Big Hero 6

Big Hero 6

(PG) Disney DVD/BD

Hiro Hamada is a brilliant, bored 14 year-old genius who builds robots to fight for money in the back-alleys of the futuristic city of San Fransokyo. His brother, Tadashi, sees his younger sibling’s talent is getting him into trouble and wants to recruit him for the talented robotics team at the local university. Tadashi is a skilled robot inventor himself, having created Baymax, a marshmallow-like healthcare robot.

Hiro is challenged to qualify for the local robotics program and rises to his brother’s challenge. He creates a new type of robot that could change the face of the robotic industry, gaining him entry into the university. Then that same day, tragedy strikes. Hiro, Baymax and the talented university students challenge themselves to be more than the brainiacs behind the robots, becoming heroes using their own technology, albeit unwillingly at first. Hiro works to transform Baymax from healthcare to heroics. He equips the lovable bubble-bot to battle against the new evil in the city. The mystery behind this new villain and how to stop him gives the story a needed depth and builds to the inevitable climatic finish. This high energy adventure is full of everything you’d expect to spearhead a Disney-Marvel hybrid.

This film has whispers of the many robot-hero-coming-of-age films of the past, but the characters are unique and the story delivery is on point. The emerging directorial talent of Don Hall and Chris Williams has lead to a well-crafted, fresh animation, overseen by the experienced John Lasseter, whose fingerprints appear to be all over this film. The other challenge this film takes on is incorporating one of the lesser known stories of the multitude of Marvel comics, while remaining under the Disney label. It turns out Stan Lee’s cameo was the only real Marvel touch in an otherwise original animated film.

Conversations about revenge, heroes, salvation and sacrifice will fill the family car and dinner table for hours after seeing this film.

The film might be a bit dark for the youngest audience members, but overall this is a film for the whole family. The villain can be scary and the action intense, but nothing that would exceed what can also be seen in other animated films such as Tarzan or The Lego Movie. You would be hard pressed to find objectionable material in this film. If you are looking for something to talk about with your family, this film is full of opportunities. Conversations about revenge, heroes, salvation and sacrifice will fill the family car and dinner table for hours after seeing this film.

A small note of consideration is the short film Feast, shown prior to Big Hero 6. With Lasseter’s move from Pixar to Disney, one hold over is the tradition of the short film prior to the feature. ‘Shorts’ help to move the audience beyond their everyday lives, gently progressing into what is to come; A cinematic clearing of the palette. The story of Winston the dog and his owner is reminiscent of the opening sequence of Up. Often the common thread between people’s lives is their pets. Feast manages to move audience members into an animated world full of emotion, humour and heart.

Reviews like this are harder to write than one might think. When a film is this good, it is difficult to strike a balance in the comments. It is a rare film that can be recommended to anyone, but this one makes the cut.

What are the bigger questions to consider from this film?

  1. Is revenge the answer to injustice? (Psalm 37: 27-29, Romans 12:17-21)
  2. What is biblical justice? (Psalm 7:9, Romans 3:5-6)
  3. Who determines right and wrong? (John 3:19-21, Matthew 28:18)

Russell Matthews works for City Bible Forum Sydney and is a film blogger

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