Big Hero 6 – Review

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Starring the voice talents of: Scott Adsit, Ryan Potter, Daniel Henney, T.J. Miller, Jamie Chung, Damon Wayans Jr., Genesis Rodriguez, James Cromwell, Alan Tudyk, Maya Rudolph
Based on the Characters and team from “Man of Action” created by: Duncan Rouleau and Steven T. Seagle
Heads of Story: Paul Briggs & Joseph Mateo
Adapted for the screen by: Jordan Roberts and Daniel Gerson & Robert L. Baird
Directed by: Don Hall and Chris Williams
Metacritic Score: 74
IMDb Score: 7.9
Winner of the Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature

Rated PG for action and peril, some rude humor, and thematic elements

After years of releasing sub-par animated movies (not made by Pixar), Disney Animation Studios have finally made some good features with movies like Tangled and Frozen. With the acquisition of Marvel, Disney has been given more properties to work with and puzzlingly decided to use the highly obscure “Big Hero 6” license to create one of their newer features. Obviously, this resulted in great ticket sales and an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. But for the discerning adult, how does it fare?

Hiro (Potter) is a young genius who tries to avenge his brother Tadashi’s (Henney) death after an explosion inside of a science fair. With the help of Tadashi’s inflatable health robot Baymax (Adsit) and his friends, they form the Big Hero 6 and unravel the mystery of his death.

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Big Hero 6 can really be summed up very simply: it’s a superhero origin film with Disney cuteness. Is it a bad thing? No, actually, it’s quite charming. But Big Hero 6 is exactly what you think it is and your enjoyment of the film is solely based on if you really missed watching The Incredibles, which this movie does borrow elements of in this movie. Without it, it’s a well styled, brisk looking film that does the job its set out to do: nothing more, nothing less.

The exquisite use of colors is one highlight that’s not hard to notice when you first jump into the movie. Even though the plot starts out simply enough, the setting of San Frantokyo is still striking and spectacular to look at. The imaginative buildings, along with the vibrant colors and animation, is an instant highlight for the film, which really shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.

Another thing to point out in the movie that was a surprise is the music. The film has an excellent soundtrack that keeps the movie energetic, whether it’s from the licensed music (“Immortals” is a great song) to it’s highly pumped score. The soundtrack blends very well with the visuals and setting of the film, going with its highly stylized and energetic vibe.

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So, from a technical and audio standpoint, Big Hero 6 is basically one of the go-to movies for people to show off their high end TV and stereo systems. Right up there with Avatar and whatever updated Blu-Ray version of Terminator 2: Judgment Day you have.

The rest? Well, it’s serviceable. The characters are particularly two-dimensional: whether it’s Hiro’s angsty teen or its Fred’s hippie like tendencies or Go-Go’s attitude infused bad-ass. Basically, the characters are created with two things in mind: to keep the plot breezingly going and not worry about stuff like “character development” and to sell figures to little kids.

And hell, it works. I have two myself (Hiro and Baymax for Disney Infinity). The characters just mesh well with the rest of the film’s fast pace that it wouldn’t make much sense to slow the film down to have pathos. Meaning: This movie wouldn’t work if it was 2 1/2 hours long or had slow moments.

Actually, let me correct myself: Baymax is possibly the most likable character in this film. It’s funny how a character that was made to be banal and very trait less turns out to be the character with the most charm. His fluid animation, along with his hilarious intentions with use of protocol, is written very well and gives the robot a character that none of the others have.

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There really isn’t much to say negative about the film, except that it follows two very well worn tropes: superhero origin films and family films. The way it’s infused is well done, but entirely predictable. Yet, you’re not going to watch it thinking it does either one great: it does both enough not to be a hinderance; not to be a bother.

From someone who actually enjoys super hero movies quite a bit, as well as family films (The Lion King stands as one of my favorite movies of all time), the film is enjoyable but it’s forgettable as well. The film really doesn’t do anything new or exciting with either genre: it just feels like it’s using two formulas and it flows well enough not to be bad.

Big Hero 6 is enjoyable, bright, colorful and full of energy. Save for Baymax, however, there’s really nothing to note as memorable. Does it have to be? No, but with Marvel’s slate of memorable films (The Avengers, Captain America: The First Soldier) and Disney’s animation renaissance (Tangled, Frozen), Big Hero 6 just comes off as an exercise on just doing enough not to screw with the formula.

2.5/5 – Colorful, full of energy, bright. Lacks character, save for Baymax.

The Wiz Says #15

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