Big Hero 6 (2014)

Last week, I was able to see Disney’s newest animated feature, Big Hero 6 early in theaters.

Me and Baymax! I’m dressed a bit like Gogo Tomago and worked hard to get her makeup look down, which you can’t see at all in this photo but it came out pretty well, lemme tell ya.

Basically, it was amazing fantastic awesome spectacular. This is kind of a longer review, but it gets a full 5/5 100% recommend you watch it for the following reasons:

  • Fantastic characters
  • Beautiful animation
  • Great promotion of the sciences
  • Fun story and funnier lines

I have been waiting for this movie for over a year now. No, really. (It’s not easy being a Disnerd. The wait for Moana is agonizing as well.) This is Disney Animation’s first go with a Marvel property and it’s pretty great.

Let’s look at our cast of characters first, because that’s really where this movie just comes alive.

From L to R: Fred, GoGo Tomago, Baymax, Hiro, Honey Lemon, Wasabi

These are our 6 heroes. Let’s meet them, shall we?

Hiro Hamada in full hero gear

Hiro Hamada (voiced by Ryan Potter) is the protagonist of our film. He’s 14-years-old and a casual robotics prodigy. We get a really good feel of his personality in the opening scene, where he’s at an [illegal] underground robot fight. As a character, there is a lot of depth to Hiro that I really really loved. Seriously classic example of how to put a character through hardships and see him pull through. He’s a teenager at the cusp of puberty, so he’s awkward and sassy and kind but selfish. He’s many things and that complexity is SO delicious because it makes him more real without making him too real. (I tend to dislike characters who are TOO realistically flawed.) I also really want to talk about his family, but just know that Hiro’s relationship with his brother and his aunt are really special.

Baymax in battle gear

Meet Baymax, our adorable squishy character. THIS is how you do a non-human sidekick. (Note: I hate Olaf from Frozen.) Baymax is squishy and chock full o’ comic relief because he is a robot and doesn’t understand our zany human ways! I’ll admit, I was skeptical of Baymax because it seemed like an Olaf-esque ploy to just push out merchandise and have a recognizable character for the franchise. But he’s completely terrific.

Gogo Tomago (voiced by Jamie Chung) is one of my favorite characters in this movie. First of all, I’m always thrilled when more Asian characters are added to the Disneyverse and Gogo Tomago is everything we could have asked for. She’s a no-nonsense butt-kicker who is, as with the rest of the team, also really smart. She works with electromagnetic disks (that you see her wearing above) and chews gum. Also PURPLE. She’s awesome, everything about her just screams cool.

Wasabi (No Ginger?) (voiced by Damon Wayans Jr.) is also a really fun character. He’s the biggest hero of the team (besides Baymax, of course), but he has this really funny neuroticism that makes him maybe too relate-able, personally speaking. He seems like the most real-world-esque character. He gets freaked out flying over the city, he is scared of creepy abandoned warehouses, he doesn’t like his workspace being disturbed because he has a system goshdarnit! He’s also wicked awesome with lasers.

Honey Lemon (voiced by Génesis Rodriguez) is a bubbly and cute character (although her accent was inconsistent in a way that I found slightly distracting). She is also really kind, and that is not really shoved down your throat too much, which is great. She’s just an overall sweetie and her love for chemistry is adorable.

Oh Fred Zilla (voiced by T. J. Miller) is easily one of the most fun characters in this entire movie. The only hero in our group who is not a genius student at SFIT, he is the mascot and dreams of being a fire-breathing dragon. So the team uses science to make that a reality. I usually don’t like characters like Fred too much (think Shaggy from Scooby Doo) because they’re a little TOO laidback and TOO silly. But BH6 did a really great job of making him likable for me.

Tadashi Hamada (voiced by Daniel Henney) (“I thought he sounded hot!” – my friend) is Hiro’s lovely older brother. Like brother like brother, he is the robotics specialist in the group of nerds at SFIT and built Baymax to be a healthcare robot and help people. His powerful desire to help other people is, again, not overdone but it really does affect everything he does. He saves his brother from an illegal robot fight, he gently encourages to use his genius for more noble pursuits, and more. It’s difficult not to really adore his character, I think because I’m just such a sucker for really beautiful families.

Speaking of beautiful families, this is Aunt Cass (voiced by Maya Rudolph) (but Tumblr says she looks like the animators used Tina Fey for a reference model). It’s not really explored much in the movie, but Hiro and Tadashi’s parents are dead and she is their guardian. She does the best she can and it really shows, just how much she loves her two boys. She works really hard to support them in their endeavors, runs a cute cafe, and is just such a cute and fun and loving character. She’s easily one of my favorite characters in this movie.

There are so many things I love about this movie. One is how appealing it makes getting a STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) education. The heroes are all engineering geniuses, more or less. They attend a “nerd school” where they are changing the world. One of my favorite moments in this movie is when Tadashi, Hiro’s older brother who is a student at San Fransokyo Institute of Technology, shows Hiro what he can be doing with his genius. I really think that Big Hero 6 will inspire so many children to look into studying science and engineering. It’s going to be amazing and I’m so happy that Disney has really been pushing this with lots of innovation-themed contests for kids. Amazing.

Also, can I just say WOWOWOWOWOWOW to the animation team? The animation in this movie was absolutely beautiful.

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I can’t find too many examples online but I remember, even as I was watching, just being stupendously impressed with the attention to detail and the framing and WOW. Just visually, this is SUCH a stunning film.

I also think this is one of Disney’s funniest movies of late. I just found myself laughing so much because the screenwriters made such good use of awkward silence, omission, physical humor, puns, etc. You’ve probably seen scenes like this online already, and it is definitely one of the moments that shows you how funny of a character Baymax can be right here in his introduction:

Too good. Toooooooo good.

Please please please please go watch this movie, I promise it will be well worth your time.

Spoilers below the trailer! (SRS SPOILERS)

Okay you guys. Lemme tell you something:

  • I cried a lot when Tadashi died.
  • I cried a lot when Hiro had to leave Baymax in that weird nether realm. Like a lot.
  • I cried when Hiro accessed Tadashi’s test videos.
  • I cried happy tears when Hiro was able to rebuild Baymax.

I had so many feels watching this movie. Seeing Hiro be able to mirror his brother (“Somebody has to help”) really shows how much he looked up to Tadashi and wanted to be like him. I really did love the sequence when Tadashi and his friends help encourage Hiro to try to get into SFIT.

One of the most intense scenes for me was the scene when Hiro realizes that the Kabuki Man is Professor Callaghan and takes out Baymax’s healthcare programming, which was the only thing preventing him to doing any harm to a human being. It is so real, for a 14-year-old kid to just completely lose it and not care about the consequences of telling a robot to kill a man. In his blind rage, he doesn’t see that Baymax is throwing his friends to the side and Honey Lemon (in one of her subtle nods to the nature of her character) is able to put Tadashi’s original chip back into Baymax. It’s a really intense moment for our group of heroes and it’s a CRUCIAL moment in Hiro’s character development.

Speaking of Professor Callaghan, at first I was a bit tired of that twist. Disney really tries to give you these sneaky villains (Prince Hans much?) but I liked that it was at least a relatively sympathetic villain. We have kind of two different kinds of villains: Professor Callaghan, who is consumed by revenge, and Krei, who it seems is consumed by greed. I like that added level of complexity here.

I also really like how Aunt Cass raises her boys. When she gently brings food that is left uneaten by Hiro after Tadashi’s funeral, encouraging him lightly to register for classes and try to move on with his life. It’s not easy being a parent, especially to your sibling’s kids and without reading any manuals.

I don’t know, I could talk about this movie all day, but I just really… truly loved it. So much.

GO WATCH IT. If you have time to read this, you have time to go see this movie.

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4 thoughts on “Big Hero 6 (2014)

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