Disney’s newest computer-generated imagery installment Big Hero 6 was a surprisingly fun action-adventure movie for the whole family to enjoy. It even topped Christopher Nolan’s space exploration epic, Interstellar, at the box office. Big Hero 6 trailers made the film seem like it was a sheer E.T. knock-off. What the trailers did not show you was that the plot diverged from that story-line giving it a more Marvel superhero approach. Watching the movie in 3D made the experience that much more exuberant. The vibrant bright colors and the advanced animation made the film so much more magical and real. ‘Big Hero 6’ is loosely based off the Marvel Comics, Sunfire & Big Hero 6. If you want to take a look at the comic originally issued in September 1998, here is a link, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Hero_6.
I went into the theater without any expectations nor any understanding of the material. Before the trailer came out, the Marvel Comics for Big Hero 6 did not even exist in my world. So I put on the 3D glasses and delved into its world. To show proof that I saw the film in the theater, look at the pay stub below.
The opening sequence sets the universe. A sprawling and Tokyo-inspired Metropolis ensues, with artistic blimps, post-modern architecture and bright colors. These paint a picture of a near future utopia that has urbanized and conjoined its San Francisco back-drop with Japanese culture called, San Fransokyo. In this future, people gamble illegally in the underbelly of the city for bot fighting. It is an advanced version of the show, BattleBots. Essentially, on the black market a fat Kingpin named Yama, rests easy on his throne. Yama’s bot is undefeated until he faces a young teenager that goes by the name of Hiro Hamada (voiced by Ryan Potter). An angry mob of people laugh when they notice Hiro signing up to face Yama with a tiny bot that has the look of a stuffed toy. Yama laughs as they engage in the first battle. Yama immediately disintegrates Hiro’s smiling bot. Before Hiro could be turned away, Hiro puts in more money for a double or nothing. In the second bot battle, Hiro with his remote controller activates the bots rage meter. The bot turns its smiley face into a angry one, takes off its parts until dismantling Yama’s creation. Hiro grabs the money from the pot. Yama and his gang soon realize that Hiro only hustled them. They chase after Hiro through the alleyways when Hiro’s brother, Tadashi Hamada (voiced by Daniel Henney) comes to his rescue, on a scooter. Tadasha leads his brother out of the situation in an exciting chase scene. The cops get involved and wind up arresting the brothers. Hiro and Tadashi’s caretaker, Aunt Cass (Maya Rudolph) bail them out. They all live upstairs at a coffee shop. We quickly learn of Hiro and Tadashi’s close sibling bond. Tadashi being the elder one suggests that Hiro shy away from bot fighting and to get an education with his big brain. Hiro graduated high school at the age of 13 and is a prodigy. Tadashi weary of Hiro’s lack of motivation, brings Hiro to his robotics lab at the University.
At the lab is where we meet the nerds: Go Go (Jamie Chung) the engineer of fast module bicycles, Wasabi (Damon Wayans Jr.) an Obsessive Compulsive Disordered tech student creating a laser plasma field, Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez) who specializes in morphing colored bombs, and the free-spirited hippie Fred (T.J. Miller), who sits around wearing monster costumes. Tadashi then brings Hiro into his study and shows his creation; a fat and hollowed health android named, Baymax. This high tech robot has built in fiber glass, can lift one ton and has a hard-drive that can learn things in an instant. Baymax is activated after someone says “ouch”. He rises up from a backpack and inflates like a balloon into a humanoid being. The friendly and white artificial intelligence uses a scanner to determine areas in a person’s body that were injured or bruised. Baymax is like a personal nurse and Tadashi plans on exposing his invention to the world. Saving the world could not be more innovative.
Still Hiro is unconvinced of applying to the school until he runs into his brother’s Professor and Mentor, Robert Callaghan (James Cromwell). Callaghan is overseeing the operations at the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology and is a world renowned scientist, similar to Stephen Hawking or Steve Jobs. After meeting his idol and getting back home, Hiro asks his brother how he can get in. There so happens to be a technology expo in which Hiro can submit his invention. The University chooses one person to join their program. After hours of Hiro failing to create an idea, Tadashi gives his brother some motivation. Tadashi picks up Hiro from his legs and tells him to not fight his way out, but to think strategically. This moment becomes an important role later on in the movie. Hiro takes the parts from his bot to create an army of micro bots.
At the expo: Tadashi, Go-Go, Wasabi, Honey Lemon and Fred help Hiro gear up for his presentation. With a little hesitation and some breathing, Hiro gives his audience at the expo the best presentation of a lifetime. Hiro was able to create a mind control head device to morph his millions of micro bots into any structure, entity or object. The only thing that holds the technology back are the limits to one’s own imagination. Hiro’s presentation is received so well that not only does he get into the University, but also gets a job offer from Alistair Krei (voiced by Alan Tudyk) who is in charge of a high tech corporation like Stark Industries. Professor Callaghan tells Alistair to back off on Hiro’s creation. Hiro and Tadashi agree and tell Alistair the micro bots aren’t for sale. An overjoyed Aunt Cass promised Hiro, Tadashi and their friends a round of dinner. Not before long Tadashi compliments his brother for his achievement when the expo suddenly goes up in flames. Hiro and Tadashi run towards the fire when Tadashi tells Hiro he needs to try to save the people still inside, including Robert Callaghan. Before Hiro has a chance of stopping his brother, Tadashi rushes to the aid of others as his cap falls on the steps. A few seconds after Tadashi enters the blaze, an explosion occurs killing Tadashi and Professor Callaghan in the process.
A long montage ensues of Tadashi and Callaghan’s funeral. Hiro isolates himself in his room. Disney always has to be so tragic; killing a sibling, father or mother off. Damn you Disney, why do you have to upset me? I remember trying to hold back my tears. Not only did Hiro lose his brother, but also his creation.
Time passes and the University is in session, but Hiro has missed the first few weeks of class. Hiro ain’t doing too well emotionally and sits around his room until he bumps into something and says, “ouch”. This immediately activates Baymax as he wakes up from his hyper-sleep in the backpack. The plus-sized robot begins his spiel, “Hello, I am Baymax.” Baymax begins scanning Hiro and finds no ailments. Hiro tells the robot it’s a different kind of pain. Baymax scans and programs itself to learn about emotional and psychological pain. Baymax states that in tough times it is good to contact friends and loved ones for moral support. Baymax gives Hiro a big hug. Baymax begins calling up all the nerdy friends. Hiro tries getting Baymax to avoid his plight and attempts to put the robot back in his bag. Before Hiro says the phrase to turn Baymax off, one of the micro pieces that Hiro saved from the explosion starts to magnetically move. Hiro grabs a petri dish and puts the micro bot screw inside. The screw is pointing towards a direction. Baymax then takes it and starts roaming through the streets of San Fransokyo as it guides the duo to the burnt warehouse where the expo took place.
Hiro ignores the safety precautions given by the slow moving robot as they descend into the dark void. Not too long after searching through an abandoned warehouse they spot a light up station without its inhabitants. It is clear the them and the audience that someone is lurking in the shadows. Suddenly, all the micro bots that were part of Hiro’s creation jump out and begin forming into hostile figures. They start chasing after Hiro and Baymax as they race to get away. At the top of the scaffold Hiro runs into the villain. A man in all black wearing a white and red Kabuki mask controlling the micro bots. With the help of Baymax, the two manage to slip away in time.
The next scene cuts to Hiro explaining this to the tired cop at the police precinct. This scene is very funny and realistic. The copy clearly does not believe Hiro’s ridiculous story of a man controlling tiny robots. Meanwhile, Baymax reaches for the scotch tape on the desk to plug in the holes that are deflating him. Before the cop has Hiro contact his guardians, the two leave. I found this out recently, but if you look closely on the wall behind the cop, there is a Wanted Poster for Hans. Hans is the antagonist from Frozen. What a sweet Disney Easter Egg.
Getting back to the film, when Hiro and Baymax get home, Baymax wobbles up the stairs like a stumbling drunk. Reason for Baymax’s odd behavior is due to his low battery life. Hiro tries to hide the fact that he’s hanging out with a balloon android and not attending college from his Aunt. Baymax sits upstairs in Hiro’s room as he pets the cat saying, “Nice hairy baby.” Hiro finally gets Baymax to his recharge station.
Hiro’s grief over his brother leads him to confine in Baymax that his emotional pain would cease once they catch the micro bot mind controller, Yokia. The next week, Hiro upgrades Baymax with a new chip into a fighting bodyguard equipped with armor. When they track Yokia using one of the micro bots, they run into Go Go, Wasabi, Honey Moon and Fred. The four join them when Yokia chases after them in the streets. They luckily escape his clutches and hideout in Fred’s mansion. Fred who provides the film with comedic material also is the son of a rich family. Hiro helps his four new found friends suit up in armor and weapons to use against Yokia. Hiro laces Baymax with a titanium red armor suit, equipped with jet packs and a punching booster glove. Go Go has a yellow outfit and moves like The Flash, Wasabi has green light saber swords, Honey Moon has a purse full of multicolored bombs, and Fred has his mascot costume with a super-jump ability and fire that breathes out of its mouth. They’re plan is to only remove the neurotransmitter mask from Yokia, not to harm him. The most exciting part of the movie was when Hiro rides Baymax as he flies through the city skies using the jet packs on his back. The 3D glasses put you on a roller coaster ride. Eventually, Hiro and Baymax sit on top of a blimp while overlooking the city. It is quite the beautiful view.
The newly band of superheros track Yokia’s location on a quarantined island off the coast of San Fransokyo. On the island is an abandoned facility, in ruins. There they find out why the Professor disliked Alistair Krei. A video shows of Alistair’s testing experiments for Quantum Teleportation and Inter-space portals going awry. Callaghan’s daughter, Abigail offers to be the guinea pig in testing out the product. When she enters the portal, she fails to come back through the other end because the system shuts down and breaks. Robert Callaghan comes into the picture and tells Alistair he will regret what he did. Immediately after, an awesome battle occurs between our six young heroes and Yokia. The group succeeds in lifting off Yokia’s mask when it is revealed (Spoiler alert!) that the madman is no other than Robert Callaghan! I feel like that was coming. Callaghan explains that he used Hiro’s bots to shield him from the fire and that his own selfishness ignored the safety of Tadashi. In realizing that his invention was for nothing and that Callaghan could have saved his brother, Hiro reprograms Baymax to destroy Callaghan. In the process of Hiro’s rage, Baymax almost kills their friends while they allow Yokia to escape. After the four friends stop Baymax, Hiro flies Baymax to his home to get rid of the original chip that Tadashi placed inside the robot. Hiro screams and yells telling Baymax that Tadashi is dead. Baymax reassures the emotional kid that his brother is alive inside of him. The robot shows final recordings of Tadashi’s tests on Baymax. This stops Hiro from turning his friendly robot into a killing machine.
Hiro’s friends arrive in time to tell him that Callaghan is heading to Krei’s presentation in order to fulfill his vengeance for losing his daughter in the experiment. When the tag team of heroes get to the building, Callaghan turns on the portal ring device. The portal begins sucking everything into it’s warp as pieces of the building fall apart. Round 2 of the fight with Yokia ensues. The group seemingly come close to defeat until Hiro remembers what Tadashi told him. To not fight your way out, but to think strategically. Using their wits and environments around them, each of the heroes expose Yokia’s weaknesses, gradually defeating him. Eventually, the group stops Yokia and destroy the mask, thus deactivating the micro bots. The portal however becomes increasingly unstable as they try to find a way to shut it down. Baymax detects human life residing from within the portal. Knowing that it is most likely Abigail, Hiro and Baymax fly into the void as an attempt to rescue her. Within the vortex is an inter-dimensional space containing enormous multi-colored gaseous clouds and floating debris from the building. After a few seconds of searching, they find Abigail unconscious inside her pod floating in space. When they thrust back towards the portal, a huge piece of debris withers Baymax’s armor to pieces, leaving only his fist rocket. Baymax tells Hiro that in order for them to survive he will shoot the fist rocket which will inevitably propel them back on earth and to safety. Hiro gets upset, but soon decides it’s the only way. Baymax’s final words are, “I will always be with you.” Baymax’s sacrifice came at a good price. This was the saddest moment in the film, because there was such a strong bond formed between Hiro and his robot. Hiro and Abigail get out of the portal, Abigail is hospitalized and Callaghan gets arrested.
However, do not get too upset because Hiro finds the Tadashi chip inside Baymax’s fist rocket. A resolution montage ensues of Hiro creating the second Baymax. The group of six join together to save the world by helping the citizens of San Fransokyo. There are several newspaper headlines showing of their superhero triumphant. They are the “Big Hero 6”. It is suggested that there will be a sequel if not several sequels and it is possible that there could be multiple Baymax copies made in future installments. There you have it, this film is the origin story of a superhero squad similar to: X-Men, Guardians of the Galaxy, Fantastic Four and The Avengers.
If you stay and wait out the entire credits which seem endless, you will get a surprising scene. Our comedic relief character Fred is in his mansion looking at a portrait of his father. Fred is talking to the painting of what looks like Stan Lee when suddenly a door behind it opens. Inside, is a futuristic lair filled with superhero costumes and underpants. A figure of his father comes into view and lists off with his son, “I wear it front to back, inside and out.” The father who is voiced by Stan Lee is also a computer-generated look-alike. The scene ends with Stan Lee grabbing Fred and saying, “We have a lot to talk about son.”
I must say that this movie was awesome. Disney’s Animated Frozen touched the hearts of a million girls, while I felt that Big Hero 6 reached the popularity of every other demographic. This is a fun film worth watching in the theaters and in 3D. I believe Disney has made a comeback after a long time and could now be at the forefront of cinema, once again.