Before I get to what was an exceedingly entertaining movie, I must address the common Pixar practice of short films leading into their features. These have been going on for years and are generally both visually clever and overall delightful little treats – appetizers to the movies. As someone who enjoys short film, and short stories in general, as a tweak on a larger medium, I generally enjoy seeing smart, creative people work to give a tiny burst of awesome in addition to a full-length film. I shall get to the movie itself in a moment. Let me tell you this, though: the short ‘Feast’ presented before Big Hero 6 may be one of my favorite short films (Pixar or otherwise) I have ever seen. Click here for a teaser trailer. Told from the general point-of-view of a adorably hungry dog, I was blown away by this cute, gorgeously draw, engaging and clever lead-in short. As soon as it becomes widely available to view, we will alert you for it is wonderful, especially for dog lovers. Not necessarily part of the movie, but part of the movie-going experience unique to Pixar and this viewing experience.
As for Big Hero 6 itself? I went in extremely curious regarding the first non-typical Superhero flick from the Disney/Marvel team, and first from Pixar. Understanding that the movie was geared towards a slightly younger demographic, but as someone with a healthy interest in both animation and superheroes/comics, I felt confident the movie would be an interesting view regardless. I was pleasantly proven to be selling this film short. BH6 is PG fun for all.
Should I pay to see it?
Hmmm… if you’re going with a younger relation, are a huge fan of the comic series or taking kids to see a flick, then yes. Big Hero 6 provides a delightful, fun superhero movies for twerps, tweens and chaperones alike. Interested, as I was, in a more big-picture scope of the Marvel/Disney/Pixar union? Still undoubtedly worth seeing, though less worthy of your hard-earned dollars (perhaps find a reasonably priced matinee?). BH6’s success may very well usher in a new wave of movies form Marvel, with that Pixar flare. We will all be better for the opportunity for all ages such a partnership can provide.
As with any Pixar film, the landscapes and characters are a sight to behold, creating a rich world in every nook and cranny while maintaining that fun, cartoon-y physics and movements. The movie looks cool, which is always saying something. The sight gags and visual humor, well know to Pixar are on full display here and may have made the adults laugh even harder than the kids watching the movie unfold. The highlight, for me (with minimal spoilage)? Baymax’s persona as he loses battery power resembles a getting-drunk Pete Hornberger, goofily mixing up words and acting a generally amusing buffoon. Yes, I chose that comparison because Baymax is voiced by none other than Hornberger himself, Scott Adsit. Not that you can totally tell he is the man behind the Baymax mask, but the chubby robot’s lines and delivery are a definite highlight of the movie.
Could I see it with a date?
Absolutely. Whether that date is that younger relation, your family, or a date-date, this is a great movie to enjoy with company. Also, it would be totally weird to go see this alone. Just sayin’. Don’t be that weird guy.
BH6 can be visually stunning (NO SPOILERS: one somewhat-trippy scene at the end was impressively beautiful and bizzare), charming, heartwarming, and laugh-out-loud funny. Kids will love Baymax’s goofy, squishy heroics and instantly connect with the main hero… ah… Hiro – a brilliant, petulant teen – and his quirky, equally brainy friends. I’ll highlight T.J. Miller’s ridiculous Fred, the excitable comic fanboy egging on the eggheads to become something greater. He happens to have one of those voices perfect for animation, already cartoonish and likable in his earnest silliness.
The voice cast contributes to the multi-leveled humor, with funnypeople Damon Wayans Jr., Alan Tudyk and Alan Tudyk joining Miller and others to create a team of geniuses you have to root for. Also lending his voice? The always-welcome James “That’ll Do Pig” Cromwell. With only a very general familiarity of the source material, I was surprised by the depth and weight of what I took to be a kids’ movie (foolish of me, for this is Pixar, movies that routinely make adults weep both from laughter and heart-wrenching. The opening 5-6 minutes of Up should melt any non-sociopathic heart). Big Hero 6 is an excellent superhero movie that just happens to be especially kid-friendly. The action can be breathtaking flying around with Hiro & Baymax in a beautifully familiar-but-different ‘San Fransokyo’ – at once Blade Runner neons and Fringe-like blimps, a smattering of pretty science fiction notions brought together. The destruction feels real, and often intense (such as how Hiro loses his brother Tadashi in an explosion – no spoilers, that’s in trailers), the emotions of the characters aided by those likable voices and the signature, remarkable Pixar animation. There are likely other movies to go to with a ‘date-date,’ but if you like Pixar, like superheroes, or seek some pleasant, cutesy fare this is a wonderful film. An excellent addition to the already-stupendous Pixar history.
Could I see it with my mother?
Yes indeed. My guess is mothers very much approve of the film, which is cheeky but wholesome as with most of Pixar’s works. Parents, guardians and older chaperones will both enjoy the film and be happy knowing the story puts forth some impressively fresh and positive messages.
Hiro & Tadashi’s group of friends/eventual heroes consists of a uniquely diverse and positive bunch of individuals, in terms of both race and personality – something worth noting in such a trendy genre where there have been concerns with some ‘sameness.’ There is a genuine friendship and caring from the older kids in the group for little Hiro, and a mutual respect for each other’s brilliance and differences. This is all subtle, and worthy of praise in movies for the young’ns. More overtly, Big Hero 6 highlights the importance of using your brain for what you love and s a great appreciation for science (and the positive, fun ways kids can explore). Furthermore, it is interesting to note the role and focus on empowered, smart women. Stereotypes are played with, with spunky Go Go the tough-as-nails badass, seemingly ditzy Honey Lemon being a chemical genius and large, dreadlocked Wasabi a rules-abiding, OCD neat-freak (basically a slightly more intense version of Damon Wayans Jr.’s ‘Coach’ on New Girl).
No matter who they are, what they look like or what they thought their lives were going to be like, the kids of Big Hero 6 rise to the challenge of being something greater – powered by science! Geeky, cheeky and fun for all ages, this movie will do well in theaters and no doubt make its way to rotation of both DVD players and channels alike. Worthy of your time and containing that brilliant short ‘Feast’ I found seeing BH6 a great moviegoing experience. You’ll chuckle at Baymax’s deadpanning simplicity and smile at the earnest, well constructed superhero film.