BIG HERO 6 THE SERIES – BACK IN ACTION! – A DVD Review by John Strange

BIG HERO 6 THE SERIES – "Baymax Returns" – Set in the fictional city of San Fransokyo, 14-year-old tech genius Hiro begins school as the new prodigy at San Fransokyo Institute of Technology and sets off to rebuild Baymax. However, his overconfidence and penchant for taking shortcuts leads him and the newly minted Big Hero 6 team – Wasabi, Honey Lemon, Go Go and Fred – into trouble. This one-hour series premiere airs Monday, November 20 (8:00 – 9:00 P.M. EDT) on Disney Channel. (Disney Channel)

 
BIG HERO 6 THE SERIES – BACK IN ACTION! – A DVD Review by John Strange
 
When Big Hero 6 came out in 2014, I really enjoyed the concept.  The movie took a mash-up of San Francisco and Tokyo to create a city that while superficially resembling our San Francisco was a city with qualities unique unto itself.  The story's heart was taken from the series found in Marvel comics.
 
The heroes were nerds.  Yes, nerds.  Scientific geniuses no one would expect to become super heroes, full of neuroses and fears.  But when they had to stand their ground they went one step further and took their areas of research and created their costumes which channel their powers.
 
Now the Disney Channel and Disney XD  have brought the stories of Hiro, Baymax, and all of our friends from the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology to the small screen.  On the DVD release of Big Hero 6 The Series – Back In Action! are the first seven episodes of the show's first season and all six of the shorts that ran between May 31, 2018 and June 20, 2018 on the Disney Channel YouTube channel.
 
I was not sure as I began watching the episodes that I would enjoy them as much as I did the original movie.  As I watched Fred cajoling the friends into donning the suits again, I started to get the feeling that the center of the stories was going to be less Hiro/Baymax and more Fred and the others or perhaps the villain du jour of the episode.
 
Slowly as the episodes played out, a balance worked itself out giving the entire crew turns in the limelight though Fred seemed to pop up in the forefront more often than the others.  The supporting characters from the film are joined by the new dean of students, Professor Granville (Jenifer Lewis), a tough instructor which is just what Hiro needs to keep his 14-year-old mind on the business of his education. 
 
The series also has other notable voices lending a "hand" with the characters.  Most notable of these are Stan Lee (as Boss Awesome / Frederick Frederickson III aka Fred's father), Andy Richter (as an inept villain), Susan Sullivan (Fred's mother, Mrs. Frederickson), and Gordon Ramsay (as what else, an arrogant chef).
 
The stories are well written and the action flows well.  Fred was my biggest hurdle to enjoying the early episodes.  At first, especially during Baymax Returns (the first episode), his character's craziness took away from the show for me but as the episodes went on the writers gave us the reasons behind his actions by showing us more of his life away from the school.  Suddenly, I realized that the backstory of Fred was much deeper than anyone (including me) would have ever imagined and it all made sense.
 
The series has many things going for it though perhaps the most important is that the writers can really develop the individual characters and more fully flesh them out as we watch.  Watching Aunt Cass (Maya Rudolph) blossom on the screen is a beautiful sight to behold.  I will never be able to see her onscreen again without looking for the snarkiness and self-assurance that her episode brought to the forefront of her character.
 
Yes, I loved the episodes.  I also enjoyed the shorts, each featuring Baymax with one of the primary characters, plus Mochi (Hiro and Aunt Cass' cat).  I don't know why they made these but they are fun to watch and enlightening in their own way as they give us a different way to look at both the highlighted character and Baymax in each one.
 
If you are a big fan of the movie, you will notice one more thing about the TV series.  The artwork in the series is different that the film.  The film was drawn much more life-like while the TV series is filled with angles instead of the film's ovals and curves.  It is something I am seeing in a lot of the animation taken to the small screen.  I am not sure why they are using this look (possibly less expensive to draw?) but Big Hero 6 the Series is drawn using this same technique used in many of the other shows I have seen in the last few years.  It is something that you will notice for a while and then slowly the difference will fade from your conscious mind as you get into the action.
 
I look forward to getting my hand on the next DVD when it is released.  This is a good series that has the prospect of running for years.  I hope it does.  I rate it a BRAND NEW on our scale.
 
 
Executive Producer/Supervising Director:
 
  • Nick Filippi
 
Voice Cast:
 
  • Ryan Potter as Hiro; Scott Adsit as Baymax; Jamie Chung as Go Go; Genesis Rodriguez as Honey Lemon; Khary Payton as Wasabi; Brooks Wheelan as Fred; and Maya Rudolph as Aunt Cass
 
Episodes: 
 
  • Baymax Returns (44-minute Disney Channel Television Movie)
  • Fred’s Bro-tillion
  • Issue 188
  • Big Roommates 2
  • Failure Mode
  • Muirahara Woods
  • Food Fight
 
Bonus Features:
 
  • 6 Bonus Shorts 
 
  • Baymax and Hiro
  • Baymax and Wasabi
  • Baymax and Go Go
  • Baymax and Fred
  • Baymax and Honey Lemon
  • Baymax and Mochi
 
Specifications:
 
Runtime:
 
  • 176 Minutes
 
Studio:
 
  • Disney XD
 
Release Date:
 
  • 06/26/2018
 
Region:
 
  • A/1 (U.S. and Canada only)
 
Website:
 
 
MPAA Rating:
 
  • TV-Y7 FV (US)
 
Selig Rating:
 
  • BRAND NEW
 
Selig Rating Scale:
 
BRAND NEW: Should add to your DVD collection at any cost
SALE ITEM: Worth owning, but try to catch it a sale
SECOND HAND: Plan to get it, but wait to buy it used
RENTAL: Worth taking a look at, but not owning
COASTER: Pick it up at a garage sale and use it for drinks
PULL!: Makes a great Trap Shooting target