Big Hero 6
Please state the nature of the supervillain emergency
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
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