This movie is good. Like, really good. I won’t exactly say that I was kept on the edge of my seat, but it has some of the funniest dialogue in recent memory.
Our hero, the aptly named Hiro Hamada, is a teen genius with an aptitude in robotics. After his brother, Tadashi Hamada, catches him in an underground bot-fight, Tadashi decides to convince Hiro to put his talents to better use. Eventually, Hiro shows his work at an exhibition to enroll in the San Fransokyo (yes, no typo there) Institute of Technology, but tragedy strikes – the Institute gets set on fire and Tadashi dies. Months later, Hiro accidentally activates Tadashi’s project, a medical robot named Baymax. When a microbot from Hiro’s presentation months earlier re-activates, they are driven to investigate – and find that the fire might not be an accident.
If there’s something that this movie does absolutely right, it is the characterization of its protagonists. Hiro is, to me, one of the more interesting Disney protagonists out there (okay, he’s derived off of an existing Marvel character but still) and his defining moment when you see him bot-fight in the opening of the movie just won me over. One of the better boys in the “A Boy and his X” formula movies.
I haven’t even started on Baymax – who overshadows Hiro, in my opinion. When you laugh watching this movie (likely to be 80% of the time), it is because Baymax is so adorable. As a medical robot, his top priority is the treatment of his patients, and it is this quality that makes him so endearing, as when he acts, he truly acts with Hiro’s best interests in mind. You will love this robot – see it to believe it.
However, the super-team that they put together about halfway through the movie kind of felt out of place, for me. I honestly felt that the movie would be better with just Baymax and Hiro, and maybe a friend or two from the Institute of Technology instead of all four. The crew doesn’t get very significant character development, and that makes them feel really “extra” in a sense. Guardians of the Galaxy, which I admit I like better, did a better job in spreading out the character development more evenly.
The plot is quite well-paced, with no real lapses. About the only complaint I really have is the obligatory scene where Baymax takes flight with Hiro. I think it was necessary to make the protagonists closer, but they really dragged it out in favor of visual spectacle – maybe it would have been better to give the screen time to the villain – who, despite having a revealed motivation, didn’t quite feel sympathetic in my eyes. The climax was something that came out of The Avengers – a fun fight scene in the middle of a city, which is what you’d expect from a movie like this. The ending that is supposed to tug at heartstrings does its job, although I’ve seen it before in another movie.
For its excellent protagonists and decent attempt at a superhero flick, I think I can give Big Hero 6 a solid 7/10. I enjoyed the interaction between Hiro and Baymax, and although the movie didn’t really give me anything new beyond them, it still is enjoyable and worth a watch.