Movie Review: ‘Big Hero 6’ Cute & Cuddly, but Completely Derivative of Vintage Disney

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Cole Clay // Film Critic

BIG HERO 6 | 108 min. | Rated PG | Director: Don Hall, Chris Williams | Voiced by: Scott Adsit, Ryan Potter, Daniel Henney, T.J. Miller, Jamie Chung, Damon Wayans Jr., Genesis Rodriguez, James CromwellMaya Rudolph and Alan Tudyk

An animated superhero film was destined to happen when Disney bought the theatrical rights to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and for all intents and purposes BIG HERO 6 belongs in the canon of recent family films. Its most certainly going to rack up a hefty box-office tally and think of all the merchandising opportunities. At any rate the Don Hall and Chris Williams directing collaboration (THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG, WINNIE THE POOH) is completely derivative of vintage Disney classics. This accusation isn’t based on the subject matter, which is original, but the hackneyed plot devices can be spotted from a mile away.

In the wake of a grave tragedy, 14-year-old science prodigy Hiro Hamada (Ryan Potter) bonds with Baymax (Scott Adsit), a marshmallow-y health care robot with literal take on bedside manner. This forms the foundation of the film, and accompanied by his colleagues/friends, they form the eponymous league of superheroes to fight against an evil scientist who commandeered Hiro’s greatest invention.

The characters of Big Hero 6.

The characters of Big Hero 6.

The relationship between Baymax and Hiro provides the film its fair share of warmth and compassion. And the voice acting work from members of the team, including Damon Wayans Jr. and T.J. Miller, is solid.

BIG HERO 6 isn’t a miserable experience by any stretch, but this effort from the giants at Disney is uninspired and has some odd political aspects, which extends the scope of this review. The animation is pristine and vibrant at this point; we just expect more from our family films than pretty lights.

BIG HERO 6 opens tomorrow.

About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction (FreshFiction.tv) as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.