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Big Hero 6

Big Hero 6

Released 30 January 2015
Director(s) Don Hall, Chris Williams
Starring





Scott Adsit, Ryan Potter, Daniel Henney, T.J. Miller, Jamie Chung, Damon Wayans Jr., Genesis Rodriguez, James Cromwell, Alan Tudyk, Maya Rudolph
Writer(s)

Jordan Roberts, Daniel Gerson, Robert L. Baird
Producer(s) Roy Conli
Origin United States
Running Time 108 minutes
Genre Animation, action, adventure
Rating PG
63

Too much hot air.

It was only a matter of time before the unholy alliance between Disney and Marvel would result in a Marvel comic finding its way to the big screen in animated form. Being agnostic about the whole comic book world, I was actually unaware that Big Hero 6 was a Marvel property and only cottoned on when I spied a cartoon Stan Lee cameo. What a shame. A film which begins as a quirky, genuinely funny and charming tale of a few bumbling nerds  becomes yet another superhero origin story. Yawn.

At the beginning of the film we meet two brothers - Tadashi, a university student at a prestigious scientific institute and his younger brother Hiro, a teenaged tearaway who chooses to use his own scientific genius to compete in illegal robot fighting. Tadashi encourages his brother to put his skills to better use by introducing him to his fellow students and their scientific discoveries, including the inflatable health care robot Baymax. Hiro is inspired and decides to join his brother at university until a tragic accident ruins his plans and throws him into conflict with a mysterious masked villain.

The first half of the film is really enjoyable, full of likable characters, genuinely funny visual jokes and beautiful, quirky design that melds classic Disney with a generous dollop of Anime. The relationship between Hiro and Baymax is both touching and humorous; it is definitely no coincidence that the publicity material for the film chooses to focus on Baymax rather than on the superhero crew, who are pretty nondescript to say the least. Unfortunately, after such an interesting beginning, I let out a mental sigh of disappointment as Hiro and his fellow scientists got tooled-up to become fully fledged superheroes. At this stage of Marvel over-indulgence, I felt like I’d seen it all before in live action - the final act that follows could have been lifted wholesale from any one of the Marvel blockbusters from the past few years. It’s a pedestrian ending for a film that began with such promising touches of original personality.

Overall, I think the good outweighs the obvious in Big Hero 6. Baymax is a brilliantly designed character and his relationship with Hiro is the heart of the film, it’s just a shame that the narrative ultimately decides to drown out this sweet little relationship with copious explosions.

- Linda O’Brien