Big Hero 6***1/2
Directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams
Starring (the voices of): Scott Adsit, Ryan Potter and Daniel Henney
We had Baloo (The Jungle Book) and we had Po (Kung Fu Panda): both dependable yet traditionally ‘unheroic’ characters. And now Big Hero 6, this brilliant new animation from the Walt Disney Animation studios, brings us Baymax: a 10 foot tall, white and inflatable robot that is possibly the most adorable, huggable robot in science fiction animation.
In developing his character – his extraordinary robotics as well as his impeccable manners – his creators have pushed the boundaries. Baymax isn’t svelte or quick; he’s slow, cumbersome and has to deflate to squeeze through tight spaces. But he is Hiro Hamada’s closest companion and saviour.
Big Hero 6 is one of the best animations to emerge in recent times; it makes the extremely overrated Frozen look like a Dora cartoon in comparison. And like every effective film it not only pushes the boundaries but redefines them.
In a world that thrives on creating realistic CGI animations and graphics, making everything from a mountain to a blade of grass appear as realistic as possible, Baymax is as unfussy as a boiled egg. And with nothing but two dots and a horizontal brow-strip for expression, it’s amazing how much emotion he can deliver.
Animations have become so caught up in the race to photo-realness that basing an entire film around a character this pared-down is Big Hero 6’s most radical statement.
The Oscar winning film, beyond the radical, has a pretty basic story. Based in the fictional city of San Fransokyo, it revolves around Hiro Hamada, a 14 year old technical whiz who loses his brother Tashida to a lab fire.
Hiro is left with Tashida’s creation – Baymax – and a legacy that encourages him to pursue his dream. He creates micro-bots, which are stolen in the fire and discovered later as some evil professor’s plot to rule and annihilate the world.
Needless to say, Hiro – with the help of Baymax and four other friends – saves the day.
– Sabene Kadir