Big Hero 6
Running Time: 1 hours 48 minutes
13 year old robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada (voiced by Ryan Potter) and his older brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney) have found a home at the San Fransokyo University lab, where they and their friends spend their days building cutting-edge technology. On the day that Hiro is set to present his greatest innovation, a fire at the University destroys his microbots and takes the life of both his mentor Robert Callaghan (Oliver Cromwell) and his brother Tadashi.
As the months pass Hiro is slowly brought out of his state of mourning by the companionship of the medical care robot Baymax (Scott Adsit), that Tadashi had finished just before he died. By accident, Hiro and Baymax discover that the fire that killed Tadashi was set so a masked villain could steal Hiro’s microbots. This news causes the other scientists from their lab to join forces with them and use their technology to give them the ability to take down the man that killed their friend.
Big Hero 6 was fun, but I feel like it should have been more than that. Most of the ideas in the film aren’t original, but they could have been presented in a more fresh way. The character animation is boring, but at least there is some ethnic and gender diversity (which should always be the case in movies aimed at kids). The setting is the fictional city of San Fransokyo (San Francisco merged with Tokyo, get it?) which I thought would be really cool since I am pretty familiar with both cities, but it isn’t used to full effect. When the movie is at street level it is flat and grey, but when it hits the sky it explodes with color and style.
The vocal work is solid if unspectacular, but Scott Adsit’s voice makes Baymax the star of Big Hero 6. Even though the tone is robotic, Adsit manages to push through so much tenderness and humor into the dialogue that it is reminiscent of how brilliantly Wall-E was voiced by Ben Burtt. T.J. Miller also brings some very welcome chaotic energy as Fred, and when Fred is singing his own ridiculous theme song, I was laughing the hardest I have in a while. Even with those things in it’s favor, Big Hero 6 would be a better value as a rental than a trip to the theatre. C+