REVIEW: Big Hero 6 (2014)

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2014, Walt Disney Motion Pictures

Directors:
Don Hall
Chris Williams
Producer:
Roy Conli
Writers:
Man of Action (original Marvel comic)
Jordan Roberts (screenplay)
Dan Gerson (screenplay)
Robert L. Baird (screenplay)
Editing:
Tim Mertens

Cast:
Scott Adsit (Baymax)
Ryan Potter (Hiro Hamada)
Daniel Henney (Tadashi Hamada)
T.J. Miller (Fred)
Jamie Chung (Go-Go)
Damon Wayans Jr. (Wasabi)
Genesis Rodriguez (Honey Lemon)
James Cromwell (Professor Robert Callaghan)
Alan Tudyk (Alistair Krei)
Maya Rudolph (Cass Hamada)

The Academy Award winner for Best Animated Feature lives up to its reputation as one of most fun films in Disney’s animated catalog.

In the city of San Fransyoko, Hiro Hamada is a young prodigy who loves to compete in bot-fighting. After defeating and then confronted by a tough opponent, Hiro is luckily rescued by his older brother Tadashi only for both to be busted by the police. Tadashi offers Hiro a chance to check out the school he is studying in. After meeting top scientist Robert Callaghan, Hiro decides to use his brain for school and uses a new technology using “microbots” to gain entry in the school. However, when a fire breaks out, Tadashi, who attempts to rescue Callaghan, is killed in the fire.

After suffering depression, Hiro learns that Tadashi’s healthcare robot, Baymax, is there to help Hiro deal with his pain. When Hiro learns of a mysterious masked man who has been using the prodigy’s microbots as his weapons, he soon discovers the connection between the masked man and his brother’s death. Deciding to train Baymax and reprogram him to learn combat, Hiro soon learns he will need extra help. Enter Tadashi’s friends Go-Go, Wasabi, Fred, and Honey Lemon to join Hiro in his quest to find out why his brother died. Using upgrades and armor that Hiro has created, the five youngsters and the robot Baymax become the Big Hero 6.

After acquiring Marvel Entertainment in 2009, the first official project to be in development is this film, which is well worth the wait. Despite major changes between the Marvel comic and Disney’s take on the project, this new version of the comic is quite fun as it combines Marvel-like storylines along with both the cuteness of Disney and Japanese anime-like influences.

The story plays out as both a typical superhero-revenge film, mixed with comic results, thanks to hilarious comic style of T.J. Miller (who does great improv as the kaiju-loving Fred) and Damon Wayans Jr. (who can scream like his hilarious comic dad). Young actor and martial artist Ryan Potter does very well as Hiro, the main protagonist of the film while Scott Adsit brings a sense of likeness and caring as the robotic balloon-like Baymax. Their relationship is an integral part of the story with Jamie Chung and Genesis Rodriguez rounding out the cast well as adrenaline junkie Go-Go and the very intellectual yet at times over-reactive Honey Lemon respectively.

The city of San Fransyoko is nicely done, a nice mix of American and Japanese city life combined into one heck of a city. The city itself sets itself for a nicely done enhanced final action sequence that brings reminiscence to another major Marvel film and yes, I am talking about that little superhero team-up epic known as The Avengers. There is a bit of similarity between the two and here, it is nicely done. In fact, it is near as epic as its live-action counterpart.

Big Hero 6 without a doubt earned its Best Animated Oscar. The animation is beautifully done, some great comic relief, a Marvel-esque storyline complete with epic finale that will remind you of another Marvel epic. Definitely worth buying and not just rent!

WFG RATING: A+

DVD/BLU-RAY

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