Directors: Don Hall and Chris Williams
Starring: Scott Adsit, Ryan Potter, Daniel Henney, T.J. Miller, Jamie Chung, Damon Wayans Jr
Written by: Jordan Roberts, Daniel Gerson, Robert L. Baird, (based upon the characters created) Man Of Action, (head of story) Paul Briggs and Joe Mateo
Running Time: 102 mins
Release date: 30th January 2015
After the phenomenal success of Frozen, you would have thought Disney would go down a similar route of princesses and annoying songs as a follow-up. You would be wrong because Big Hero 6 is as far removed from the Snow Queen as you can possible get. A dazzling animation that mixes the sentimentality and warmth of Wall-E with the action and humour of The Incredibles.
Hiro Hamada, a robotics genius at just 14, inherits a giant inflatable robot called Baymax. When his home town of San Fransokyo comes under attack by a stranger with a mask, Hiro must use his knowledge of robotics and computer science to turn his large friend as well as a group of misfit science students into a new band of high-tech heroes, calling themselves Big Hero 6.
Based on a little known Marvel comic, Big Hero 6 may look like another superhero story but it goes so much deeper. As with the best of the Disney back catalogue, this is more than just another cartoon. It deals with themes like loss and the importance of friendship, while at the same time, it doesn’t overburden the film with messages.
The animation, as you would expect from Disney, is exceptional. The city of San Fransokyo is awesome in its detail. The camera zooms across the top of this metropolis of tall buildings, shimmering with metal and glass, while capturing the two cities that it has merged together. The Golden Gate Bridge has an oriental feel while the streets are brimming with neon-lit advertising boards with trams running up and down the hilly roads.
Then there are the characters. Keeping true to the Marvel originals while adding a slice of Disney to the details, Hiro and his band of friends have the look of Manga with the softness of the more recent characters that the company have created. It’s all in the eyes. Big, full of emotion and alive with feelings.
Where Big Hero really succeeds is in Baymax, a giant, white inflatable robot that has an emotionless face and yet they manage to make us see his thoughts, even though he has two black eyes and a black line across his face. In one sequence, Baymax has to deflate in order to enter a window. Yet his face tells so much without changing a single look. It’s a master stroke of how the finest animators can make a head nod say more than a look.
The film has something for everyone. Plenty of big laughs, mainly from Baymax and his over caring attitude. In the blink of an eye, you are on the edge of your seat with some spectacular set pieces and action sequences. Then, without warning, you are wiping away a tear. It may not have the musical tunes of Frozen but it has just the right amount of heart to keep it this side of schmaltzy.
Big Hero 6 won’t have the same phenomenon success of the studio’s previous hit but as a piece of cinematic entertainment, it delivers in bundles. It proves once again that the partnership of Disney and Marvel is working magnificently and if they keep producing films like this, long may their pairing continue.