Monday, November 10, 2014

Big Hero 6 Review: Simple Origins but Solid Tone

In the world of Disney, there are two areas these days that provide major business. The first is Disney Animation, which has returned to its former days of glory thanks to last year's Frozen. The other area is Marvel Comics which is now one the most popular movie studios as well as a major associate with Disney. So what would happen if these two factors were combined? The answer to this is Big Hero 6. It may surprise some out moviegoers out there but Big Hero 6 is actually based on a Marvel property; which the film loosely follows. This new animated feature brings something different for not just Disney, but superhero movies as well. However, can Big Hero 6 be the start of something new, or is this just another animated feature?

The story of Big Hero 6 tells the tale of Hiro (Ryan Potter): a scientific prodigy. After his older brother, Tadashi, is killed in an accident, Hiro finds a friend in the form of Baymax (Scott Adsit); a robot created by Tadashi. Hiro and Baymax find themselves in trouble when they discover a masked man using Hiro's nanobots for his own sinister purpose. To stop this supervillain, the duo are joined by Tadashi's friends and, through the brilliance of Hiro, the six become high tech heroes.

The story of Big Hero 6 works like a superhero origin film. The plot had a good set up to the main story and the construction of the heroes reflected points used in Iron Man. However the issue with Big Hero 6's plot is its pacing. At the beginning the pacing flows fairly well, but once we get to Act 2, the plot increases its speed. The issue with the quick pacing was that it did not give the story  proper time to flourish with its idea. It feels like the superhero part of this film, though effective, felt rushed; which took away from the movie's concept. While there were problems, the plot of Big Hero 6 had its moments and it does leave an impression. I just wish the story had more time to progress.
The characters to Big Hero 6 were a lot of fun. The chemistry between Hiro and Baymax was effective as you could get behind this unique duo. However, in the case of the two leads, Baymax is indeed the show stealer as Scott Adsit provides a performance that make you laugh, cry and just makes you love this huggable robot. The other members of the team were also great. Each of them had there quirks which made the four team members stand out. The only issue was, due to the movie's pacing, we did not get a lot of time to really know the four characters. Pacing also hurt the other supporting characters; such as the mysterious Yokai. Though the villain was meant to be shrouded in mystery, there was nothing that made him compelling. The characters of Big Hero 6 were by no means bad; in fact any of them were far from the term. However, the pacing prevented some of the film's cast to really stand out.

The animation to Big Hero 6 was amazing; and given Disney's recent track record, that is saying something. The details in the animation were fantastic as it capture the futuristic design of San Fransokyo and gave a lot of definition to the film's characters. The movie's animation also provided several beautiful shots as well as intense sequences that got my heart pounding. The film's second strongest element was its humor. Big Hero 6 had a lot funny moments for the whole family. The best moments, in my opinion, were the more subtle bits; such as the characters' reactions and the movie's witty dialogue. To put it simply, both the humor and animation provided the right tone as they gave Big Hero 6 a sense of individuality  in its genres.

Big Hero 6 may not be the best animated movie of the year, but it is indeed among the best. The film has a simple but effective origin story; as well as characters that you can get behind. If any thing, Big Hero 6 gives Walt Disney Animation something different and hopefully this will not be the last time we see this team on the silver screen.

Also see this review on Moviepilot

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