This time last year Frozen was dominating the screens. This year, however, children have a new lovable character to fawn over in Walt Disney Pictures’ latest animated feature Big Hero 6.
Based on the Marvel comics of the same name, Big Hero 6 marks Disney’s first on-screen collaboration with the comic book company, who they partnered with in 2009.
Set in the fictional metropolis of San Fransokyo, Big Hero 6 follows Hiro Hamada, a 14-year-old boy genius who, much to his brother’s dismay, would rather spend his time competing in clandestine robot-fighting matches than use his intelligence for something productive. In order to shake Hiro out of his habits, Tadashi, Hiro’s older brother, takes him to his university’s robotics lab, where Hiro meets four of Tadashi’s friends who later make up the Big Hero 6. At the lab, Hiro also meets Baymax, a robotic, personal healthcare companion who Tadashi has been working on and that rounds out the film’s superhero sextuplet.
Inspired to pursue robotic engineering after visiting his brother’s lab, Hiro makes it his mission to get accepted into the university. However, on the day Hiro presents his work, a tragic fire occurs at the university, taking the lives of both Tadashi and Professor Callaghan, the head of the robotics program, who accepts Hiro into the program only moments before the accident. Suspicious of whether the fire was truly an accident and fueled by Tadashi’s death, Hiro, accompanied by the other five members of Big Hero 6, embarks on a mission to find his brother’s murderer and seek justice for his brother.
Like most Disney films, Big Hero 6 tells a moral story. By depicting Hiro’s quest to right his brother’s death, the film explores themes of vengeance, compassion and forgiveness. In mirroring Hiro’s quest with that of the movie’s villain, Big Hero 6 presents an important message to young viewers that revenge is only a temporary fix, while forgiveness is something that will heal you forever.
Ingeniously written and hilariously timed, Big Hero 6 features a multitude of laugh-out-loud moments with both family friendly jokes and more mature jokes that will go over children’s heads — a Disney staple in entertaining older audience members. Along with the feel-good moments, Disney concocts its next iconic character in the film’s lovable Baymax, who serves both as the movie’s voice of reason and the picture’s comic relief through his robotic, aloof humor.
Big Hero 6 marks a momentous occasion for Disney regarding diversity in children’s animated cinema. Featuring a diverse main cast voiced by multicultural actors — two of which are female scientists — Big Hero 6 hails over last year’s snow white Frozen, which faced controversy over the same issue Big Hero 6 managed to use to its advantage.
The film even features an animated cameo from former Marvel president Stan Lee himself, a quintessential Easter egg Marvel fans look for in each of the company’s movies.
Though Big Hero 6’s plotline is not entirely original and the movie often seems more like a Saturday morning cartoon special instead of a feature film, the animated flick is well-crafted enough to earn the long string of sequels it hints at in the movie’s after-credits scene.
Brilliantly constructed and charmingly written, Disney succeeds once again in creating an entertaining yet touching tale about a boy and his robot companion. Big Hero 6 gets a big whopping 10 out of 10 stars in my book. I predict this holiday to be a silent night as kids finally stop singing “Let It Go” and find their next fascination in the cuddly, lovable Baymax.