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


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

Hello, there! My name is Preston Barta, and I am the features editor of Fresh Fiction and senior film critic at the Denton Record-Chronicle. My cinematic love story began where I was born: off planet on the isolated desert world of the Jakku system. It's there I passed the time scavenging for loose parts with my good friend Rey. One day I found an old film projector and a dusty reel of the 1975 film JAWS. It rocked my world so much that I left my kinfolk in the rearview (I so miss their morning cups of green milk) to pursue my dreams of writing about film. It wasn't long until I met two gents who said they would give me a lift. I can't recall their names, but one was an older man who liked to point a lot and the other was a tall, hairy fella. They got me as far as one of Jupiter's moons where we crossed paths with the U.S.S. Enterprise. Some pointy-eared bastard said I was clear to come aboard. He saw that I was clutching my beloved shark movie and invited me to the "moving pictures room" where he was screening the 1993 film JURASSIC PARK to his crew. He said my life would be much more prosperous if I were familiar with more work by the god named Steven Spielberg. From there, my love for cinema blossomed. Once we reached planet Earth, everything changed. I found the small town of Denton, TX, and was welcomed into the Barta family. They showed me the writings of local film critic Boo Allen. He became my hero and caused me to chase a degree in film and journalism. After my studies at graduate of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I met some film critics who showed me the ropes and got me into my first press screening: 2011's THE GREEN LANTERN. Don't worry; I recovered just fine. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD was only four years away.