Movie Review: ‘Big Hero 6’

“Big Hero 6” is the latest movie released by the Disney franchise. It’s loosely based off the Marvel comics of the same name and doesn’t disappoint – it’s filled with action and adventure, while still making the audience laugh and feel for the characters.

Meet Hiro Hamada (Ryan Potter). Hiro’s a seemingly normal kid living in San Fransokyo (basically a mashup of San Francisco and Tokyo) who has a penchant for robotics. He and his older brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney) live with his Aunt Cass (Maya Rudolph) who runs a local bakery/coffeeshop.

Hiro’s happy. He has his robot and goes to back-alley robotics fights (which are illegal, btw). He gets into a couple of scrapes, and Tadashi keeps trying to convince him to drop the illegal activities and actually go to college (Hiro graduated high school at 13).

But does Hiro listen? Nope. Not until Tadashi tricks him into visiting the high-tech robotics lab at San Fransokyo Institute of Technology. Hiro sees all the equipment, meets Tadashi’s friends and is introduced to Tadashi’s project – an inflatable healthcare robot named Baymax.

That’s where everything changes. Seeing the projects and meeting a professor he has idolized drives Hiro to apply to the school – but the application is nonconventional.

Hiro builds a robot for the annual student exhibition. It’s loosely based off the fighter bot he had previously made, but it can do way more. This time, Hiro has created telepathically controlled microbots that can link together to form whatever structure he wants.

Hiro’s dreams are now coming true. He’s accepted to the school. He has friends – Tadashi’s friends Fred (T.J. Miller), Go Go (Jamie Chung), Wasabi (Damon Wayans, Jr.) and Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez). Nothing could go wrong, right?


Hiro’s life is turned upside down when the expo center mysteriously catches on fire and explodes with his microbots still inside.

The once happy teenager becomes mopey and lethargic, staying in his room and refusing to go to school. And Hiro stays this way until one day he gets slightly hurt and says “ow,” which triggers Baymax to inflate and try to help him.

Baymax is programmed to stay with his patients until they’re satisfied with their care and don’t need him anymore. So he stays with Hiro, doing whatever he can to help him out, including bringing in Tadashi and Hiro’s friends from the college.

These friends are an odd bunch. Fred isn’t a student at the school – he just enjoys hanging out and watching the others. Go Go works with electromagnetic wheel axles. Wasabi is an expert with lasers. Honey Lemon is fascinated with chemistry.
But they bond together to help Hiro and bring down a supervillain who has suddenly appeared. This supervillain has Hiro’s microbots, and the team of unlikely friends – and even more unlikely superheroes – learns how to work together to track the masked villain down. Together, these six friends become a superhero team called “Big Hero 6.”

Baymax brings Hiro his friends when he needs them most. They stick with him through all sorts of crazy circumstances, showing him true friendship and loyalty. They comfort him when he needs comforting but also tell him when he’s having really dumb ideas and he needs to cut it out and calm way down.

Does Hiro listen? No.

Through all these crazy circumstances, Hiro’s friends stand by him, and he encourages them to look at the situation from a different perspective, just as Tadashi once encouraged him. While Tadashi physically flipped Hiro upside down and swung him around, Hiro encouraged his friends when they were trapped to look at the physical situations from a different angle and figure out a way to escape.

Henry Jackman scored this movie, and the music fits perfectly. It swoops from ethereal to dark and hits every emotion in between. It’s fun and lighthearted when Hiro meets Baymax for the first time, then takes on a techno (almost video game) sound while the pair is roaming the streets of San Fransokyo before sliding to a tumbling track that only intensifies an already stressful scene. And, being a superhero movie, it obviously has those typical heroic themes, swooping viewers up and bringing them the elation the characters feel from succeeding.

Yes, this is an animated movie. But the characters all feel very real. Baymax is a robot but still feels very relatable and caring. While he is the comic relief in points, Baymax is also a serious character. He has some typical robotic characteristics (he doesn’t understand figures of speech), but he isn’t the stereotypical robot that cracks jokes or attempts to emulate human behavior for laughs. Baymax genuinely cares for his patients and strives to help them.

“Big Hero 6” takes viewers on a journey through exciting, dangerous and unexpected situations. But at the end of the movie, Hiro and his friends all realize that while things may not always turn out how they plan, it’ll all turn out OK.

“We didn’t set out to be superheroes,” Hiro said. “But sometimes life doesn’t turn out the way you plan.”

Lauren Eissler is a senior journalism major and managing editor for Cedars. She essentially lives in the J-Lab, with her caffeine intake roughly corresponding to how many articles she’s writing, and tweets as @L_Eissler.

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