26 dic. 2014

Big Hero 6 (8/10): Another Disney classic with memorable characters

“Hello. I am Baymax, your personal healthcare companion.”

I can’t avoid going into a Walt Disney Animation Studio film with high expectations considering they very rarely get it wrong, especially when John Lasseter is involved in the production. Big Hero 6 is their latest animated film, and this time they teamed up with Marvel so there was much more to get excited about. Big Hero 6 delivers everything it promised in the trailers: fun characters, stunning visuals, entertaining action scenes, and a lot of heart. Let me begin with the aspect of the film I found most fun: the characters. This is basically an origin superhero story about characters I had not heard about. They really don’t have special powers, but they are science enthusiasts who come up with great inventions. The lead character, Hiro Hamada, is all about making easy money as he destroys his opponents in robot battles, but when he meets his brother’s friends who are all working on cool science experiments he wants in. His brother has created a personal healthcare companion that looks more like a giant marshmallow than an actual robot. Its name is Baymax, and is by far the most endearing character in the film. Since it takes everything literally most of the comedy comes from it misinterpreting things (Marvel always has some character who behaves in this way) and the sweet way in which it reacts to different moments. It is the heart and soul of this film and the chemistry between it and Hiro is what elevates this film and makes it more endearing. Pretty much every character in this film has some sort of distinct personality and they all have their comedic moments. Big Hero 6 has its emotional moments as well as we deal with the death of one of the characters. It is standard at times and even predictable in the direction its heading, but it never ceases to entertain with a fun action-packed and comedic pacing. You have the superhero element on one hand and the touching relationship between Baymax and Hiro on the other. So there are several reasons why you can find it pleasing. It’s hard to avoid comparison with The Incredibles and I think it does live up to the same level of enjoyment we got from those memorable characters as well. 

So on the one hand you get plenty of action scenes because this is a superhero animated film where they face a mysterious villain, while on the other it remains emotionally engaging and touching with the center core relationship between this personal healthcare companion and Hiro. The film balances these moments extremely well and thanks to the memorable characters Big Hero 6 will surely become another classic from Disney Studios. I’ve focused my review on the narrative structure of the film, but I can’t leave out how good the visuals are here. The city where the action takes place is San Fransokyo, a combination of San Francisco and Tokyo. The architecture from both cities is combined here and makes for a gorgeous to look at futuristic city. I loved the way in which they blended these two styles together and the film looks amazing and culturally diverse. Add that to the charismatic characters and you have an instant classic. 

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