Review: Disney continues its winning formula with ‘Big Hero 6’Written by James A. Molnar | The Gold Knight | firstname.lastname@example.org
A robot is going to make you cry.
Your heart will smile and then melt when you meet Baymax, the billowy white robot at the center of Disney’s latest animated film, “Big Hero 6,” out Nov. 7.
Just like Olaf in Disney’s Brobdingnagian blockbuster “Frozen,” these supporting characters are part of a winning formula.
They add heart, laughter and a sense of zaniness to their respective films.
Adding emotion and depth to a robot was part of the Oscar-winning success of Disney/Pixar’s “Wall-E.” Who knew a robot could fall in love? That was another robot to root for.
In the cinematic universe, audiences have seen a plethora of lovable robots — from C-3PO in the “Star Wars” franchise to Haley Joel Osment’s David in “AI: Artificial Intelligence.”
Most aren’t as huggable as Baymax, designed to be an inflatable “health companion.” He’s the character audiences will remember long after the 108-minute movie has ended.
However, Baymax is just one of the delightful characters found in this 3-D adventure in the fictional San Fransokyo, a blending of two famous cities hinted in the portmanteau.
The lead character is a boy named Hiro Hamada (voiced by Ryan Potter). He is too smart for his own good. Graduating high school at the ripe age of 13, Hiro has found himself utilizing his engineering skills for robot battles.
His Aunt Cass (voiced by Maya Rudolph) and his older brother Tadashi (voiced by Daniel Henney) help add to the spot-on emotional core of the movie.
At one point in the press screening, one boy declared, “I’m too sad to eat popcorn,” after a particularly saddening scene in the first act of the film.
Not wanting to give anything away, suffice it to say that this emotional core is something from which all great Disney films operate: loss as a catalyst for bravery and heroism.
And it works to cement the story and keep the audience engaged.
“Big Hero 6″ is the best animated movie of the year. Not since “The LEGO Movie,” which came out in February, have audiences been so touched and teary-eyed. “Big Hero 6″ is reminiscent of the animated gold standard of Disney/Pixar films like “The Incredibles” and “Toy Story 3.”
This animated feature, inspired by Marvel’s comic series of the same name, is Disney’s big animated follow up to “Frozen,” which netted $400 million at the domestic box office and more $1.2 billion globally — not to mention its other lucrative marketing avenues and merchandise. (Yes, “Planes 2: Fire & Rescue” came out in August, but let’s ignore that as a real movie from the animation studio.)
“Big Hero 6″ may not have the catchy songs or the female-centric bravado of “Frozen,” but it’s the better overall movie. But neither needs to compete with one another. This reviewer is happy for great-looking, non-franchise, inventive stories with heart.
With impressive 3-D animation and an immersive world that lends itself to more than one viewing, “Big Hero 6” is the must-see fall movie.
Rated PG for action and peril, some rude humor, and thematic elements.