Steve’s Wonderful Reviews of Disney: Big Hero 6

Big Hero 6

Release Date: November 7th, 2014

Inspiration: “Big Hero 6” by Man of Action

Budget: $165 million

Domestic Gross: $222 million

Worldwide Gross: $657.8 million

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

IMDB Score: 7.8/10

Storyline (per IMDB): When a devastating event befalls the city of San Fransokyo and catapults Hiro into the midst of danger, he turns to Baymax and his close friends adrenaline junkie Go Go Tomago, neatnik Wasabi, chemistry whiz Honey Lemon and fanboy Fred. Determined to uncover the mystery, Hiro transforms his friends into a band of high-tech heroes called “Big Hero 6.”

Pre-Watching Thoughts: We continue on through the 2010s with a film that seems to have slipped through the cracks and one that many don’t talk enough about, and it is another one of those films that many find doesn’t get the credit it deserves for being one of the better films in the canon. Coming off the juggernaut that was Frozen, there was some expectation to see how this film follows up on that and while it wasn’t nearly as successful, it still did very well and we will see if this film is actually as underrated as many claim it is.

Voice Cast: After having a fairly small cast in the previous film, we go back to having a larger cast with this film with the majority of them being newcomers and we only have a few returning actors come back. When it comes to the returning actors, we have the return of Alan Tudyk who voices Alistair Krei as he was becoming a staple of these Disney films, and we also have the return of Paul Briggs who voices Yama in a minor role while also working as head of storyboard and we see the return of Katie Lowes who voices Abigail in a minor role. We now move onto the newcomers as we have Scott Adsit who voices Baymax in one of his most memorable film roles to this point, and then we have Ryan Potter who voices Hiro as he was getting his career started in both film and TV. Next, we have Daniel Henney who voices Tadashi in one of his most memorable roles in film as well, and then we have T.J. Miller who voices Fred as he was reaching his stride in his career to this point. We then have Jamie Chung who voices Go-Go as she was hitting her stride in her career as well, and then we have Damon Wayans Jr. who voices Wasabi as he was also hitting his stride at this point in his career. Next, we have Genesis Rodriguez who voices Honey Lemon in arguably the biggest role of her career to this point, and then we have James Cromwell who voices Robert Callahan as he was hitting the peak of his career by this point. We then have Maya Rudolph who voices Aunt Cass as she was hitting her stride as well with her career, and then we have Daniel Gerson who voices the Desk Sergeant in one of his few film roles prior to his untimely death. Next, we have David Shaughnessy who voices Heathcliff the butler in a minor role and we have Billy Bush who voices the news anchor in a minor role, and finally we have Stan Lee who voices Fred’s father as he continues his tradition of appearing in a Marvel film. We have seen throughout the years that many of the actors that appear in these Disney films are some of the most memorable of their careers, and that seems to hold true here as the actors in this film are in pretty memorable roles that have somewhat defined their careers.

Hero/Prince: We have had a few pairs of heroes to talk about in the previous films and we have another one here as we have the duo of Hiro Hamada and Baymax, and Hiro is a 14-year old prodigy who spends his time competing in illegal bot fights and is an underachiever until his brother Tadashi brings him to his lab. He introduces Hiro to Baymax and Hiro is inspired to compete in the science showcase where he shows off his microbots, and he declines to sell them to Alistair Krei while agreeing to join the school though he suffers a major loss when Tadashi dies trying to save Prof. Callaghan in a fire. Hiro becomes withdrawn as Baymax activates and tries to help him as Hiro learns that someone has salvaged his microbots, and he meets up with Tadashi’s friends and they form a group to find out who is behind it as Hiro also upgrades Baymax with a suit of armor. They learn that Callaghan is alive and Hiro becomes full of vengeance as his brother died for nothing, and he removes Baymax’s healthcare chip to make him attack Callaghan though the chip is eventually returned. Baymax refuses to let Hiro remove it again and he shows Hiro footage of Tadashi creating Baymax which causes Hiro to have a change of heart, and after learning of Callaghan’s motives they stop him from killing Krei and cause the microbots to be sucked into the portal. Hiro and Baymax enter the portal and retrieve the ship with Callaghan’s daughter as Baymax sacrifices himself to save Hiro, and Hiro learns that the healthcare chip was in the fist and he builds a new Baymax as he and his friends officially form Big Hero 6. Hiro is a unique teenager as he is brilliant and graduated high school at a young age, but he doesn’t know what to do with it until Tadashi leads him on the right path and he clearly looks up to Tadashi hence why he is devastated when Tadashi dies. When he learns his microbots have been stolen, he works together with Tadashi’s friends to learn the truth though when he discovers it is Callaghan, he loses his control and tries to have Baymax kill him out of vengeance though Baymax shows him the footage of Tadashi to turn him around. Speaking of Baymax, he appears to be a simple robot that is programmed to provide healthcare to its owner, but he is programmed by Hiro to become battle-tested and at one point removes his healthcare chip so he can become a killing machine though the chip is put back in him. Even though Baymax says that he is incapable of feeling, we see him become close to Hiro and he goes as far as to sacrifice himself to save Hiro and Callaghan’s daughter much to Hiro’s dismay though he discovers the chip and builds a new Baymax. As a team, Hiro and Baymax are a pretty cool little team and it will be interesting to see how this pair stacks up against the other heroes and princes in the canon.

Princess: N/A

Villain: For the third film in a row, we have a villain that we don’t know is the villain until really late in the film and that is Professor Robert Callaghan, who we first meet as the head of the robotics program at the school Tadashi and his friends go to. After Hiro unveils his microbots at the showcase, Callaghan convinces him to enroll in the school and turn down Krei’s offer to buy the bots though Callaghan seemingly dies in a fire at the auditorium that also claims Tadashi’s life. Later, Hiro discovers a man in black wearing a kabuki mask has taken the bots and mass produced them as Hiro teams with Tadashi’s friends and Bayman to find him, and they trace him to an island where Hiro learns that Callaghan survived the fire and took the bots for himself. He manages to escape as Hiro and his friends learn that Callaghan’s daughter Abigail was lost during the test of the teleportation device and Callaghan has vowed revenge on Krei, and Callaghan restores the portal and tries to destroy Krei’s building before trying to kill him only for Hiro and his friends to stop him. They subdue Callaghan as Hiro and Baymax go into the portal and retrieve Abigail though Baymax sacrifices himself to save them, and Abigail is taken to a hospital for treatment as Callaghan is arrested though is relieved his daughter is alive. Callaghan is interesting in that we see he seemingly has a grudge with Krei though we don’t know the full extent of it until later, and after seeing Hiro’s bots he stages the fire to steal them so he can later use them to fulfill his plan and he has no sympathy for the fact that Tadashi died. He is a man solely driven on revenge and believes that he can’t be stopped only for Hiro and his friends to defeat him, but after he sees that his daughter is alive you have to wonder if he had a change of heart and is remorseful for his actions. In the end, Callaghan is a fine villain for the film though he is arguably one of the weaker villains in the canon and probably won’t be ranked too high.

Other Characters: After the last film had a fairly limited amount of characters to talk about, this film has quite a bit more and quite a good amount of them are pretty important to the film with only a few being just minor characters. In terms of the other characters, we have Tadashi who is Hiro’s older brother and creator of Baymax as he introduces Hiro to his friends and their work, and Tadashi inspires Hiro to compete in the student showcase which Hiro does and he wins a scholarship to the school. Unfortunately, the school goes up in flames and Tadashi goes in so he can save Professor Callaghan though the school explodes and Tadashi sadly dies as a result though Baymax saves Tadashi’s recordings in his system which he shows Hiro to remind him that Tadashi is in him. We then have the quartet of Go-Go, Wasabi, Honey Lemon, and Fred who are friends with Tadashi and they offer their support to Hiro, and they team up with Hiro and Baymax as they are given their own suits and they use their inventions to create weapons. In the end, they assist Hiro and Baymax in subduing Callaghan and save Krei as they officially become a team under the name Big Hero 6. Next, we have Alistair Krei who is the CEO of Krei Tech and he offers to buy the bots from Hiro after he showcases them, and Hiro decides to decline the offer as he joins the school partially due to Callaghan’s influence. After Hiro learns someone is using his bots, he and his friends believe it is Krei only to discover that it is Callaghan who holds Krei responsible for his daughter going missing after a transportation test failure. Krei is captured by Callaghan who rebuilds the portal and tries to destroy Krei’s building before threatening to kill him, but he is thwarted by Hiro and his friends as they save Krei. We then have Aunt Cass who is the aunt of Hiro and Tadashi and she owns a café that she and the boys live above, and after Tadashi dies Cass tries to get Hiro out of his funk and continues to support him while unaware of his actions with Baymax and his friends. Next, we have Abigail Callaghan who is a test pilot chosen to participate in a teleportation test done by Krei, but something goes wrong and she is stuck in another dimension. Some time later, Hiro and Baymax go into the dimension and recover her as Baymax sacrifices himself to save Hiro and Abigail. We then have a few minor characters such as the Desk Sergeant that doesn’t believe Hiro’s story when he tells him about the man in the kabuki mask, and then we have Heathcliff who is Fred’s butler and he is a wiling test subject in the friends testing their new weapons. We then have Yama the gangster who is beaten by Hiro in a bot fight and Tadashi saves Hiro from Yama’s thugs, and finally we have Fred’s father who reveals to Fred that he is a superhero and he has much to tell Fred. As mentioned, most of the other characters in this film were pretty important to the film and I’m very excited about the next film because that film might have the largest group of other characters that I will ever talk about.

Songs: After the last few films went back to the old format of being treated like musicals, we break from that as there are no songs in this film which is fine since this film doesn’t work as a musical film. There is a song though that we do have to talk about and that is the song “Immortals” played when Hiro and his friends are working on their suits and weapons, and it is also heard during the credits and it is a fine song that works well for the film. There haven’t been many films in the canon that either have no songs or one or two, but again it is fine if the film isn’t meant to be a musical and this is one of those films that fits the bill.

Plot: After having numerous films based off of novels and children’s books, we have our first film based off a comic series and it fit that it was a Marvel series given Disney had just purchased Marvel Studios a few years prior to this. Obviously, even with comic series you take a few liberties in creating an original story and while many aspects remain, the story does feel fresh and adds a new layer for fans of the comic series. In this film, Hiro is an underachiever who does bot fighting and his older brother Tadashi introduces him to his friends at the school, and after seeing what they do Hiro decides to participate in the school showcase to earn a scholarship to the school. He ends up winning thanks to his microbots though the school goes up in flames and Tadashi is killed trying to save his professor, and Hiro falls into despair though he is aided by Tadashi’s robot nurse named Baymax. Hiro learns his bots have been stolen by a man in a kabuki mask and Tadashi’s friends save him and Baymax, and they work together to become a team of superheroes and they trace the man to a remote island where they learn of a failure of a transportation test involving two portals. The man attacks them and he is revealed to be Professor Callaghan who survived the fire and stole the bots, and Hiro again falls to despair as Tadashi died for nothing though Baymax comforts him and he regains his composure. Callaghan uses the bots to rebuild the portal and plots to kill Krei while destroying his business, but Hiro and his friends stop him in time and then Hiro and Baymax enter the portal to find Callaghan’s daughter who became stuck in the dimension. Baymax sacrifices himself to save Hiro and the daughter as they return before the portal collapses, and Hiro finds Baymax’s healthchip and builds a new Baymax before forming Big Hero 6 with his friends. It is not often that we see a comic series be made into an animated film as they are usually made into live-action films, but this series works since it visually works better as an animated film and it ends up being one of the best comic films in recent memory that no one seems to talk about.

Random Watching Thoughts: San Fransokyo, a combination of San Francisco and Tokyo though we never actually learn how they become one; We never learn when the film takes place, but it clearly takes place in the future given the technology that we see throughout the film; You first think the robots fighting are giants, but then we see that they are in essence toys being controlled by humans; Forget drug running and racketeering, Yama is making plenty of money in illegal bot fighting; I thought Yama was calling himself Little Yama, but then I realized he was talking about his robot; That one guy just rips the head off his robot to avoid fighting; Hiro went so far as to give his robot a smiley face; How did Hiro come into all that money?; Yama thinks that was the easiest fight he’s ever had; The smiley face becomes an angry smiley face and the mood completely changes; The angry smiley face becomes a normal smiley face again after the fight; Yeah Hiro, real beginner’s luck; Hiro learned real quick not to hustle a gangster; Hiro better be fortunate that Tadashi found him in time; Yama thinks he got the last word only for the robot to get the last shot in; I can’t even imagine graduating high school at the age of 13; So the actual bot fighting is not illegal, it’s only betting on it that’s illegal; Hiro says there’s no stopping him as they get stopped by the police; How did Hiro get his own cell while Tadashi got stuck in a cell with Yama and others?; Cass had to close early on beat poetry night, Hiro and Tadashi should be ashamed of themselves; Clearly, Hiro has not learned his lesson since he is already looking for another bot fight to compete in; Again, we have a pair of siblings who lost their parents though we don’t know exactly what happened to the parents; “Ito Ishioka Robotics Lab”; Go-Go was clearly inspired by “Tron” with the way she designed her bike; Two robots playing ping-pong; Hiro is lucky Wasabi stopped him otherwise he would’ve stepped into the slicer; Those are some thin apple slices; To say Wasabi is a little OCD is quite the understatement; He even puts lines on his mug to indicate where the coffee stops, the milk stops, and the sugar stops; Honey Lemon yelling while having earbuds on; 400 pounds of tungsten carbide; It would be interesting to know these people’s real names; Fred must love science a lot to be the mascot of the school especially if he’s not getting paid; Of all the things Fred has to have, one of them is an “invisible sandwich”; Tadashi gets Hiro to activate Baymax by putting duct tape on his arm and pulling it off quickly; Baymax takes the time to move the stool aside; Hiro tries to say he’s allergic to bacitracin, but Baymax shoots it down though has to point out that Hiro is really allergic to peanuts; Baymax even shows off the chemical breakdown of bacitracin; There are many films involving robots that you wish the robots couldn’t be offended; Where did Baymax get that lollipop?; Baymax can deflate just enough to fit in that small case; I couldn’t see Callaghan’s daughter being a bot fighter; Callaghan-Catmull spline; What exactly is Callaghan’s Law of Robotics?; That was a quick transition for Hiro from wanting to be a bot fighter to wanting to go to the school; This great buildup only to reveal that Hiro has no ideas; We get a express line look of Hiro building his creation and yet, he takes the time to take a nap during it; Hiro did a lot to make 12 trash cans worth of microbots; Underwater exercising; Fred has got using this down to a t regarding wearing the same pair of underwear for four days; Honey Lemon had to get them in for a photo op right before Hiro went on stage; The one guy is like “Yeah, I’m just going to walk away from this”; Can you imagine being a normal spectator and all of a sudden, thousand of microbots just go flying past you on the floor?; Take the transmitter off and the bots fall apart; I’m sure the guy in the bubble was proud of his invention, but even he was in amazement of the bots; Even the robotics hands are impressed and applaud for Hiro; At first, you think that Krei has some ulterior motive in wanting to buy the bots from Hiro just because it is a common trope in films; They do a good job in keeping Callaghan’s true feelings for Krei inside of him; Again, the way Krei says that he thought Hiro was smarter than that makes it seem like he will be the villain of the film; Free food is the best food unless it’s moldy; Everyone was so amazed with the bots that they didn’t even think to inform Hiro that his fly was down the whole time; That fire seemed to come out of nowhere; No sooner does Tadashi go into the building that it explodes; Hiro completely shut himself away from the outside world as showcased by the angry smiley face on his robot; Cass brings him a fresh plate of food and has to take away the untouched food; That moment where he has to choose between the envelope and the robot and he picks the envelope only to throw it away; It just so happened that Baymax was in Tadashi’s room; Hiro got stuck in a hard place; All these objects fall on Hiro and he keeps interrupting Baymax when he tries to ask how much pain he is in; GPR54 Detected, High levels GnRH, Increased Pituitary Activity; You actually thought Baymax would mention that Hiro would get hair on his pubic area; Baymax somehow realizes that the bot is trying to get to the other bots; Hiro tells Baymax to go find out where the bot wants to go as a joke, yet Baymax actually goes out and does so; Baymax crosses numerous streets and somehow doesn’t cause one accident; A lot of the city is heavily influenced by Tokyo, but they kept the classic San Francisco street trollies; Baymax is moving so slowly, yet can keep a good distance between himself and Hiro; How was Baymax able to pull himself up to try and get through that window?; Of all the things Hiro could grab to defend himself, he had to grab a broom; Baymax’s hands are makeshift defibrillators; At least Baymax is honest when he says that he’s not fast; Baymax should’ve kept himself deflated; That police officer looks like he wants to be anywhere else but there; Baymax has enough smarts to use tape to seal up the holes on his arms; We see Baymax put three pieces of tape on his arm, yet we see he has a lot more tape on himself; “I’m healthcare, your personal Baymax companion”; Baymax looks like he is drunk when he is low on power; Cass made the wings so hot that they will feel it tomorrow; Hiro tosses Mochi away and Baymax happens to catch him; Baymax blissfully unaware that Tadashi died in a fire; That was a quick recharge for Baymax; That’s a lot of info that Baymax is downloading into his memory; Whatever Cass was watching certainly got Baymax’s attention; Baymax still has all the tape on his body; Hiro goes back and forth on his chair and Baymax follows him each way; The fact that Hiro put a skull and crossbones on the chip should be a sign of his plans for the man in the kabuki mask; Baymax can move very well in that armor; Ba-da-la-la-la-la; They break down the door only to find the warehouse abandoned; Baymax just saved Hiro from falling into the water and has to tell him to wait an hour after eating before swimming; Carbon fiber underpants; Fred was about to drop some big revelation; Yeah, Baymax can really handle him; They are being chased and Fred can’t help marking out about this; A fine time for Wasabi to obey traffic laws by stopping at a red light during a chase; Honey Lemon wants to believe that he doesn’t want to kill them until they avoid a car being thrown at them; Wasabi even puts his blinker on; Go-Go makes it a point to put her gum on the dashboard before taking the wheel; Baymax went out of his way to put Hiro’s seatbelt on; They find their way out of the bots only to end up driving off the pier; Baymax just became a large life preserver; They just can’t believe that Fred lives in a mansion; I wonder how many people saw that portrait and thought “The dad looks a lot like Stan Lee”; “Fred, do not touch!! – Fred”; Baymax can also become a giant heater; Spooning a warm marshmallow; Fred knows way too much about comics that he thinks that Krei is the man in the mask; I wish we could’ve known what the masked man’s cholesterol levels are; Baymax can list off the masked man’s health record, but can’t figure out who he actually is; As usual with Disney, we have a montage segment as Hiro and everyone create their weapons and test them out; Heathcliff is a good sport for letting them test their weapons on him; Hiro did a good job getting Baymax into that armor; Baymax 2.0; Baymax flying for the first time is very reminiscent of Tony Stark flying as Iron Man for the first time; Baymax went from struggling to fly to being able to fly with no issues in such a short time; Baymax sees Hiro moving his legs like that and does the same thing; Baymax is ready to be deactivated even before the mission is finished; Baymax scans the entire city and finds the match on a lone island in the distance; Wasabi wants to enjoy the ride, but can’t because he’s scared of heights; They get startled by a pigeon and fire their weapons all over the place, yet somehow they completely miss the pigeon; Fred even went so far as to create a theme song for them; They just happened to stumble upon the footage of what happened in that bunker; With technology like that, the fact that it only took billions of tax dollars and not trillions should’ve been an indication that it wasn’t ready; Typical move to keep pushing ahead even though there is clearly a problem that will make things much worse; Great catch there by Baymax; For all their confidence, the team got owned pretty bad by the masked man; Wasabi was so proud of himself until he saw they got him by the feet; The big reveal where you think it is Krei, but they pull the swerve and have it be Callaghan; He had enough sense to use the bots to create a fireproof shield; That is pretty cold of Callaghan to basically brush Tadashi’s death aside like that when Tadashi went in to save him; For a brief moment, Hiro turns vengeful when he takes the healthcare chip out of Baymax; That moment when you think Baymax will destroy him until Honey Lemon puts the healthcare chip back in him; Hiro leaving them behind is a pretty douche move; Baymax wisely keeping his access port shut so Hiro can’t take the healthcare chip out again; Baymax keeping records of Tadashi’s tests of him to show them to Hiro for just this moment; I guess Fred had a phone on him to call Heathcliff to pick them up; That moment of revelation that Abigail is Callaghan’s daughter; Did Krei really know that the portals weren’t ready?; Callaghan wants Krei to watch his building get destroyed first before he is killed, but that’s a common mistake by villains; Hiro trying to subtly compare Callaghan losing Abigail to him losing Tadashi; They nearly lose fighting Callaghan like they did earlier until Hiro tells them to try a different tactic; Fred goes from using his fire attack to spinning around a sign; Now is not a good time for Krei to start praising Baymax when his life is in danger; What’s worse than two spinning signs? Two spinning signs on fire; Callaghan just continuing to shoot the bots at them not realizing they are being destroyed and he eventually runs out; The portal falls from a major height and yet it is still functional; Baymax’s scanner is so strong that he can locate Abigail in another dimension; At first he was unsure if flying could make him a better health companion, now Baymax is certain that it does; We don’t know where this dimension is, yet somehow Hiro and Baymax can fly through it with relative ease; You think that they made it with how easily they flew through that debris, but then Baymax protects them from a piece of debris and damages his suit; At what point was Baymax able to take the healthcare chip out and put it in his fist?; The way that Hiro says he is satisfied with his care is such a heartbreaking moment since you knew what Baymax was doing; They make it through the portal just as it destroys itself; You wonder what Callaghan was thinking when he saw Abigail being put in the ambulance; Fitting that Hiro would take over Tadashi’s space; He does the fist bump as a tribute to Baymax only to realize that the chip is in the fist; I thought at first that this new Baymax didn’t maintain the memories of the original Baymax, but the way he embraces Hiro makes me think he did; I think this is one of the few times the title of the film appears at the end of the film and not the beginning; I enjoyed how they did the credits for this film like a Marvel film; We can’t have a Marvel film without our usual cameo appearance by the great Stan Lee.

Overall Thoughts: Overall, this ended up being a great film and I believe that this film doesn’t get enough credit for being a great film, and it definitely ranks up there as one of the more underrated films in the canon. I think that since it had to follow Frozen which was critically acclaimed and the next two films were also critically acclaimed, this film slipped through the cracks and got forgotten about which sucks because it is a fun film. I also think people tend to forget that it was a Marvel film given how successful the MCU was going and other Marvel films have been either hits or misses, and this was a big hit for Marvel as it would spawn a TV show that still goes to this day. The 2010s have been a great time for Disney to this point as the animated films have been raking in lots of cash which is good given Disney’s recent acquisitions, and we will see if the second half of the decade can be just as strong as the first half. As for this film, it is a tremendous film and easily ranks up there as one of the best films in Disney’s history.

Final Grade: 9.5/10