Following their four billion dollar acquisition of Marvel 2009, Disney aimed to adapt relatively obscure source material not just in live action, but in animation as well. Five years on, the producers of Frozen have unearthed a true gem in the form of Big Hero 6.
The adaptation marks the resurgent Walt Disney Animation’s annual release. Being the next feature after the aforementioned musical juggernaut, Big Hero 6 had plenty to measure up to. Suffice it to say, it does not disappoint. Traditionally the household of princesses, Disney’s has crafted a memorable action-comedy in its latest feature.
The story follows Hiro Hamada, a young science prodigy who develops a bond with an inflatable robot named Baymax. The titular sextet is completed by Wasabi, Go Go, Honey Lemon and Fred. The group is thrust into a quandary when they must contend with a menacing threat. First engineered as an all-encompassing healthcare assistant, Baymax’s potential must also be harnessed in the process.
Fresh, smart and intuitive, Big Hero 6 is able to engage viewers of all ages. It caters to a wide audience and is not afraid to dabble in more mature themes of loss and sacrifice. It also delivers the imperative message that family is not just limited to blood relations but loyalty and friendship are equally significant. While the narrative is considerably hilarious, it certainly packs an emotional wallop.
Like the opening sequence in Up and the gut-wrenching death scene in The Lion King, better quality animations always resonate. Likewise, Big Hero 6 has a heart made of gold. A cross between The Iron Giant and How to Train Your Dragon, it is delightful and captivating.
So often the focal point of animations, characters like Toothless and Puss in Boots can be particularly endearing. In similar vein, Baymax is the scene-stealer throughout. A character that actually turned into a giant green dragon in the comic book, Baymax is reinvented as an adorable entity that is impossible not to love. The surrogate bond of brotherhood he makes with Hiro gives the movie more sentimental weight.
Moreover, the aesthetics merit an honourable mention. Since animated features have emerged as mainstream fare, they are not always facile to distinguish. Animation is a visual medium which requires scrupulous precision and attention to detail. The CGI of Big Hero 6 delivers that in spades. The supreme execution of effects and vibrant imagery is apparent from start to finish. For instance, the city of San Francisco is reimagined as San Fransokyo, retaining landmarks of the city while giving it an Asian makeover.
The voice performances are credible and the score fits seamlessly with most scenes. The solitary shortcoming is that it feels formulaic, specifically in the latter half. Otherwise, Big Hero 6 has all the humour and heart expected from a Disney movie.