Big Hero 6

Rated: PG

I’d like to tell you about a movie nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature, Big Hero 6. I kind of feel like the old adage “you can’t judge a book by its cover” isn’t necessarily true in the case of kids movies. Perhaps it’s the studios trying their very best to lure in as many viewers as possible. Or perhaps it’s more so that kid’s movies can be so predictable that in their case all you need is the “cover” to determine if they’re really worth watching. Whatever the reason, as far as kids movies go, I’m less likely to give them a chance if I don’t like what I see in the previews. There has been many an instance when I’ll see a preview for a kids movie, take a guess at the whole storyline, and whenever I have the misfortune of watching whatever it is there’s really no entertainment or mystery left to be had. I can hear you’re angry yells now…”but Leah!” you say, “These are movies for children! If you want something less predictable with deeper meaning watch something else!” Sometimes I agree with you. Sometimes I have to remind myself to stop being so critical and bitter and just enjoy what I’m watching for its face value. But that doesn’t mean that all children’s movies should be so simple or predictable. Where’s the enjoyment in life if you always know what will happen before it happens? Where’s the mystery? When a children’s movie is done well it can entertain a far broader audience than just the age group it’s meant for. Movies like the Shrek series, Wreck-It-Ralph, Up, Wall-E and The Lego Movie have plot lines that aren’t so easily predictable, as well as moments that get the kid in us (at any age) to chuckle. I think Big Hero 6 is another such movie.

                Set sometime in the future in the fictional mash-up city of San Fransokyo, Hiro is devistated and withdrawn after an unforeseen tragedy occurs, when he comes across his brother’s invention Baymax, a personal healthcare robot. Hiro then makes it his mission, along with the help of Baymax and several of his brother’s friends, to find out who caused the tragedy and defeat him before it’s too late.

                I found on the Big Hero 6 Wikipedia page that the idea for this movie came from an obscure Marvel Comic of the same name. According to the page, when Disney acquired Marvel a few years ago they dug through Marvel’s titles looking for lesser knowns that they could then expand and reimagine. They chose a total of five titles (which will probably all be made eventually), but Big Hero 6 topped the list.

Disney truly went above and beyond as far as production goes for this film. According to the Wikipedia page “The filmmakers' idea was that San Fransokyo is based in a parallel universe in which San Francisco was largely rebuilt by Japanese immigrants in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake of 1906, although this premise is never actually stated in the film. To create San Fransokyo as a detailed digital simulation of an entire city, Disney purchased the actual assessor data for the entire city and the county of San Francisco. The final film version of the city contains over 83,000 buildings and 100,000 vehicles.” The result is both dazzling and impressive, but to see it all you’d have to spend some time looking at it frame by frame because this movie is so fast paced at times it all whizzes by at a blur.

                In the end, my feelings on Big Hero 6 are a little mixed. It is worth seeing; it just won’t end up on the top of my favorites list. Perhaps if the story line focused more on Baymax, since the funniest moments all had him in them, I’d have liked it a little more. I just didn’t feel like it needed to be a superhero origin story and I cringed a little every time the 4 sidekicks (Hiro’s brother’s friends) appeared on screen. I know it wouldn’t have been called Big Hero 6 if there weren’t a total of 6 of them, but I see nothing wrong with the story of Big Hero on its own. Though I suppose this could just be another case of my being a little too picky! I guess you’ll just have to make up your own mind.

                BigHero 6 is rated PG was directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams and stars Ryan Potter and Scott Adsit. It is out now on Blu Ray, DVD and digital download.