Monday, 29 December 2014

Film Review: Big Hero 6



Big Hero 6 is the latest feature-length animation from Disney, and it sees the Mouse House team-up with Marvel Studios for a comic-book adaptation that will appeal to kids and adults alike. 

Big Hero 6 is about a young robotics prodigy named Hiro and his older brother Tadashi. The two live with their Aunt Cass in San Fransokyo, a vibrant and colourful blend of East meets West where illegal back alley robot battles are a big money earner. After being bailed out of jail, Tadashi takes Hiro to the robotics lab at the University where he studies to show him how Hiro could be getting the most out of his talent.

Animated films like this often fall into two distinct categories - there are films that are made for just kids, and then there are films made for kids of all ages, whether they be 6 or 60 years old. Big Hero 6 is definitely the latter - no matter your age in years, you're guaranteed a good time if you're young in spirit, kind of like The Incredibles or Monsters Inc.

So, whilst it doesn't completely reinvent the wheel (much of the plot is easy to follow and simplified for the little ones), Big Hero 6 does feel fresh and vibrant, something that will keep kids hooked and not bore adults. In fact, it continues an increasingly long line of Disney animated films that bring new ideas to the table - Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen and now Big Hero 6 have all been wonderfully approachable and charming family films that will resonate with all ages.

Whilst Big Hero 6 won't have the staying power Frozen did (few films do), it certainly surpasses both those films I mentioned in terms of animation and distinct visual flair. I really loved the art design on this film, the cultural fusion that blends Asia and America together a refreshing and intriguing change of pace - the attention to detail and care that went into crafting the subtleties of the San Fransokyo setting are plain to see.

There is a lot more to this film than just brightly coloured superhero suits and a cuddly inflatable robot - at its core, Big Hero 6 deals with some heavy themes of grief, loss, empathy and compassion. Thankfully, it doesn't get weighed down by this - by mixing in some cheeky quips and an impactful central character arc it's a well-rounded, meaningful 120 minutes that kids will cheer for and chew on in equal measure.

What's more, the characters (most of whom are science-minded university students) are encouraged to think their way out of a problem, using their intellect to come up with a solution. It's literally brains over brawn, something that shouldn't be understated as an important message for kids.

They're a loveable bunch of misfits too, with funky nicknames like Go Go, Honey Lemon and Wasabi. It's all very cute and charming, something which won me over. Without question the star of the show is Baymax, the cuddly robot plastered over all the posters - he's very huggable and sweet, and the relationship he forms with Hiro underlines the core themes I mentioned earlier.

The voice acting is really great, with some recognisable names littering the cast - Jamie Chung (Sucker Punch), Damon Wayans Jnr (New Girl), Alan Tudyk (Firefly), TJ Miller (Transformers: Age of Extinction) amongst them.

There are also cute little references everywhere you look - keep your eyes peeled for EVE from WALL-E or a portrait of Stan Lee. Plus, given that it's based off a Marvel property, there is indeed a post-credits scene - be sure to stick around until the very end.

The Verdict: 8/10


You'd be hard-pushed to find a better family film than Big Hero 6 this holiday season - not only is it gorgeous to look at and jam-packed with jokes and action for all ages, it's also loaded with some great characters that will charm your socks off.

2 comments:

  1. Totally with you on this! It's not perfect, and I really prefer Disney's previous films this decade, but it is so lively, vibrant and fun, and it has a lot of nice touches thrown in to make it feel special in a way. Great write up.

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    1. Thanks mate! :) I think this one tops Wreck-It Ralph for me, I'm itching to rewatch it already :)

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