Sunday, March 1, 2015

Big Hero 6 (2014) Review:

Much like Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) released the same year, this movie is too based on a comic book property that is rather obscure. The title itself is also comparatively vague in its description. However, it seems that Marvel knew what they were doing because for their add campaign all they had to do was stick their soft round mascot as the main attention grabber. The actual story behind these two things is a young boy named Hiro who lives in the future city of San Fransokyo. There, he earns money by competing in illegal robot fights. Upon being rescued by his brother Tadashi time and time again, Hiro didn't want to do anything else. That is until his brother introduces him to the college he attends where robotics and science join hands to improve the way of living for future generations. This immediately catches Hiro's interest and he ends up meeting new friends along the way including Baymax, the white marshmallow looking cuddle balloon. Together, they form a group of six super heroes to stop a mysterious threat.

With writers Jordan Roberts (March of the Penguins (2005)), Daniel Gerson and Robert L. Baird (Cars (2006) & Monsters Inc. (2001)) penning this story, the end result was bound to be something worth while. The overall play out is almost what any viewer would expect but there are a number of traits to it that make it a family movie that stands out from the other generic films. The biggest differences are the characters. Instead of Hiro having a hard time fitting into the college he decides to attend, his brother's friends immediately welcome him with open arms and have quite a distinct personality for each. The supporting human character audiences will probably enjoy the most is Fred; mostly because of his goofy spontaneous nature. Then again, people will obviously fall more for Baymax. The character of Baymax is innocent and harmless and this is pretty much what makes him so likable.

The voice cast behind these characters is noteworthy as well. Baymax (Scott Adsit) and Hiro (Ryan Potter) both display genuine emotion for their roles, it sounds well done. The rest of the cast includes voice work from Daniel Henney, T.J. Miller (Fred), Jaime Chung, Damon Wayans Jr., Genesis Rodriguez, James Cromwell, Alan Tudyk and even Abraham Benrubi (George of the Jungle (1997)). Also mixing well with that is the animation, which is very fluid in movement, and the coloring of everything is bright and visible. Another satisfying fundamental piece that works with the animation is the action sequences. Hiro and his friends end up making body suits with powers that relate to what they are best at in the school. This leads to some very intriguing and creative fight sequences that aren't normally exploited when it comes to super powers.

That threat though
Henry Jackman who has proven he has enough experience producing music for family friendly genre and action related films provided the music for this movie. The best moments to this movie are when Jackman focuses more on the emotional moments between Baymax and Hiro. The action cues are appropriate but there isn't a main theme for the character(s), so it doesn't stick out as much as one would think. The only issues this animated/superhero film has are the usual things that come to mind. The usual are continuity errors and convenience of plot points. Some of these moments really are just thrown in order to avoid smart writing. And of all things, how does a piece of equipment work by putting it back together if it's not connected to the power source that initially made it run? The only other complaint some people may have is the message of sidelining school for superhero business. It's hard to say if  the main characters really dropped school but they did forget about it for a while. Not a gigantic problem but it is a bit misleading.

For Marvel and Disney's first shared animated feature, it doesn't stray far from its usual formula to attract audiences. Its action, animation, music and characters are developed properly to entertain any audience. However its message of being a superhero over getting an education and the usual animation/story errors are somewhat predictable.

Points Earned --> 7:10

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