BIG HERO 6 – A Review by John Strange

By: John ’Doc’ Strange
Directed by: Don Hall, Chris Williams
Cast: Ryan Potter, James Cromwell, Damon Wayans Jr., Maya Rudolph, Scott Adsit, Daniel Henney
MPAA Rating: PG (for action and peril, some rude humor, and thematic elements)
Selig Rating: FULL PRICE
Runtime: 96 Min.
Hiro (voiced by Ryan Potter) is a genius.  He graduated from high school at the age of 13.  He spends his time working underground robot battles.  I love Hiro’s battle bot.  When it throws the first fight it has a smiley face.  When he pulls out a huge roll of cash, his opponent agrees to a rematch.  Suddenly the smile face rotates and we see the angry face!  In short order, Hiro’s bot kicks the other bot’s backside!
Hiro grabs his winnings and his bot a step ahead of the heavies who want his head, his bot, and the cash.  Cornered in a back alley, big brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney), a student as San Fransokyo Tech, comes to the rescue on a scooter.  As they evade the goons, Tadashi chides Hiro about building robots for fighting when he could be going to college. 
Hiro wants nothing to do with school.  That is until Tadashi takes Hiro by his lab at the university and lets the young genius meet his fellow students.  Each has an amazing project that blows Hiro’s mind.  Then Hiro meets Baymax, Tadashi’s latest project, a robot designed to be a total healthcare provider.  Baymax (voiced by Scott Adsit) can scan you and provide healthcare on the spot.
Hiro, already pretty interested, is totally hooked when he meets Tadashi’s professor, Robert Callaghan (James Cromwell).  Hiro decides he wants to join this class of amazing techno-nerds which includes Fred (T.J. Miller), Go Go (Jamie Chung), Wasabi (Damon Wayans Jr.), and Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez) but to get in he has to win a competition. 
Inspired by Tadashi’s fellow techno-geeks, Hiro comes through with an advance in robotics unlike anyone else.  He builds a mini-bot that can combine with others at the request of a headband that reads the thoughts and build anything the person can imagine.  Hiro wins the contest and receives the invitation to attend the school.
A fire breaks out in the hall.  Tadashi makes Hiro stay put and races into the building to find Professor Callaghan.  The building explodes right after the student races through the doors, leaving Hiro without a brother.
Hiro is devastated.  Aunt Cass (Maya Rudolph), who has raised the boys since their parents deaths, is at a loss on how to break him out of his grief.  She knows that if she can get him to take an interest in the world again, to get him to go to college, he will be OK.  She enlists the help of Fred, Go Go, Wasabi, and Honey Lemon but they strike out.
Hiro finds that Baymax has been moved to Tadashi’s sleeping area.  One of the mini-bots is found as well.  The mini-bot is moving around in its clear container.  It shouldn’t be moving if all of the other bots were really destroyed in the explosion.  They were designed to always know where all of the other mini-bots were located and do their best to connect with them.  This puzzles Hiro.  He talks to Baymax about it.  What gets him out of the house is Baymax taking the little robot and trying to find out where the other mini-bots are.  Hiro chases the big robot across town catching up with the bot at the door to a warehouse.  He quickly realizes that there is something to the notion that there ARE more mini-bots.  And they appear to be in the warehouse.
The two break into the warehouse and discover a robotic manufacturing unit steadily building thousands of the micro-bots.  This really puzzles Hiro until a man wearing a kabuki mask appears and commands the mini-bots to attack Hiro and Baymax.  The two barely escape with their lives.
Hiro now has a mission.  He must find out stop this man.  He enlists the aid of the techno-nerds.  Each creates a hero identity based on their research projects (and with the aid of Hiro’s 3-D printer).   The team is everything a nerd could ask for.
The battle between our heroes and the villain is well written and drawn.  The surprising plot twists are well thought out and enhance the story immensely.  This is a film that was made for 3-D.  The flow of the mini-bots under control of the head-band controller looked amazing.
This film is a departure from Disney’s past animated features in that there is a lot more violence.  I know from overhearing some conversations that this bothered a lot of the parents in the audience.  My feeling is that the violence was handled well is considerably less intense than most of the video games available to kids today.  This is no Aladdin or Snow White but Big Hero 6 is a wonderful tale of love and loss, and the despair that can make us all look like villains in our grief.
The Selig Rating Scale:
FULL PRICE – Excellent movie, well worth the price
MATINEE – Good movie
DOLLAR – OK movie
CABLE – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
FREEBIE – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.
COMMERCIAL TV – Commercials and cutting to the allotted time will not hurt this one.
FORGET IT! – Bad. If you see this one, do yourself a favor and keep it to yourself.
GET YOUR TORCHES – BAD! – Burn the script, the writer, the director and maybe even the actors!
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