Big Hero 6 (2014)

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I really enjoy it when Disney tends to think outside the box in the realm of a certain genre. While “Big Hero 6” is definitely a Marvel and superhero movie, it’s also a really bold and off the wall tale about revenge, family, and the very thin line between justice and pure evil. “Big Hero 6” is an underrated feature from the Marvel canon that I really hope garners a sequel because the material here is just too ripe for a one and done feature film. The characters are just too damn interesting and by the time the film was done I wanted more from this rag tag group of geniuses. And that’s what I also enjoyed about “Big Hero 6” is that our heroes have a clear moral code they operate by and they do it with their brains.

They’re all geniuses that use their head to implement their abilities, and I loved every second of it. “Big Hero 6” is set in the futuristic city of San Fransokyo, where young robot wiz Hiro spends his time fighting in illegal robot rings. His older brother Tadashi is another brilliant mind hoping to curb his law breaking habits by introducing him to his school where he shares a space with other like minded geniuses that are changing the world with science and technology. Given the bug to create, Hiro revolutionizes a new form of magnetic robotics, but events take a disastrous turn when the hall he’s demonstrating in goes up in flames. Tadashi is killed in an explosion leaving Hiro behind. Despite their loving aunt Cass (Maya Rudolph almost steals the show) tending to him daily, Hiro looks for a purpose and finds it in Tadashi’s orphaned robot Baymax, a medical assistant robot.

With Baymax, Hiro sets out to find the individual whose taken over his magnetic robots, and learns of a large plot involving a mysterious masked foe. “Big Hero 6’ is classic Marvel and Disney, where we visit with a blossoming individual who finds a special gift within themselves to help society. There’s also the theme of loss presented through Hiro and Tadashi being raised by their single aunt Cass, having lost their parents years before. This is about as close to an animated “Spider-Man” film as we get, while Hiro really develops in to a wonderful and empathetic hero. Through tragedy he finds his mission to not only find out why his brother died, but who might have caused it, and he recruits his friends to form an unlikely superhero team.

Much of what occurs develops in to themes of revenge and very much promotes the idea of seeking justice without inflicting terrible violence. In the long run, violence and death helps no one, the film examines, and this leaves with it a very wholesome message about channeling your grief in to a more positive arena that isn’t destructive or harmful. Hiro is a young man whose life is aimless when we first meet him and Tadashi manages to bring the best out of him, inspiring him to “look for another angle.” In other words, try approaching your grief from a different more productive perspective. The animation for “Big Hero 6” is impressive, matched by its excellent voice work by folks like James Cromwell, TJ Miller, Daniel Hiller, and Ryan Potter respectively. “Big Hero 6” really is a superhero tale that feels fresh and new. It succeeds in a compelling simple story with characters you can really root for and empathize with, and I hope we get a follow up very soon.