Directors: Don Hall/Chris Williams
Walt Disney Pictures
Big Hero 6 is that rare thing – an action-adventure movie for kids that should also delight adults. It’s also funny and full of heart.
Set in the future hybrid-city of San Fransokyo our hero is Hiro Hamada, he’s a robotics prodigy who, under the guidance of his big brother ditches back-alley robot fighting to go to school – to learn under Professor Callaghan, head of the school’s robotics program. Tadashi, Hiro’s big brother has been working on something called Baymax, a healthcare bot.
Look – I knew that much going in and it didn’t grab me at all. As I started to read about the plot it felt a bit convoluted, too busy, and the names started to get hard to keep up with; I worried there’d be too many characters. How were kids going to get their heads around this? I was sure that I wouldn’t.
But as escapist holiday entertainment this was exemplary, and then beyond that there’s a story that has a huge heart to it. It will no doubt be ruined by sequels and spin-offs and all of the brand-association stuff – but as a standalone animated movie the Walk Disney Animation Studio has done something really remarkable here.
Big Hero 6 is frequently funny too – and in Baymax we have the real hero, a cream-puff robot that is reprogrammed with ninja-like skills to help in a revenge story; it’s a revenge story that is about finding answers rather than senseless retaliation. And that’s where the film not only remembers that its (mostly) for kids. It’s where it shows how truly smart it is.
Normally I’d think this was not my thing – wouldn’t even chance it. I’m glad I saw this film. It filled me with joy while watching it. I thought back to funny and poignant moments after and the animation is incredible; the skill of these storyboarders and writers to swirl so many characters and colours into something that feels, well, almost tangible.
A surprise to me. A really neat – dare I say it, cute – film.