This isn’t the first time Disney has tried their hand at the Superhero genre. Back in 2004, Disney/Pixar’s The Incredibles (one of my personal favorites) created the perfect blend of superhero action and adventure with the warm heartfelt tone that accompanies all Disney animated features. But can Big Hero 6, stack up to that? Better yet… can it stack up to Disney’s most recent hits, Frozen and Wreck It-Ralph?
The film, based loosely on a Marvel comic of the same name, tells the story of two best friend brothers, Hiro and Tadashi, who live with their aunt (Maya Rudolph) and are both brilliant robotics experts. Older brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney) spends his time at a University, honing his skills with his four friends and developing his healthcare robot Baymax, while 14-year old prodigy Hiro (Ryan Potter) hustles people in illegal robot fights. After Tadashi encourages young Hiro to do more with his gifts, Hiro develops a clever invention that gets him a scholarship offer from famed robot professor Robert Callaghan (James Cromwell). But, after a freak accident, his invention is stolen, leading to Hiro, his friends, and loveable Baymax, to become a superhero team to stop the masked thief.
For starters, the movie should be called Big Hero 2. Most of the film is centered around the two brothers and most of the laughs come from their interactions with Baymax. The four aforementioned friends; Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez), Wasabi (Damon Wayans Jr.), Gogo (Jamie Chung), and Fred (T.J. Miller) have a few funny and exciting moments, but they are otherwise forgettable. But the biggest flaw with the film is not its lack of character development, but its lack of story.
Disney has become almost formulaic with its storytelling. At this point, we know some important character related to the main hero will die, so when it happens we feel some emotion, but its still feels predictable. Nothing that happens in Big Hero 6 feels like a revelation which, in a film meant to be cool more than laugh-out-loud funny, makes it a bit forgettable. Even the masked villain, who looks dastardly enough, seems to lack the ambition to be truly iconic.
The animation for this film is even more beautiful than usual. The location, a mixture between San Francisco and Tokyo, provides a unique backdrop that is awe-inspiring. The technology in the film is also exciting, but the action sequences aren’t quite as lively. The story itself, a.k.a. the most important element, isn’t as good as Wreck-It-Ralph or Frozen so while little kids may get a kick out of it and want to go out to buy Baymax action figures, you’ll just want to go home and pop in The Incredibles.
FINAL GRADE: C+