Big Hero 6 follows the tale of incredibly intelligent and smoothly cool brothers Hiro (Ryan Potter) and Tadashi (Daniel Henney) who are raised by their aunt Cass (Maya Rudolph) after their parents’ death many years before.
At age thirteen, Hiro is a high school dropout but that doesn’t stop him from using his smarts to enter into the underground world of robot fights. Being the older, caring brother, Tadashi lures Hiro to see his university office where he keeps all the cool gadgets, and successfully baits him into applying for the university. To get in Hiro sets about making a heap of mind-controlled microbots, wows the admissions team and his newfound friends (and Tadashi co-workers) Fred (T.J Miller), Go Go (Jamie Chung), Wasabi (Damon Wayans Jr) and Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez).
It is at this point, fairly early in the film, that the first of the darker parts of being human kicks in with a fatal accident involving Tadashi. Hiro struggles with loneliness but with the assistance of Tadashi’s invention Baymax (Scott Adsit), a health care robot, and a loose microbot that survived the accident, he begins to find a purpose again.
In his new discoveries Hiro finds someone else has been using his microbots to become a supervillain. Hiro decides he must upgrade Baymax to take on the villain, recover his invention and avenge his brother.
The confronting themes of revenge and loss are craftily woven into the film to present them in an approachable way for a family movie. The loveable nature and kindness of Baymax is key to the film not being overrun by the gloomy topics. Baymax’s small quirks also add a lot of subtle adult humour into the film that seems to be essential in all new animated features.
The film is set in the fictional and futuristic hybrid city of San Fransokyo and it is within the design of the city that a lot of the standout work by the animators appears. All the fine detail around the city and the combination of features from San Francisco and Tokyo make the location feel much more believable. They leave no area of the city without a unique feature. The detail of the microbots and the scene involving a teleporter are further impressive areas of the animation. These sections make the extra price of 3D worthwhile to be able to experience all the small movements and completely enjoy the strikingly vivid colour in certain scenes.
As with a lot of animated films it is the small quirks of the characters and the subtle humour levelled at both adults and children that make the movie fun and interesting to watch. The characters are ably voice acted by all involved. The voices all work together to create a nice ensemble rather than leading with one character’s voice. The music also fits neatly into the movie without detracting from the emotion, animation or storyline, except for the montage scene.
Big Hero 6 is due for release on Boxing Day; a very family-friendly run during the school holidays.
Reviewed by Alex Dunkin
Rating out of 10: 7
Release date: 26 December 2014
Duration: 108 mins