Shannon Hodge

Review: Disney hits gold again with Big Hero 6

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It didn’t take long to fall in love with the brand new Disney tale Big Hero 6, set in the futuristic capital known as San Fransokyo, where Japanese temples and candy floss pink cherry blossom trees happily co-exist with a wonderfully-animated Golden Gate Bridge and endless skyscrapers.

The movie’s 14-year-old hero aptly named Hiro Hamada (Ryan Potter), is a robotics genius who already has his high-school diploma. Initially, the tech-whiz spends his time entering back-alley robot fights, competing for the money and the pride of beating people three times his age.

But after Hiro has a close call at a robotics fight, older brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney) steps in and invites him to check out his college’s robotics lab. There he unknowingly meets the A-team that make up four of the six of San Fransokyo’s vigilantes, better known as Big Hero 6.

Go Go Tomago (Jamie Chung) became a firm favourite character after she tells one of the guys to “woman up” at the beginning of the film, followed swiftly by sickly-sweet girly-girl Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez), anxious neat-freak Wasabi (Damon Wayans Jr) and not forgetting comic book fan boy Fred (voiced by TJ Miller).

After impressing the college with a genius science project involving microbots, Hiro is offered a place.  Then tragedy strikes in that typically devastating Disney way, after a fire breaks out, killing both Tadashi and Prof. Callaghan (James Cromwell), who was going to be Hiro’s tutor.

With no parents and his brother gone, Hiro becomes depressed, residing in his bedroom where he lives with his guardian and Aunt Cass (Maya Rudolph).

The film starts to pick up, when Hiro meets Tadashi’s invention, healthcare companion Baymax. Unlike any robot you’ve ever seen, Baymax is the epitome of all things cuddly, squishy and loveable. In fact, the world would be a happier place with the smoothed-out Michelin Man lookalike around, plus the NHS would save a fortune in the long-run.

Baymax was built to heal all kinds of pain, including grieving Hiro’s emotional loss. Though a heart-warming character, Baymax also brings a lot of laughter to the screen with scenes where he appears drunk due to low battery, tries squeezing his marshmallow-like body through tight gaps and shuffles around in a way that an incredibly overweight penguin would. Even his fist bump is an ongoing gag throughout.

Hiro, Baymax and the four tech-geeks then form an alliance in an attempt to defeat a rather terrifying looking villain in a kabuki mask, who is suspected of setting the fire that killed Tadashi, as well as stealing Hiro’s invention.

What follows is an emotional roller coaster of action, shock, strength, courage, sadness, tears and happiness. Amid all of this, praise must go to the producers for not only promoting an anti-violence message but also for creating Baymax, AKA the best Disney character ever.

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