Like more than half the world, I liked Frozen (at least until 5 years olds singing Let It Go took over You Tube). It had everything a gay musical loving man like myself could want including Idina Menzel. It reminded me of my adolescence and my love of all things Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. It was like those now-classic movies that re-energized the Disney brand before Pixar was a giant in the industry.
And while I’m a musical loving queer I’m also a much bigger comic book fan. So when I heard Disney’s latest animated movie was going to be based on the Marvel Comic book, Big Hero 6, I was intrigued and excited. I’ve never read the mini-series that served as the source material so I went into this movie completely in the dark. And I’m glad I did. Big Hero 6 is big on heart, drama, comedy and action.
I was intrigued.
You might say that Big Hero 6 was Disney’s Frozen-For-Boys. My two nephews, 10 and 6, hate Frozen so this movie will be a welcome eventual addition to my sister’s DVD rotation. But the beauty of this movie is I think girls might like it too. Sadly, there are no songs to sing in the hopes of becoming a YouTube sensation but there is a loveable marshmallow of robot called Baymax.
Frozen easily played to all of Disney’s animated strengths. Big Hero Six, to me, is a unique departure from their standard fare and much more successful than previous non-princess films like Meet the Robinsons and Wreck-It Ralph. There is something different about this movie. The closest thing I can compare it too is the animated films that come out of Japan. In Japan, animation is just another vehicle to tell a story. It’s not saddled with the misconceptions that it’s cartoons for kids and required to play to that demographic. In Japan, animation is for adults too. Big Hero 6 feels like a regular film and not an animated family flick, even though it is.
Big Hero 6 is Disney’s first animated film from their catalog of Marvel stories. While this movie does not take place in the cinematic Marvel Universe, we have come to love and obsess, over it does not seem any less exciting or important.
The story takes place in San FranTokyo and tells the story of Hero, a genius fourteen year old that loves to make small robots and pit them against other robots for prize money. Through a series of events (no spoilers) Hero comes into possession of Baymex, a robot programmed to be a nurse-like caretaker. A bad guy arrives and Hero helps to put together the titular group Big Hero 6 to battle it out.
While this movie IS family friendly it doesn’t pull it’s punches.
The action is just as well choreographed as any other Marvel film.
The story is heartwarming and heartbreaking at times. I got all verklempt at least three times.
The emotions were real. They weren’t Disney-fied as you might come to expect. You will see what I mean about halfway through the film when Hero makes a tough call in the heat of the moment. It was completely believable by a person his age who has been though a certain amount of trauma. I don’t blame him for his decision and I applaud the filmmakers for not sugarcoating emotional reactions that ring true to the story. Authenticity is so important and the directors nailed it. It’s this specific moment that I believe makes this not just a standard animated film but a great FILM.
You will laugh your ass off , be excited by the action and be moved by the emotion. I think this film is great for everyone. You may not want to take your four year old due to some of the action, but I would easily take my six year old nephew. I’m already planning my trip to Target to by my Baymax action figure.
So…..run don’t walk to see this film.
And stay past the credits. There’s a great scene any Marvel fan will get a huge kick out of.