What happened to Disney?
Wreck-It Ralph was awesome. Frozen is a massive hit, and now this. Big Hero 6.
There’s so much to gush about. The gorgeous animation, the fun action, the emotional moments, the well-timed comedy, the simple yet effective plot…the only thing I’m a smidgen annoyed about is it makes me feel awful for even wanting to criticise a film so beautifully crafted and so well written.
I have to admit tearing up at Tadashi’s death, because the writers decided to build his character beforehand. And rightly so, because so many films fail to realise that if you want the audience to connect to the protagonist, you have to let them experience what the protagonist experiences. It also helps that Tadashi was written as the sort of friendly, brotherly character that’s so easy to connect to, and doesn’t require much time to develop, saving the precious minutes for Baymax.
I have to say, the only thing that sort of lets the show down is the characters. Most of them aren’t really that well developed, but we can’t all have multiple movies for each character to build to a massive team film. There was enough for Hiro though, and while he does undergo a cliché emotional development (grief, anger, acceptance, HERO!), it’s a friendly formula that works well for a children’s movie like this.
The rest of the team are pretty standard types, and GoGo isn’t much of a nerd as nerds go. But the film did its best to make every character fun and entertaining in their own ways (with some really unique ‘powers’), and that’s about as much as I can ask for.
The true main character is Baymax though. The writers deliberately made him less robot and more person, including that hilarious scene where he was low on battery and behaved like a stereotypical drunk. The robot is just too darn adorable with his constant bad timing, and that final scene where Baymax sends Hiro to safety? I know it’s a robot, and obviously Hiro got to rebuild him at the end, but damn if the tears weren’t welling up.
That does bring me to the plot. Other than the complaints that the final bit where Hiro needs to save Abigail was too long (I mean, the portal’s destabilising, and you have time to hug Baymax?!), everything else was great. It was targeted at children, who will love the simple, exciting, yet extremely heart-warming plot. Even the most critical of watchers have to admit that the film made the basic formula work.
I criticise formulaic films all the time, but only because they bore me to death with predictable events. Sure, Big Hero 6 was predictable. But it was also fun. It was sweet and adorable. It was touching. Most importantly, it connected with the audience. When you end a film with a profound sense of emptiness, you know that film was epic.
Of course, no Marvel-based film is complete without a Stan Lee cameo, this time in the post-credits. But I didn’t care for the Stan Lee cameo, because it has lost its charm over so many Marvel films, and the movie itself was far, far more interesting.
Sequel? Nah, because a sequel at this point will really just be trying to earn money off Baymax toys. It’ll be much harder to replicate the same sort of emotional connections the first film made, and it would have shed a lot of its charm.
But I’ll watch one anyway. And I need to get me a Baymax toy…