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Hiro and Baymax fly

Big Hero 6 is a charming movie with huge imagination

JamesArthurArmstrong JamesArthurArmstrong From the creators of Frozen and Wreck-It Ralph, Disney deliver a movie of great wit, imagination and sumptuous entertainment. Big Hero 6 is one of the most joyous animated movies of recent years.

setting a fire inside our 'hiro'

Living in a futuristic hybrid city called San Fransokyo (a mix between San Francisco and Tokyo), Hiro Hamada is a child prodigy who is struggling to find his place in the world. Unable to put his intellectual gifts into any sort of productive manner has led him to taking part in illegal back-alley robot battles.

Hiro looks up to his high achieving older brother, Tadashi. But with his constant lack of focus on his own gifts, Tadashi tries to focus his younger brother on fulfilling his potential. Tadashi shows Hiro his own project; an inflatable 'nurse' robot, named Baymax. Made by developing a chip Tadashi programmed and incorporating thousands of medical analysis, Baymax is an incredibly knowledgeable robot, that ultimately impresses Hiro.

They both— along with Baymax— meet Robert Callaghan, the head professor of the Institute Tadashi is studying at. Callaghan compliments Hiro on the miniature battle-robot he's made. This opens Hiro's eyes, setting a fire inside him to follow in the footsteps of his brother and join the Institute. Taking on board the advice Tadashi gave him after their meeting with Callaghan, Hiro sets about putting 'his big brain to use' by developing an impressive robot for the next robotics exhibit. Needless to say, Hiro impresses everyone with his exhibit of micro-bots that are controlled by a neural transmitter. Whatever the wearer thinks, the micro-bots will do.

With the success of his presentation, Hiro wins over the admiration of tech guru, Alistair Krei. Krei offers to purchase Hiro's creation, but Callaghan claims that Krei is not a trustworthy man. Upon declining Krei's offer, Callaghan offers Hiro a place at the institute. Their celebration is cut short when a fire erupts at the conference hall where the exhibition is taking place, leading to Hiro's brother's death. Upon this devastating event, Hiro turns to his brother's inflatable invention Baymax and his close friends adrenaline junkie Go Go Tomago, neatnik Wasabi, chemistry whiz Honey Lemon and fanboy Fred. Together, they are determined to uncover the mystery surrounding the fire and what followed. With his band of buddies behind him, Hiro transforms them into a high-tech superhero team called, Big Hero 6.

The lovable Baymax stroking a cat
The lovable Baymax stroking a cat

adrenaline fuelled thrill ride

After the death of Hiro's brother, Big Hero 6 switches gear and becomes an adrenaline fuelled thrill ride. The opening act of the movie certainly pulls at our emotions, allowing us to fall in love with Hiro and Baymax. Once the story has developed and becomes a sort of revenge movie, we have genuine reason to root for our heroes. This narrative structure is a hugely effective formula. Disney give the characters time to develop, nurturting them into our hearts. There can be a tendency to hurtle the viewer straight into the action, never giving us the respect to get to know them first. But allowing us sufficient time to understand their relationship, the viewers patience is rewarded.

What Big Hero 6 does beautifully is bring amusement to the mundane. It's the little touches that give this movie its lovable attraction. Of course, some of the comedic moments are obvious, but its true artistry lays in the subtle. The filmmakers take great care in the small details, giving great humour to the banal moments of everyday life we take for granted. These intricate moments of laughter are almost a homage to the playfulness we see in Aardman movies, such as Wallace and Gromit. Aardman have a great knack of displaying comedy from humdrum situations.

If there can be one criticism, Big Hero 6's villain may be guilty of being too generic. I wouldn't go as far as saying the character doesn't mould into this environment, but his characterisation isn't as smooth or rounded as others. Having said that, he's a perfect bad guy for this team of rogue super heroes to defeat.

Big Hero 6 is almost a melding of old and new modes of animation. The action sequences are expertly put together with a great sharpness of understanding for cinematic technique. It's a charming movie from beginning to end that boasts an array of depth in terms of character development, humour and vision.


Posted in Big Hero 6,

JamesArthurArmstrong JamesArthurArmstrong

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