As I watched Big Hero 6 I started thinking how the current generation of young cinema-goers are so spoilt, not only with the fantastic animation, but with the action, execution and high-level that the likes of Disney’s Big Hero 6 provides. Then I corrected myself. These films aren’t just for the young. As a not so young adult, I love these big animation releases as much as the next inner eight year old, and I instantly fell in love with the oversized, slightly clumsy but cuddly star, Baymax.
Rated a PG means there are some adult themes, but no more than I remember from films I used to watch as a child.
Our hero is the young 14 year old genius Hiro, who has already suffered tragedy in his life by losing his parents. Now he is being raised in San Fransokyo by his gushing Aunt, and watched over by his big brother Tadashi.
The story is instantly gripping, starting in a secret ‘robot wars’ basement where young Hiro does his fair share of hustling, only to be rescued by his older brother when things go bad.
He decides to go ‘straight’ and use his obvious brains for good at university after seeing the ‘nerd lab’ Tadashi gets to spend his days in. After wowing the crowds with his clever ‘microbots’ tragedy strikes. Tadashi is killed in a terrible fire.
Within Hiro’s grief comes hope, love, friendship and bonds that can’t be broken.
In his darkest times a simple ‘ouch’ summons Baymax, the medical robot Tadashi has created to help people. This inflatable white mass of joy, clumsily manoeuvres human sized areas with deflations, failed dexterity and a little bit of disruption.
The robotic nature produces the usual jokes of not quite getting the humans…but in the end Baymax becomes the moral guidance for a grieving vengeful Hiro.
His group of misfit friends consists of his brothers ex lab mates Gogo, Wasabi and Honey Lemon, as well as hanger-on Fred.
Baymax is everything you want him to be: cute, funny, robotically hilarious, polite, and an odd ball of the nicest kind. Only once does he become something we don’t like and that’s down to human intervention.
No doubt this film will go on to be a family classic, reinventing a lesser known Marvel comic. (stay to the end of the credits for some extras).
Big Hero 6 proved it’s success when, during the screening all I heard were giggles and a comforting air of silence while a cinema filled with kids sat transfixed on the screen.
Big Hero 6 is a must see for all this Christmas. Out in New Zealand Cinemas on Boxing Day.
Reviewed by Ingrid Grenar