I don’t often go to the movie theater. Every few months my wife watches the crap out of a bunch of movie trailers and then run the really interesting ones by me. We have a system that works well. What’s the reason for such a system? So we don’t spend the money on insanely overpriced movie tickets. It’s simple and usually big name movies are the only ones we watch. If the Marvel stamp is on it, it’s theater worthy. Big Hero 6 is in fact a Marvel movie. The crazy thing is, I didn’t know this until after watching the movie and doing a little research. An easter egg in the movie tipped me off. I won’t spoil the easter egg for you, but you’ll want to check out the movie and see if you catch it. Big Hero 6 got it’s start in the Marvel comics franchise and Disney, now the proud owners of Marvel, jolted the creators of Wreck-it-Ralph and Frozen to create yet another brilliant animated flick.
I feel like it would be better to start with the movie and then tell you a bit about the Marvel comic as there are some significant differences. If you’re a fan of the comic, you’ll notice changes to the origin story right away. If you were a fan of the comics, you’ll need to sit back and just enjoy Big Hero 6 the movie for what it is. I kid friendly, humor heavy, feel-felt ride for the whole family. Disney Animation Studios has always done a great job of taking its audience on a journey after great tragedy and conveying humor through non-verbal queues. Big Hero 6 is an amazing meld of Wall-E kind of moments in non-verbal humor while having great dialogue that pushes the story forward. We get to laugh and watch the story of a young boy dealing with loss and how he finds a friend in a robot.
Big Hero 6 is the story of Hiro Hamada, a 14-year-old boy who has a genius level IQ. Hiro spends his time building battle bots to take part in illegal battle bot street fights. His older brother, Tadashi, wants to see Hiro do more with the genius he possess’, but can’t seem to find a way to get through to him. Tadashi introduces Hiro to his friends at the robotics lab he works at in hopes of influencing Hiro to pursue a college career in robotics. This is where we meet GoGo Tomago, Wasabi, Honey Lemon, and Fred. These friends are to become a strong backbone that support Hiro through the rest of the story. Hiro also meets Baymax, a medical assistance robot designed by Tadashi. Once Hiro see’s how amazing the world of robotics can really be, as well as meeting the founding father of modern robotics, he decides he must get into this school. After showing his genius at a showcase, there is a fire involving Professor Callaghan and Tadashi. Tadashi is killed in the fire trying to save the professor and both are lost.
I’m sorry if this has too many spoilers for you, but if you watch the official trailer, you can deduce most of this for yourself without watching the first 15 minutes of the movie. After the subsequent death of Tadashi, Hiro falls into a depression. He won’t talk to any of Tadashi’s friends, lack of sleeping, eating, etc. After stubbing his toe with a sharp “Ow!”, Baymax awakens again to lend medical assistance. From this point on, the movie is full of humorous bonding between Hiro and Baymax. Baymax takes on the challenge of aiding his depression ridden patient through whatever means would help Hiro. After Hiro discovers someone has taken his project, thought lost, from the robotics show he decides that he needs to find them and stop them. Baymax is all to willing to help as long as it will help Hiro feel better. Hiro builds a set of armor, uploads some martial arts skills to Baymax and the real hero business starts. Of course it fails, but through failure he gains the support of his friends and they all become a hero team to stop the bad guy.
At the root of it all, the story is pretty basic. The hero suffers great loss, finds an odd partner, grows a friendship, and becomes stronger for it. The gut-wrenching scene that usually occurs in movies such as this, happens towards the end of the movie, but it didn’t really get me. I’m a bit of a softy when it comes to a real feel-felt kind of movie. If the message is communicated in such a way that I can legitimately care about the characters, I’ll cry. I don’t turn into a sobbing mess usually, but I’ll shed a few tears and that’s a good thing. It totally felt like the super hero ensemble and the humor overrode that emotional response for me. I felt sad, but not enough that it jerked a tear from my face. It was really more of a “Aww, that’s sad.” I wish I could say otherwise, but it didn’t diminish my opinion of the movie.
The comedic timing is perfect through the entire movie. There was never a moment where I felt like a joke was under/over played. There is a whole scene centered around Baymax having a low battery and essentially becoming a drunk person. It’s hilarious, but not inappropriate at all. It’s priceless to watch, especially while Baymax pets a cat calling it a “Hairy baby” in a drunken sort of way. It’s the small nuances that bring the most humor. This puffy robot, made of latex, squeaky around like a giant balloon. Fitting in and out of things because he’s basically a giant balloon. His robotic response to understand human emotions and learning how to ‘blow it up’ with a fist bump. They’re all the same rudimentary characteristics, applied in Wall-E, to make him seem more and more human as the story moves forward. I laughed a lot through this movie as did the audience.
So, how does this compare to the Marvel comic? It almost doesn’t. The comic is very different in a lot of ways. Hiro’s last name is Takachiho, he doesn’t suffer the same or a similar tragedy, and Baymax was created by Hiro. It seems that character names took a few changes as did their abilities. Everything in the movie is loosely based on the comic. Admittedly, I’ve never read the comic so I couldn’t tell you how they compare to one another in quality, but I would expect the comic to appeal to specifically mature audience while Disney’s movie applies to a very broad age range. There could be the possibility of expanding the movie to encompass more of the original hero’s from the comic such as Silver Samurai, Sunfire, Ebon Samurai, and Sunpyre.
Overall, my recommendation is to check this movie out. It’s definitely worth a movie ticket, but if you can’t afford the ticket, buy this as soon as it’s available for digital download or DVD/Blu-ray. It’s got a great sound track, loads of humor, and a touching story of how dealing with loss can lead to great, but unusual friendships. The villain doesn’t overpower the rest of the characters and no one character stands out in front of the rest. The characters have their own identities, but succeed in creating a wonderful team dynamic on-screen. Big Hero 6 is a movie the whole family will enjoy and will for sure think it’s awesome!
Did you enjoy this review? Is there anything I could add? What would you like to see in the future? Leave your comments below and let me know how I’m doing. I might need a couple more drinks to get better!
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