Story, story, story. It’s not really rocket science to understand that the foundation of any enjoyable cinematic experience lies with such a fundamental thing. John Lasseter – de facto co-founder of Pixar and now Chief Creative Officer at Disney Animation Studio – helped to create an unbelievably successful animation house on that very ethos. Pixar was and is well-known for taking the time to develop stories before a single frame of animation is rendered. That Mr. Lasseter’s name is attached to Big Hero 6 is no surprise, albeit in an Executive Producer capacity. Since his move to the upper echelons of the House of Mouse in 2006, Disney’s Animation Studio’s feature output has been first-rate and that’s no coincidence.
Big Hero 6 is a wonder of modern animation. Taking inspiration from Japanese Manga/ Anime there is a “mid-Pacific” tone to the city it’s based in. I suppose the only clunky part to the whole proceedings is the name of said city – San Fransokyo. That aside, the environments are vibrant and the level of animation detail is eye-watering. This fusion of East and West has, of course, been seen before (albeit mostly at night and in the rain) with Ridley Scott‘s seminal sci-fi offering Blade Runner; but that’s not a bad thing. While Blade Runner was all about the gutter-level, Big Hero 6 ascends (sometimes literally) to a loftier level with its depiction of cultural integration. I particularly liked the mini-blimps silently floating above the city, adorned with eye-catching designs – reminiscent of the advertising blimps that frequented the skies of Blade Runner‘s world.
Big Hero 6 is a film that ostensibly deals with grief and loss, but fear not, we are dealing with a film for children here. Such matters are sensitively handled and used to moving effect at times. I don’t really want to go into details when dealing with the story for fear of dropping any spoiler bombs. Suffice to say Big Hero 6 has created an extremely watchable on-screen relationship between its protagonist – Hiro, voiced by Ryan Potter – and an inflatable medical diagnosis robot called Baymax. You’ve got to hang on in there with me people, it’s far better than my limited use of the English language can convey. Honest! There’s a strong story at its core and the writers have created characters that are extremely likeable. I know this is based on an existing Marvel comic book series, but the characters in the film are somewhat removed from those depicted in the comics.
Insofar as the performances themselves go, there’s some great voice acting from all concerned. I would particularly pick out T.J. Miller (if you haven’t seen Silicon Valley you’ve definitely missed out) and the always brilliant James Cromwell. All-in-all Big Hero 6 is an absolute winner. An enjoyable ride for all the family, it is definitely one to catch at the flix.
Thank you for reading 🙂