superhero science-y suits to save it? Check. Baymax shows the true meaning of heroism? Check.
But the movie also succeeds the most when focused on the lovable, huggable Baymax. It turns out heart matters more than CGI. The gentle, waddling giant delivers so much warmly puffy emotional resonance, you wish you had him as a personal companion.
The audience is presented with some sort of message about loss and the pointlessness of revenge as we rocket through the story, and the filmmakers manage to tell a story so affecting, the more emotional viewers may need a tissue or two.
That said, this highly recommended movie is more Wreck It Ralph than Frozen, and is definitely making it into this reviewer’s favourites for 2014.
(A gorgeous piece of work that charms with awe and action - for both adults and kids)
Review by John Li