Review: Big Hero 6

Review: Big Hero 6

I was fortunate enough to get the chance to see Big Hero 6 a week prior to its nationwide launch. I wasn’t sure when the review embargo was up, so I held off on a review until other sites started posting theirs.

I’ll be honest – I’d never heard of Big Hero 6 until the movie came along, but apparently the film was inspired by a Marvel superhero team of the same name.

Just a heads up, I’m going to be posting spoilers below. I’m going to try avoid spoiling everything, of course, but there will be storyline spoilers below this point.

Big Hero 6 opens up with robot battle. There’s a large guy with a hugely intimidating robot that’s destroying everyone. Hiro shows up, pays the entrance fee, battles the guy, and quickly gets destroyed. He asks to pay for another shot, does so, flips a switch, and dominates the guy. Hiro hustled the guy, and the guy’s not happy about it. Hiro’s brother, Tadashi, shows up just in time, and they flee off into the night, somehow managing to avoid the cops.

When they get back to their house, we learn a bit of backstory about the characters. Hiro and Tadashi lost their parents at an early age and have been living with their Aunt Cass. Hiro wants to go battle again and is about to leave when Tadashi stops him and tells him that he’ll give him a ride. Instead, they drive to the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology (SFIT), where Tadashi and his friends (Honey Lemon, Gogo Tomago, Wasabi, and Fred) build really futuristic tech. It’s also here where we’re introduced to Baymax.

Baymax was programmed by Tadashi in an effort to fully automate healthcare. To demonstrate, Tadashi puts duct tape on Hiro’s arm, then quickly pulls it off. Baymax gives him a quick assessment and applies spray.

After they leave, Hiro decides that he wants to attend SFIT. Tadashi tells him about an upcoming competition where the winner gets admission to SFIT. Hiro gets to work.

After several long days, Hiro’s work is complete, and he presents the microbot to the audience at SFIT. It looks like two diamonds connected by a sphere. By itself, it’s unimpressive, but as Hiro demonstrates, when a person wears the special headband, the microbots join together to form anything that the person can imagine. Hiro shows off the technology by quickly constructing buildings, platforms, and more. It’s clear that he’s won the audience over.

As he’s packing up to leave, he’s approached by both Alistair Krei, a tech guru who is interested in purchasing Hiro’s design, and Robert Callaghan, president of SFIT. Hiro declines to sell, and Callaghan offers him admission to SFIT. As Hiro and Tadashi are walking out, the building catches on fire. Tadashi, realizing that Callaghan is still inside, rushes inside. The building explodes and both Tadashi and Callaghan are killed.

Inconsolable, Hiro stays in his room for quite some time until he discovers that Baymax is in the room. Baymax, sensing that Hiro is hurt, decides to summon Tadashi’s friends from school. Hiro notices that a microbot he kept is freaking out and realizes that it’s trying to lead him somewhere. He and Baymax end up at a warehouse and discover a sinister person has taken control of his design. Just when it looks like Hiro and Baymax are about to be killed, Tadashi’s friends show up and get them out of there.

In order to fight the mysterious person, Hiro realizes that he needs to program some upgrades – for everyone. Baymax learns karate, and Tadashi’s friends use their tech to essentially turn themselves into superheroes.

On paper, it’s an extremely basic plot line. In practice, it’s so much more. There’s a certain heart and charm to the film that I can’t even begin to put into words.

The one thing that I was surprised about throughout the entire movie is that Baymax never strays from his programming. If he’s asked to do something that seems outside of the realm of his programming, he questions it. I thought that Disney would try to humanize Baymax in some capacity, or even have Hiro program an upgrade that made him self aware, but they didn’t, and the movie works so much better because of it.

I’m going to go ahead and say it – I enjoyed Big Hero 6 more than both Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph. I couldn’t stop smiling throughout the entire film. There were quite a few laugh-out-loud moments, and a few touching moments that made my wife cry. Baymax has an undeniable charm, and I can’t help but feel that we’re on the eve of a Frozen-like wave of merchandise related to Big Hero 6. I think children will cling to Baymax the same way my generation clung to Woody or Buzz.

This isn’t a film that you should pass up. Though the previews may not have looked amazing, I assure you, the final film is fantastic. My wife and I immediately went out and bought the Baymax figure for Disney Infinity. I really hope that this is the start of a franchise, because this film is fantastic. Don’t miss it.

Also, two things:

  • Keep your eyes peeled throughout the entire film. There were a lot of nods to previous Disney and Pixar films throughout the entire film, and one very unexpected moment that caused the entire audience to cheer.
  • Stay after the credits. There’s a scene.

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