I may be a 37 year old adult…but this flick spoke loudly to my inner 12 year old (who’s probably more prominent in my Personality than he should be ; ). We both had a great time watching this one. Marvel Studios continues their seemingly effortless winning streak with their first feature-length CG animated movie (apparently adapted from one of their lesser known comic book series’) and made in conjunction with the very talented Walt Disney Animation Studios (love the ‘Steamboat Willie’ logo!).
‘Big Hero 6’ takes place in a undetermined future version of San Francisco (renamed ‘San Fransokyo’ due to the ‘alternative universe’ influx of Japanese immigrants who helped rebuild the city after the devastating 1906 earthquake). The story focuses on a 14 year old half-Caucasian/half Japanese boy named ‘Hiro’. ‘Hiro’, like his older brother ‘Tadashi’, is a genius who has a particular knack for robotics design, which he uses to ‘hustle’ cash at ‘underground’ ‘bot fights. After being released from jail after a high-speed escape from a pissed off ‘bot fighter’, ‘Tadashi’ introduces ‘Hiro’ to the mismatched crew of fellow science nerds with whom the older brother shares research space with. This intro leads to the reveal of ‘Tadashi’s crowning achievement: an adorably marshmallowy medical droid named ‘Baymax’. ‘Baymax’ has been designed to tend to the medical needs of his human patients (which is pretty much ALL humans). He’s (it’s?) very eager to please…while maintaining all the expected grace of a large bulbous shape who’s walking style was fashioned after the movements of a baby…with a loaded diaper. Seriously. After a series of promising events, tragedy befalls the two brothers and ‘Tadashi’ is lost in a fiery ‘accident’ at his lab. Stricken by grief, ‘Hiro’ inadvertently activates ‘Baymax’…and a strange relationship begins to form. After it’s discovered that the lab accident may not have been so accidental, ‘Hiro’ and ‘Baymax’ team up with ‘Tadashi’s’ grieving colleagues to investigate…and avenge. What follows is an adventurous series of high-velocity and harrowing hi-jinks as the newly formed team of blossoming hero’s utilize their various intellectual talents to take the fight to the enemy.
My girlfriend and I loved this flick! When it wasn’t exciting (which it often was), it was laugh-out-loud hilarious (loved the fist bumps!). Ever since ‘Toy Story’ (1995), CG animated movies (particularly from Pixar) have seemingly found a perfect balance between obvious child-friendly fun and sly adult-directed humour. It’s really no surprise that one of the key over-seers of THIS flick is John Lasseter; the driving force behind the VAST majority of the successful animated films of the last 20 years (holy shit…it’s been THAT long?!). He was the Executive Producer on what is still my favorite Pixar film ‘The Incredibles’ (2004)…and I was frequently reminded of THAT fantastically fun movie as we watched this one. Something about the character styles and the terrific examples of the ‘dawning’ high-tech superhero-ness of the blooming team of misfit geniuses. The similar (and worth-while) lesson of TEAMWORK was front and centre…and utilized VERY well to generate both laughs and excitement, along with the familiar-but-necessary lessons about ‘The Value of Friends and Family’…concepts that I don’t think are shoe-horned into kids enough these day. If this is an effective method of getting THOSE ideas into the lil monsters…then I’m ALL for it!
The Voice Talent is very good, as to be expected. The majority of the Main Characters sounded unfamiliar (therefore making the characters more ‘real’ to me), but I did make out James Cromwell (‘Babe’), Alan Tudyk (‘Firefly’) and Damon Wayans Jr. (‘Happy Endings’) in the fray. While their voices stood out (especially YOU, Cromwell!), they each brought enthusiasm and nuance to the roles.
All in all, ‘Big Hero 6’ was a kick-ass fun time at The Movies and it’s one that I would seriously consider owning on Blu-Ray…mostly due to the fact the the film’s Art Direction and Cinematography are gorgeous.This one would’ve been a treat in 3D…we had to settle with a 2D presentation instead : (. But it was still great! I recommend ‘Big Hero 6’ for…well…pretty much EVERYBODY. It brims with creativity, well-timed and clever humor and a whole bale of cool action scenes…not to mention a fast-paced narrative bolstered by quirky characters that you can’t help but to root for. It’s very much a good time…and you should just see it…especially if you have rug-rats in tow. They’ll love it!
*Being a Marvel movie…I probably don’t have to mention that you need to stick around for the Post-Credit scene. This one had me smiling.