Baymax: I fail to see how flying makes me a better health care companion.
Hiro: I fail to see how you fail to see it's awesome!
Released November 7, 2014, Big Hero 6 is a 3D animated film by the Disney company based of a short Marvel Comics series of the same name. It's made by Walt Disney Animation Studios rather than Pixar, and it is the 54th film in the Disney animated canon.
It follows the story of a boy and his robot pal (and group of friends) as they fight off an evil dude in a mask.
Hiro Hamada is a fourteen year old genius living in the futuristic city of San Fransokyo with his older brother, Tadashi, and their aunt Cass. While his equally intelligent and more altruistic brother Tadashi goes to a high tech robotics college and devotes his time to creating a medical aid robot named Baymax, Hiro spends his time scamming people at robot fighting rings for money. Tadashi, concerned about his brother wasting his talent, finally convinces Hiro to attend the college. To get in, candidates must display their robotics prowess at an annual exhibition. Hiro creates his Microbots-- tiny robotic prices that can link together and create stuff, all controlled by the mind of anyone wearing the head scanner that comes with it. Unfortunately, tragedy strikes when the university catches fire and Tadashi is caught in a blast while trying to rescue professor Callaghan, the head of the program and Tadashi's mentor.
After spending weeks in a depressed slump, Hiro accidentally activates Baymax and finds a single fragment of his microbots-- which he thought were destroyed in the fire. The microbot piece is trying to make its way back to the whole, which Hiro finds in an abandoned warehouse. Hiro realizes that the man in the mask who stole his bots set the fire in order to cover up the theft, and vows revenge.
From then on, a good chunk of the movie is Hiro trying to track down the man in the mask, turn Baymax from a lovable marshmallow who wants to heal into a super fighting robot. Along the way, his brother's old friends from the robotics program join him, not knowing that Hiro doesn't intend to take the perpetrator, known only as Yokai, in alive.
There are twists and turns, a little betrayal here, a little trans-dimensional hopping there, and some cool action sequences, as well as some good humor, but I think (oddly enough) the movie's real strength is the exploration of grief and the mourning process. Hiro doesn't hit all of the five stages of grief, but he certainly goes through more of them than the usual Disney character, and there's a lot of focus on his emotional state (partly because Baymax downloaded the entire internet's supply of information on the subject).
The plot is fairly straight forward with a single twist you can probably guess by the end of the first act (I did, at least) and it takes a cursory glance over revenge and the consequences of revenge-- which is not a new thing for Disney, but it's done with a little more depth than the usual kid's flick fare. It feels like an origin story (which it is. Even the characters lampshade it at one point), but that also means it feels sort of...small. Like they were so busy getting the setup together that they didn't have enough time for plot expansion. The threats are very direct and dealt with accordingly.
I don't know anything about the comic it's based on, except that it apparently had six issues and the movie changed a lot of stuff. I'm gonna have to give a big shrug on that.
This movie is sweet. There's not a lot of development given to most of the characters, but that's okay. They all are what they need to be. It's an hour and a half long, and it feels shorter than that. I don't think this is going to be remembered as one of the greats, but it's still a good movie with gorgeous animation.
Baymax: Your neurotransmitter levels are rising steadily.
Hiro: Which means...?
Baymax: The treatment is working.
“I cannot deactivate until you say 'I am satisfied with my care.'"