A new year is upon us and I’m back reviewing movies here at Reel Insights. It feels nice to return – particularly to review such an exceptional movie as Disney’s Big Hero 6. Taking its source material from Marvel, whom they own, Disney have captured not only a sense of current popular culture’s fascination with comic books and their big-screen adaptations but demonstrate just how versatile and appealing they can be for all ages and genders. Teenage protagonist Hiro is a child genius whose new scientific creation soon finds its way into the wrong hands. He must join forces with other science geeks in an attempt to not only stop the masked super-villain who has stolen his invention but also figure out who lurks behind the mask. Hiro also finds himself being assisted by Baymax, a robot designed to assist patients with medical recovery and general mental and physical wellbeing. Their unlikely friendship grows just like the countless other unconventional Disney duos we’ve seen in their past family films. Baymax is designed to care for Hiro’s emotional and physical state whilst Hiro is dealing with more complex issues such as loss, revenge and betrayal. I was lucky enough to see Big Hero 6 at a recent preview screening. I may have only seen it on the second day of 2015 but I will be surprised if this isn’t in my top films of the year, 50 weeks from now. It’s just that wonderful.
Disney prove here that they’ve learnt a great deal from Marvel. Big Hero 6 comes from the Walt Disney Animation Studios rather than from the comic book company sub-division. Still, they’ve incorporated the wit and quirks that make the Marvel movies so recognisable and likeable. Big Hero 6 is packed with the references and personality we associate with the likes of The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy. There is even a brief animated version of a Stan Lee cameo and a hilariously satisfying end credit scene. Disney also made the bold decision to open Big Hero 6 with a short animated feature – taking note from the success that Pixar has had with this method. The magical short in question is entitled The Feast and it will warm you deeply in preparation for an equally warming feature film. Now owning both Marvel and Pixar, as well as Lucasfilm, Disney looks set for world domination but who can complain when their aiding in the making of exceptional family adventure films such as Big Hero 6. Whether Disney will have a positive or negative influence on the upcoming Star Wars reboot is yet to be seen but it seems that, at least for now, Marvel are safe in their hands.
Big Hero 6 has all the typical Disney traits we expect. Emotive set-ups, life lessons and character growth are all evident in this story of one teenager’s journey into adulthood. Like Bambi and Simba before him, Hiro must learn the hard way about the unfairness of life. This is a story about a boy and his robot; but just like other animation masterpieces such as The Iron Giant, it dares to venture into deeper discussions about weaponry, sacrifice, grief and revenge. With its many moments of great joy and several moments of great sorrow, Big Hero 6 has finally landed on British shores. It is an exciting and creative study of adolescence that questions gender stereotypes, our trust in technology and the way we heal and deal with our emotional wounds. What a fantastic way to begin our year here at Reel Insights. Woman up, and go and see Big Hero 6. With a visual setting reminiscent of Blade Runner and a robot who merges somewhere between Wall-E and HAL 9000, Big Hero 6 is a family film with deeper science-fiction roots than you initially expect.
Thanks for reading and let’s all keep supporting our beloved film industry.