Reel Matt

This blog started as my movie marathon — watching a movie a day for a whole year — and has continued as a place for me to write reviews about movies, TV, and various other items.



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Big Hero 6

Film #507


The special bond that develops between plus-sized inflatable robot Baymax, and prodigy Hiro Hamada, who team up with a group of friends to form a band of high-tech heroes.

THE REVIEW: Besides the horror that was Sponge Out of Water, the last animated film I had watched was How to Train Your Dragon 2 all the way back in June 2014. It’s kind of disappointing actually because animated films are often a blast to watch. Big Hero 6 was just such a blast and a good indicator of just how far animation has come.

Unlike films such as Shrek, Wreck It Ralph, or pretty much any Pixar film, I would classify Big Hero 6 as solely a kids film. Many Pixar films, and definitely many Dreamworks Animation films, always have some appeal for the parents who are forced by their children to see the movie. There’s plenty of jokes and references kids won’t get but adults will in addition to some serious themes like death or loss which serve as a good learning experience (as in Up which had people of all ages crying within five minutes).

“Kids film” might have a negative connotation to anyone not in the target demographic, and while it may be true, I argue it shouldn’t ought to be so. Big Hero 6 is a perfect example of a simple, but elegantly told, story with stunning visuals. There’s not a moment in this film (besides the ending, more on that in a bit) where I wanted to turn away. Even for it’s simplicity, the film still managed to tell a tale of good vs. evil, losing a loved one, and the power of friendship. A film doesn’t need some big filmmaking conceit like in Birdman, historic importance like in The Imitation Game, or the pure ambition of a film like Boyhood. A film can be as simple as watching a boy, Hiro (voiced by Ryan Potter) and his robot friend, Baymax (voiced by Scott Adsit) fight the evil villain who is seeking revenge.

One moment however, took me out of the film completely. Usually I’m quite forgiving and will go along with certain unrealistic occurrences and suspend my disbelief for crazy things. The ending of Big Hero 6 is not one of those moments. Spoilers begin here At the end of the film, Hiro and Baymax are saving Abigail (voiced by Katie Lowes) in a zero-gravity environment. They float around and can only move if propelled around using Baymax’s thrusters. Just before they reach the exit, Baymax damages his suit and is no longer able to use his thrusters. First point, if truly zero-gravity, they would just continue moving on their straight-lined path towards the portal. No worries though, Baymax still has a thurster-powered glove that can push them to safety, almost like using a fire extinguisher in space: point it away from the direction you want to move and you’ll reach your destination. Wrong, at least in Big Hero 6. Baymax must sacrifice himself in order to save Hiro and Abigail by using the thruster-glove to push them to the portal and Baymax deeper into the abyss. End spoilers

Normally, I don’t mind scientific inaccuracies when it comes to filmmaking. Gravity was awe-inspiring when I first saw it, and still is despite Neil deGrasse Tyson bashing the film for its poor use of physics. But for a film like Big Hero 6 to understand, and correctly implement some laws of physics in zero-gravity — Baymax is propelled backwards, as he should be in accordance to the forces at play — while not using them logically.

THE TAKEAWAY: Overall, Big Hero 6 is an all-around fun time. It’s a film you can sit back and relax, taking in stunning visuals and a simple, but well-told, story. It’s not the dumbed-down action-porn/mind-numbing entertainment that Michael Bay’s films are (Transformers, etc.), rather it is more elegant and palatable. Still not much to think about or process, but done less in-your-face. How to Train Your Dragon 2 handily retains its status as my favorite animated film of 2014 and my pick for tomorrow’s Best Animated Feature Oscar statue, but Big Hero 6 is still quality animation and a great film for kids.

THE RATING: 4 out of 5