After a tragic loss in the family robotics prodigy Hiro (Ryan Potter) teams up with an erratic and inflatable droid sidekick Baymax (Scott Adsit) to fight crime in the fictional metropolis of San Fransokyo as a kabuki-masked fiend wreaks havoc.

Directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams, Big Hero 6 is an enthralling animation, loaded with the fast-paced action and gripping backstory that you’d expect to see in any superhero origin adventure. From weaponised science-nerd and rookie superheroes to the captivating relationship between a young boy and his ‘out-of-this-world’ best friend, this Disney meets Marvel meets Hayao Miyazaki treasure is nothing short of a masterpiece. 

Hiro starts out as a troubled character, using his genius to illegally battle robots for money.  After encouragement from his older brother, Tadashi (Daniel Henney) and support from his eccentric aunt (Maya Rudolph) to enrol into the most prestigious robotics college in the city, Hiro finds himself in the middle of a series of mysteries, tragedies and superhero antics with Tadashi’s close-knit robotic sensation friends. 

Baymax, the huggable medic droid created by Tadashi, is the film’s indisputable star; with his minimalistic and expressionless design, good-natured demeanour and entertaining physical comedy he is irrefutably exhilarating and loveable. Baymax’s slapstick contribution is visually enticing and hysterical, and isn’t by any means exempt from the more suspenseful scenes. When Hiro and Baymax first encounter the lair of the Kabuki-masked villain, Baymax gets jammed in the window while trying to sneak in, he then begins to slowly and loudly deflate. His monotonous voice adds a tasteful comedy especially during scenes like when he picks up Hiro’s cat and says ‘hairy baby’.

Big Hero 6 is pleasantly surprising, as you are tackled with issues that you wouldn’t expect from your average Disney feature. Baymax is put into a suit of armour, instantly learns martial arts and begins his new task of helping Hiro get his revenge. While you can’t help but be caught up in the excitement of all the action, you are confronted with the distressing reality that Baymax was designed for the exact opposite of what Hiro is asking him to be. You also acknowledge that, in actuality, the villain’s actions are a result of motives that come from desperation and affection.

The film remains true to the themes of its comic book counterpart, but there is obvious artistic freedom. A sublime job has been done in the multicultural mashup of San Francisco and Tokyo, creating a bustling architecturally diverse metropolis with winding alleyways and steep city streets.

Big Hero 6 is a wonderful composition that explores how a young boy utilises his genius for a better life, the relationship between friends and acceptance, and the lengths to which love and loss can push you. Walt Disney’s latest animated feature is arguably one of its most meaningful and intense.  



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