Big Hero 6

Please state the na­ture of the su­pervil­lain emer­gency

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Cinema -

Re­lease Date: 30 Jan­uary

TBC | 102 min­utes Direc­tor: Don Hall, Chris Wil­liams Cast: Ryan Pot­ter, Scott Ad­sit, James Cromwell, Alan Tudyk, Maya Ru­dolph

There ex­ists a

pos­si­bil­ity that, many years from now, par­ents will sit down with their chil­dren to watch a dusty old movie from 1999 called The Iron Gi­ant. Half­way through the film, the sprogs will turn to the adults and moan, “Hey, this film to­tally ripped off Big Hero 6! That gi­ant robot is just like Bay­max!”

This is be­cause Big Hero 6 will prob­a­bly be re­mem­bered long af­ter The Iron Gi­ant, not be­cause it’s bet­ter – it’s ac­tu­ally just as good – but be­cause it’s go­ing to be a honk­ing great big hit, whereas Gi­ant wasn’t. And yet both films use the same gim­mick: tak­ing an emo­tion­less, hulk­ing robot and mak­ing him adorable through the use of charm­ing, hi­lar­i­ous and exquisitely ob­served slap­stick that would put Buster Keaton to shame.

Big Hero 6’ s Bay­max isn’t from an­other planet, though: he’s a robot doc­tor, in the vein of Voy­ager’s EMH, de­signed by the big brother of lit­tle tech ge­nius Hiro ( Ryan Pot­ter). When tragedy un­folds and Hiro finds him­self on a mission of re­venge, Bay­max soon be­comes an ar­moured fight­ing robot that knows karate and can fly. Ba­si­cally, Bay­max goes from cute to cool, as do Hiro’s pals as they take on su­per­hero per­sonas to battle a su­pervil­lain – thus al­low­ing the film to homage ev­ery­thing from the afore­men­tioned Iron Gi­ant to The In­cred­i­bles, The Avengers, WALL- E and a vast potrion of the anime canon.

Aside from the robot, it’s the lat­ter el­e­ment that makes Big Hero 6 so com­pelling. Set in a city named San Fran­sokyo – yes, it’s a cross be­tween San Fran­cisco and Tokyo – the film’s vis­ual style is a sat­is­fy­ing blend of neon/ sun­light, East/ West that feels glo­ri­ously fresh. This is partly down to the fact that the orig­i­nal Marvel comic it’s based on was set in Ja­pan ( Bay­max was a robot dragon!), but it’s still a pleas­ing change from the Amer­ica- cen­tric Dis­ney for­mula that’s be­come a lit­tle stale over the years. This new, mashed- up world is dy­namic, vi­brant and filled with life – as is the gen­uinely hys­ter­i­cal script.

Oh, and hang around af­ter the end cred­its. It’s re­ally worth it. Jayne Nel­son

Its mashed- up world is dy­namic, vi­brant and filled with life

They say walls have ears. And eyes. And mouths. And noses.

A Trans­former who turned into a bean­bag was sur­pris­ingly suc­cess­ful.

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