Marvel and Disney's Big Hero 6 Is Bigtime Fun

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Big Hero 6 starts 11/7/2014 -- great fun for all ages!

“Big Hero 6”…are you kidding me? When I heard that Marvel had greenlighted this project sometime back, I just shook my head. “Ant-Man?” “Guardians of the Galaxy?” “Big Hero 6?” Did somebody lose a bet? How are they going to get movies of these screwball comics when they haven’t yet mined obvious gold from the classics, like Power Man and Iron Fist, Black Panther, Dr. Strange, or put out a Black Widow solo feature? Then I heard it was going to be a Disney animated film. Oh, well, okay then. Disney knows a thing or two about making successful animated films.

Now I’m a couple years older, a tad bit wiser and I’ve seen Guardians of the Galaxy. Marvel is simply printing money these days. I dare say we could all be carrying cash with Stan Lee’s loveable face on it soon, and why not? Why not? The man is an American icon who has revolutionized our entertainment and our culture over the years. Even the “worst” films Marvel Studios has produced in the last few years are making around a half-billion dollars worldwide. What’s George Washington done for us lately, anyway? I’m still highly skeptical of “Ant-Man,” but I hereby retroactively disavow ever having been a naysayer of any other Marvel movie. If they can retroactively correct mistakes in their comics, I can certainly do the same in my reviews. “Big Hero 6?” I told you it was going to be awesome—and it is!

The story doesn’t follow the comic which is for the better—the comic wasn’t bad, it was just odd. Big Hero 6, the movie, follows a super-smart 14 year old kid named Hiro Hamada (voiced by Ryan Potter), who has a knack for robotics. His big brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney) is a science wiz too, and he guides him away from the seedy robot battle gambling dens young Hiro hangs out at and introduces him to his pals at San Fransokyo University where Tadashi and his friends, Honey Lemon (Génesis Rodríguez), GoGo Tomago (Jamie Chung), Wasabi (Damon Wayans, Jr.), and Fred (T. J. Miller) are all putting their intellect into some amazing projects. Cheered on by Aunt Cass (Maya Rudolph), and Tadashi’s mentor, Robert Callaghan (James Cromwell), Hiro decides to enter a project for consideration to be admitted into the university. His project steals the show, but an explosion at the end of the expo steals much more from him. During his grief, a mysterious man in a Kabuki theatre mask called Yokai starts to menace Alistair Krei (Alan Tudyk), the rich technology guru who is eager to get his hands on Hiro’s new robot technology. Hiro and his new friends barely escape their first encounter with Yokai with their lives. Rather than run and hide, they put their brilliant minds to the task of recreating themselves as superheroes! I should have also mentioned Baymax (Scott Adsit) by now, Tadashi’s self-inflatable medical robot who becomes a friend and bodyguard of Hiro and who frankly steals the show. I really don’t want to say much more about the plot than that, and the more I say about Baymax the more I’d have to explain. I don’t want to ruin anything for you. Suffice it to say, Baymax is absolutely fantastic. After what seems like an endless parade of Disney Princess movies, “Big Hero 6” has plenty of cool characters for kids of all ages, boys and girls alike, to enjoy! I can only imagine the merchandise that will hit the stores when this movie hits the theaters.

“But wait!” I hear you say. “Aren’t you like 40 something? What do you know about kid movies?” Well, other than being a bonafide comic book nerd and an advocate for smartly done animation (I miss Studio Ghibli already), not much. I think the last Disney movie I saw before this was “Mulan.” I am horrible at the Disney Scene-It DVD game. Fine, don’t take my word for it.

It is my pleasure to introduce a young friend of mine who enjoys both Disney movies and writing—and finding any young person who enjoys writing is a rare treat! Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I know turn over this review to Lola Irizarry, age 9.Baymax and Lola Irizarry, future film critic.

“I really liked the movie "Big Hero 6." It was a good movie about 2 friends, Hiro and Baymax. The movie has sad moments, happy moments and funny moments. My favorite part is when Baymax did a fist pump and said, "Balalala." The saddest moment was...well I shouldn't tell you. So go watch the movie, it is really good.”

There you have it—over 50 years of combined expertise on kid movies and animation gives “Big Hero 6” two enthusiastic thumbs up. The most Facebook ever gives anything is one thumb, so you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better endorsement than this. I wasn’t going to mention the “Balalala” bit, but since Lola did, I’ll agree—that makes for some laugh-out-loud funny moments in a film full of laughter, fun, tremendous action, and yes, a couple sad moments. Lola might have cried a little. I’d never admit to it myself—it was allergies. Hey, did I mention the Disney short “Feast” that runs prior to the feature? That’s terrific too!

Just to be fair I will give two quick, minor criticisms. It’s in 3D, and once again, like a broken record, I have to report that the animated dog in the 3D promo before the film does much more with the technology than even Disney Animation does here. If there was ever a place that 3D would work, it would be in animation. It’s a shame Disney couldn’t use the technology to its full advantage. And then there’s San Fransokyo--I know it takes place in a futuristic version of San Francisco…or Tokyo…but if it is based on San Francisco, why did it merge with a Japanese city? San Francisco has a sizeable Chinese population who may not be too thrilled with the sudden influx of Japanese influence in their future animated lives. And yes, true-believers, I know it was all in Japan in the comic. What can I say--I’m a stickler for the details, I notice things like that.

“Big Hero 6” doesn’t cross over with Marvel’s cinematic universe except for a cameo appearance by Stan Lee. I could see a sequel where a certain space-faring raccoon and his best friend, a walking tree, show up, as long as the fur ball watches his language. Like all Marvel movies, stay through the credits or you’ll miss something. Now log off and go see it! Tell them Lola sent you! Excelsior!

Grade: 
5.0 / 5.0