Minor Spoilers

BH6 Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While I was initially hesitant about this Disney Marvel movie (as opposed to a Marvel Marvel, Sony Marvel, or Fox Marvel movie), I was happily surprised by the medium they achieved between classic Disney feel-good and Marvel kick-ass. I mean, most Disney movies don’t begin with illegal gambling, child endangerment, motorcycle chases, and death.

Before I get into anything else, I want to mention the short before the film. Entitled Feast, it’s the story of a dog being spoiled with human food, but I fully expect some “better love story than Twilight” memes to spawn from the short tale. The art was just fantastic, comparable to Paperman (another great short) though with thicker lines and a more hand drawn style. Most of the story is told through Winston’s (the dog) facial expressions, which if you have a pet or you’ve ever wasted time watching animal videos on the internet you’ll know are spot on, with the rest of the story happening in the background behind his bowls and plates. Despite this, a story about friendship, love, loss,  and more are all well portrayed in the short space of time. I compared it to Paperman for quality, and like Paperman it really stayed with me, unlike some other Disney shorts which were cute but afterwards was none the better for seeing.

Now onto the movie proper. Big Hero Six is far and away the most different from its comic origins, thoroughly Disney-fied but still grown-up enough to be enjoyable for a wide variety of ages. As stated above, there are some very grown-up themes in this movie, most involving Hiro’s loss and how he learns to deal and overcome it. What’s fairly remarkable is that BH6 doesn’t hit you over the head with these themes, sure it’s obvious they’re there but I never felt like I had paid twelve bucks to watch some kid’s counseling session.

The story around Hiro’s loss and coming to terms was just as enjoyable as anything else, filled with a diverse cast that for the most part avoid the regular tropes. The one exception is Fred, the “stoner” (who is voiced by the same voice actor that voices Tuffnut in How to Train Your Dragon, Fred’s basically a less rowdy version of Tuffnut too), but otherwise every character is fleshed out fairly well considering only Hiro and Baymax really get time to develop. That being said, the development we do get, namely Hiro’s emotional journey, is very realistic and relatable, albeit surrounded by technology we can only wish to have at the moment. Baymax’s growth provides a heartwarming and humorous parallel to Hiro, approaching every subject with his patented brand of monotone that allows him to be humorous in bad situations, while at the same time a loving replacement for the one’s Hiro has lost.

The setting and art is the great Pixar quality you would expect, combining the American style Disney knows with the Japanese style that inspired the original. Both the characters and the world they inhabit are beautiful, something I would hope some Japanese studios who try to do CG would take note of. Most CG anime usually falls into the uncanny valley, but this movie proves you can get the effect without making your viewers want to vomit at the sight. Granted, Disney/Pixar and anime are two very different things, but that doesn’t mean they can’t learn from one another, especially since Astro Boy as partially inspired by o McDuck (Google it) so it’s far from unheard of.

In the end I think it really comes down to how well Disney and Marvel really mix, and this movie proves that it can without being a detriment to either. While this movie obviously doesn’t work with the Marvel cinematic universe, it wouldn’t be so preposterous for this to become the start of a Disney Marvel Cinematic universe. I know it won’t, but I would watch it if it did. So should you go see Big Hero Six? If you like animated movies that hit you right in the feels, then yes.