“Big Hero 6,” Disney’s latest animated adventure, takes its inspiration from a Marvel comic series of the same name by Steven T. Seagle and Duncan Rouleau. Now you may ask yourself: How in the world would Disney be able to take something that would normally be turned into a big budget, effects-filled, live-action film filled with plenty of fights and explosions and turn it into something that would be suitable for a children’s animated film? Well, when the boundless imaginations of the Disney team are involved, there’s usually no second-guessing that they’ll find a way to make it work somehow.
Taking place in the fictional city of San Fransokyo, we meet Hiro Hamada (Voice of Ryan Potter), a boy genius who has a special talent for robotics. The problem is, he puts all of that skill into the dangerous sport of “botfighting,” while his older brother, Tadashi (Voice of Daniel Henney), uses his brains at a local university for gifted inventors. After Tadashi exposes Hiro to the amazing lab he gets to work at, Hiro suddenly finds himself with a strong desire to go there, but first, he must come up with something to impress the man in charge, Professor Callaghan (Voice of James Cromwell). Luckily, this doesn’t take too long as he soon develops an amazing invention known as “microbots,” which can be made to do anything using a neural transmitter.
He quickly finds himself with his ticket to the university, but during the tech expo show where he unveiled his creation, a fire breaks out, resulting in the death of his brother. During his grieving, Hiro discovers that Tadashi left behind his latest creation, a medical care robot by the name of Baymax (Voice of Scott Adsit), who discovers that the last microbot in Hiro’s possession appears to be trying to get back to the others, which were thought to be destroyed in the fire. With Baymax’s help, and a few of his brother’s friends from the university, Hiro sets out on a quest to discover a plot that involves a mysterious masked figure using his microbots for evil, who, of course, must be stopped before he can carry out his evil plan.
To start off, I should point out that fans of the comic book series expecting a close adaptation will probably find themselves a little disappointed for the film takes some of the characters and ideas from its source material, but ultimately does its own thing when it comes to a story. That being said, the incredible minds over at Disney have come up with a very entertaining, action-packed, and often hilarious animated film that delivers just as much fun as a live-action Marvel outing. However, what makes it a little more than just your usual action picture is the fact that it throws in a number of emotional punches, including Hiro’s touching relationship with his brother and how he must deal with the sudden tragedy of his death with help from Baymax and friends.
There are times when the action gets a little old, particularly during the inevitable final showdown, but with an engaging story, great characters (Baymax is one of Disney’s best characters in a long time), beautiful computer-generated animation, and, as previously mentioned, a good deal of laugh-out-loud humor, “Big Hero 6” delivers in several areas and is sure to please both kids and adults. What more can you ask from a film about a boy genius and his inflatable robot?
As usual, Disney spares no expense when it comes to bringing you the very best picture and audio possible. The 2.39:1, 1080p High Definition transfer is flawless, giving the gorgeous animation the chance to shine with an image that is crystal clear and perfectly sharp. The 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is likewise incredible, allowing you to hear everything from the voice-acting to the score in unbeatable quality. Overall, there’s not a thing to complain about here, leaving you with a fantastic experience.
The Origin of Big Hero 6: Hiro’s Journey: An interesting look at how the film came to be, including looks at the source material, the story, and the animation.
Big Animator 6: The Characters Behind the Characters: An intriguing discussion between the main animators on the project that details how they developed the characters’ personalities and movements.
Deleted Scenes: Four deleted scenes that include two alternate openings and two additional scenes from an early version of the film. They’re interesting to see, but not particularly vital to watch.
Big Hero Secrets: A brief featurette that shows you how the team behind the film hid little pieces of “Frozen” and “Wreck-It Ralph” in the movie. Most of these are so small that, even when you know they’re there, you can’t really see them, making this featurette not particularly worth watching.
“Feast” Theatrical Short: A sweet Oscar-winning short that’s worth a look.
“Big Hero 6” is an exciting, action-packed adventure with plenty of heart that both kids and adults alike will find entertaining. True, it falls back on the action a little too much in spots, but there’s more than enough to make up for that with its emotional punches and memorable characters. We always expect high-quality entertainment from Disney, and their latest outing is certainly no exception. We can only hope that a fun-filled sequel will follow in the next few years.
Available on Blu-ray and DVD starting tomorrow.
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