Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Big Hero 6

I grew up on Disney. I can still see the shelves of Disney VHS in my old family living room, and I can still feel the unparalleled joy I felt in my heart each time my parents told my sister and I that we were going to Disneyland. I’ve grown a lot since then, and have thrown many childhood things aside to make way for the real world of adulthood and all that it brings. But some things never change, and some things can never be thrown aside. Disney will always be in my heart. Even when they release nonsense like Frozen, I ignore that shit (even though I should probably Let It Go) and remember the true classics. But every once in a while, Disney will surprise even me. After almost 80 years of films, they can still find ways to surprise us with unique and memorable films. 

Directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams and out now on Blu-Ray and DVD comes Big Hero 6. It's  based on a Marvel Comics story of the same title. Yes, Marvel Comics. Big Hero 6 is the first Disney animated film to feature Marvel, since The Walt Disney Company acquired them in 2009. And here’s a big bombshell for you, dear readers. I don’t particularly enjoy superhero stories, films or comics. I know that makes me a terrible person, but there you go. As such, I was quite sceptical about Big Hero 6. I was also a bit troubled by the rather different animation style – Disney developed entirely new software technology to create the film – and the rather overly childish feel I got from the marketing.  However, I hold my hands up now and say I was very wrong to be worried. Big Hero 6 is delightful in every single way.

Big Hero 6 the story of Hiro Hamada, a 14-year old robotics genius, who spends his time hustling people at illegal robot fights. When the opportunity arises for him to join a prestigious robotics school and put the world of fights behind him, he grabs it with both hands. At the school he meets a group of eccentric inventors and the loveable Baymax, a plus-sized inflatable healthcare robot. When a supervillain begins terrorising the city in which they live, Hiro and his new friends must form a team of high-tech heroes and save the day.

Narratively, Big Hero 6 is surprisingly mature. From the marketing, I expected this film to be one for younger viewers. Sure, they’ll be kept entertained by the extremely colourful aesthetics and cuddly character Baymax; one of the most loveable film characters you have ever seen. And it’s true what you’ve heard, the film belongs to Baymax, who steals every single scene he appears in. But other than Baymax and the bright colourful visuals, the film feels aimed at older viewers. The plot takes mature, moving turns in regard to loss and is quite dark in places. And I’m not for one second saying it’s a complex plot, but it isn’t the most simple and straight-forward Disney have ever done.

The pacing is superb – the 90 minute length, average for this sort of film, flies by without a minute wasted. And the voice acting is pretty decent throughout with very little to fault – Ryan Potter is especially good in the lead role of Hiro, and I imagine we’ll be hearing him more in coming years. And that animation I was a troubled by from the marketing? It’s absolutely BEAUTIFUL. Big Hero 6 features some of the most breath-taking visuals I’ve seen in an animated film – especially during the second half of the film.

Big Hero 6 is bloody delightful in every single way and is a difficult film to review. Why? Because it’s SO darn loveable and charming and sweet that I cannot fault it, and I just want to rant and rave about how wonderful it is. As Disney films go, I couldn’t possibly find one thing wrong with it. It’s perfect, vintage Disney with an extremely fresh and unique feel. Don’t waste any more time reading this. Go out, pick up a copy of Big Hero 6 (if you can, try and see the 3D version – it’s stunning) and enjoy one of the finest films Disney have put out in a long time. Funny, tender, charming, exciting, entertaining, moving, perfect.

Big Hero 6 saves the day and earns an extremely well-deserved 5/5.


Sam Love

Big Hero 6 at CeX

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