Saturday, January 17, 2015

Movie with Abe: Big Hero 6

Big Hero 6
Directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams
Released November 7, 2014

I didn’t rush to see this film when it came out, and only decided that I should in fact go see it when I realized that I had seen all the other major animated films of the year. It’s a shame my interest wasn’t piqued earlier since this is a strong and highly entertaining film in the style of all of the great Pixar and Disney films produced over the past few decades and years. “Big Hero 6” adds to the mix by infusing technology, culture, and a spirit of adventure into its particular plot.

Set in an astonishing amalgam of San Francisco and Tokyo designed to envelop the rich technological states of the two cities, “Big Hero 6” opens with a robot fight in which one heavyweight champion uses his creation to destroy his opponents. Young starry-eyed Hiro shows up to compete and quickly loses, but offers up money for a rematch in which his stealthily-designed robot annihilates the defending champion. Hiro is quickly plucked from a dangerous situation involving the angry owner of the defeated robot by his older brother Tadashi. We soon learn that Hiro is a young genius who hasn’t exactly been putting his great mind to work in the way that he should.

Before long, Hiro is introduced to Tadashi’s work, which involves the Baymax, a robot companion designed to serve as a health monitor. Certain events lead to villainy that in turn requires Hiro to assemble a team of tech enthusiasts with their own particular areas of expertise, transforming this more tender family story into an all-out action movie with extreme geek appeal. What’s cool is the positive, exciting way in which technology and creativity are spotlighted and emphasized in this film, seen as the ultimate goals and achievements.

“Big Hero 6” employs some great voices, including James Cromwell, Alan Tyduk, Maya Rudolph, Abraham Benrubi, Damon Wayans Jr., Scott Adsit, and the incomparable T.J. Miller, but where it really shines is with its characters. Hiro is a fantastic protagonist, and Tadashi, along with his classmates Fred, Gogo, Wasabi, and Honey Lemon, embodies such a stellar notion of the human spirit and a love for science that it’s impossible not to like them. And that’s not even considering Baymax, a robot for the ages who doesn’t let a lack of personality get in the way of being loveable. This is a fun, cool movie, and easily one of the best animated films of the year.


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