Superhero flicks are big, big business. Disney, who owns
your soul Marvel, is now driving their comic book properties into their animation department. No one is safe at this point. It’s only a matter of time before Aladdin is imbued with the power of flight. In order to understand why Disney made a cartoon adaptation of the Marvel comic, Big Hero 6, let’s look at the history.
Big Hero 6 is comic for mature audiences. It is closely related to the X-Men comics, in terms of story and universe. The story takes place in Tokyo and the group is largely made up of Japanese heroes. Baymax, the sentient shape-shifter typically tranforms into a dragon.
The Disney-fied Big Hero 6 tells the story of Hiro, a white kid from San Fransokyo. He is a child prodigy when it comes to all things tech. His older caucasian brother, named Tadashi, introduces him to his clever inventor friends and shows him the amazing creations they’ve all been building. This is where Hiro meets the balloon robot, Baymax.
Through the course of the rest of the movie, through tragedy and adventure, Baymax and Hiro are inseparable. As a powerful Kabuki-masked villain shows up in town, Hiro builds a super suit for the normally gentle Baymax and continues to recruit his brother’s friends to be on his super hero squad.
It seems odd that Disney would try to build a kids brand based on a near-anime adult-themed comic book. Every character has been changed to no longer resemble the original character. It will be interesting when kids start asking to buy the comic because of their love for the movie and get something completely different.
It’s basically the same situation as the World War Z book/movie. Using a title when it has little to do with the intellectual property itself.
End tangent. If you’re a parent, you don’t care about the original comic book. Your only question is whether your kid will enjoy this or not.
I’m behind Disney venturing away from the tried-and-true princess formula. It’s what they do best, but they are missing out on a big market merchandise-wise. And let’s be honest, it’s about the merchandise. The problem with Big Hero 6 and the inevitable onslaught of animated superhero flicks is that producers know that’s the shortcut to getting boys of that age to see their movies. Not much more thought will be put into it. Big Hero 6 is only the beginning of what’s to come. Especially as it will be massively successful.
I’m hard on animated movies. They try for a balance of reaching the kids and making adults laugh as well. I know that these movies are only meant to keep your kids busy, but what if they were actually great. Some are. Look no further than How to Train Your Dragon 2 for that.
I brought my daughter to this movie, because…well she isn’t a hardened, jaded movie critic. She is a truthful fun detector. Both she and I laughed at Baymax in the first act. The naivety of Baymax is really what sells this movie. At one point, she asked me, “Is this going to be on Netflix soon?” That’s when I know she’s enjoying it. (Good parenting.) After a half hour, the laughs stop and you start to realize that there’s nothing to the story. And that’s when they hit you with the non-stop action set pieces. Big Hero 6 is basically: Setup, Humor and Violence. Notice how I left plot out of the mix. So did they. Nearly an hour into this 1 hour 48 minute movie, my daughter asked if it was almost over. She was bored and so was I. The movie is colorful enough to distract you from being bored, until it’s not.
Your daughters won’t get into Big Hero 6. It’s meant for boys, and older boys at that. The themes and violence are a little too heavy for younger kids. All in all, it’s a colorful movie that will babysit your kids for almost two hours. While I knock on Disney for their love of money/merchandising, their movies do have a certain magical flair. Big Hero 6 feels like a low quality Dreamworks movie.
Sorry for being harsh, but this is a rental. (I blame this review on my five year old.) That said, the opening animated short is worth the ticket price. It’s called Feast (not the horror movie) and it’s downright adorable.