Meet Hiro Hamada (voiced by Ryan Potter), a young boy with a knack for technology who is usually found hustling competitors in the underground robot-fighting rings of San Fransokyo.
San Fransokyo basically speaks for itself: a futuristic high-tech combination of San Francisco and Tokyo, where the Golden Gate Bridge incorporates Japanese architecture and lanterns hang from trolley cars. While Hiro wastes his skills to score some cash, his brother, Tadashi (voiced by Daniel Henney), attends an advanced robotics college where assignments range from creating electromagnetic bicycles to splicing objects into mere pieces in milliseconds. Tadashi persuades Hiro to put his inventiveness to good use by participating in a robotics convention.
Hiro’s presentation of his telepathically controlled micro-bots proves to be a success and he is instantly offered a spot at the robotics college. In the opening of the film, the audience quickly learns that Hiro’s parents died when he was three and he makes it clear to his brother that Hiro did not know his parents long enough for them to have impact on his life. The viewer has a miniscule amount of hope that maybe Disney won’t show the death of a family member during the film then. However, a fire breaks out and Tadashi sacrifices himself trying to save Dr. Callahan (voiced by James Cromwell), a professor who created the infrastructure for Hiro’s countless ideas.
While mourning the loss of his brother, Hiro is greeted by Baymax (voiced by Scott Asdit), a warm blob of love that Tadashi left behind after his death. Baymax’s sole purpose is to help others in distress. When Hiro realizes that his micro-bot technology has been stolen, Hiro convinces Baymax that he will not be satisfied until he figures out who is responsible for Tadashi’s death. Hiro and Baymax recruit Tadashi’s eccentric classmates: Wasabi (Damon Wayans Jr.), Go Go (Jamie Chung), Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez) and Fred (T.J. Miller). With some major upgrades, they become the “Big Hero 6”.
“Big Hero 6” mainly focuses on the struggle of losing a loved one. Although the concept is rather heavy, “Big Hero 6” manages to form a balance between emotional breakthroughs and humor. At one point, the viewer wonders, “Am I in tears from laughing or crying?” A scene where Hiro is mourning over the death of his brother is minutes later followed by Hiro and Baymax’s hysterically worthless attempt at sneaking into a warehouse in order to find the micro-bots. The film tends to be fuzzy when it comes to its moral. Hiro’s inability to let go of his brother’s death makes him cling to Baymax and the obsession of another character (he who will not be named) over a death of his loved one actually leads to an utterly important discovery. Fortunately for the writers, the audience is so entranced by the action that these details are overlooked.
“Big Hero 6” is the warm, gooey product of stirring together The Incredibles, How to Train Your Dragon, and Real Steel and baking it in the oven. As a whole, it engages the viewer and at many times, makes them envious of the futuristic society of San Fransokyo, especially when it’s in 3D. Although the moral may be muddled at times, Hiro’s struggle pours salt on any open wounds the viewer may have. By the end of the film, you will want a Baymax of your own.
Sammi Brennan can be reached at Samantha.firstname.lastname@example.org.