HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Big Hero 6
HTS Overall Score:85
With “Big Hero 6” coming out on Blu-ray and DVD in less than 3 weeks, we’ve been granted the ability to review the movie a few weeks early thanks to Disney’s digital copy infrastructure, otherwise known as DMA. Similar to Ultraviolet it acts as the gateway for the digital copy on the Blu-ray/DVD itself as well as purchase the movie ahead of time digitally ala carte if you so desire. Able to be linked to Vudu, Google play and Itunes, you can then watch on your favorite device. This review was streamed through Vudu as the source.
On to the movie! With super hero movies dominating the marketplace it wasn’t long until Disney proper got their fingers into the pie (well, that is besides owning Marvel Studios themselves). “Big Hero 6” is adapted from a line of Marvel comic books and had to be changed a bit to fit into the Disney mold. Softened, so to speak. Still the film kept the excitement, adventure and humor or a full blown comic book movie, but added in the heart that Disney is so famous for, creating a homogenous blend of the two styles that is a blast to watch.
Hiro Hamada (Ryan Potter) is a child genius living in the futuristic city of Sanfransokyo (apparently a megatropolis), content to use his incredible robotics skills on making bots to hustle unsuspecting victims at robot fights. That all changes when his older brother, Tadashi (Daniel Henney) introduces him to higher education and the wonderful potential he can unlock there under the tutelage of Professor Callaghan (James Cromwell). After demonstrating his skills by creating a neurologically controlled set of micro robots dubbed “microbots”, Hiro is ready to go forward with his life only to be halted in his tracks by an explosion that rocks the demonstration, taking the life of his brother Tadashi. Devastated and feeling along, Hiro retreats into isolation, ignoring his and his brother’s friends in the process. When he finds out that his brother’s pet robotics project, code named Baymax, is still working things take a dramatic turn.
Baymax is a medical robot that’s entire purpose is to act as a personal assistant/medical caregiver that Tadashi spent his entire time at college creating. Being the one last remnant of his departed brother, Hiro clings to it like life itself. The activated Baymax happens to find the long surviving microbot from the explosion in Hiro’s jacket pocket and the pair soon find out through the electronic link that a mysterious man in a Kabuki mask is recreating Hiro’s work. Tracking the man down, the duo realize that he also isn’t exactly using it for good. After the Kabuki masked man tries to kill them, Hiro must convert Baymax and his late brother’s friends into a team to exact revenge on the man who most likely caused the explosion. With a little robotic help, he turns his brother’s friends, Fred (T.J. Miller), Go Go (Jamie Chung), Wasabi (Damon Wayans Jr.) and Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguize) AND Baymax into a fighting force that can take on his own creation of microbots. Running under the assumption of the villain’s identify being famed industrialist Alistair Krei (Alan Tudyk) the 6 teenagers run face to face (quite literally) with him, only to realize that not everything is at it seems.
Baymax is the heart and soul of the movie, and I make no bones that he is one of Disney’s most adorable creations yet. I mentioned that Disney had to make some pretty heavy alterations to the source material, and one of them is Baymax turning into a cute, cuddly marshmallow of a character, from a monstrous lizard type monster in the comics. Usually I’m not a fan of drastic alterations from comic source, but Disney handled the changes with incredible finesse, turning Baymax into a character that pretty much every little girl and boy is going to be going nuts over. The rest of the crew has had their own alterations, but they fit quite well into the new universe. Damon Wayans Jr., Jamie Chung and Genesis Rodriguez do a great job as their superhero alternatives, and T.J. Miller really rounds out the cast as the series humor element (and that’s saying a lot for me since I’m NOT a fan of T.J. in most of his comedic roles as he gets a bit too annoying normally). However, Ryan Potter as Hiro and Daniel Henney as Tadashi along with Baymax just steal the entire movie. Tadashi may only be in the movie for about 25 minutes, but his role is vital in the way he motivates and inspires his brother throughout the whole film.
The film deals with a lot of rather mature themes for a Disney movie and is one of the few modern PG Disney flicks that actually EARNS its PG rating. The recurring element of dealing with the loss of a loved one runs heavily throughout the movie, weighing deeply on Hiro and the resulting relationship with the sweet and kind Baymax. Instead of just dealing with the pain in an overly saccharine way, they decided to let Hiro go through all the pangs of grieving. The sadness, the pain, the anger and desire for revenge, even betrayal as a result of that raging anger, he goes through them all and it gives the character a much for natural feel. It still has that Disney flair, and the ability for love, but there is a surprising amount darkness to the film.
The only real downside to “Big Hero 6” is that it doesn’t exactly give us the greatest villain on earth. The movie was much more of an origin story, both for the characters and the villain himself, so it felt like there wasn’t as much at stake this go around. It’s obvious they set the movie up for a sequel though, as the comics went on for quite some time, and Disney greenlit a sequel within a month of it blasting the box office records. I had an absolute blast watching it in the theaters and had just as much fun watching it in my home theater as well (and I’ll have probably just as much fun watching it a third time when I review the Blu-ray as well). It has all that Disney charm, mixed with a decidedly exciting Marvel flair that really works and begs for watching a nice large screen.
Rated PG for action and peril, some rude humor, and thematic elements.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=38002[/img]Being that watching a streaming copy is dependent on internet speeds, and the provider which you view it through (many times there are distinct differences in the image quality and compression between Vudu, Itunes and Googleplay) so The full video review will come later when I review the actual Blu-ray disc, but from what I can tell this one is going to be a stunner on disc. The colors are bright and vibrant, popping off the screen at every turn and the detail is incredible for a wirelessly streamed file. I noticed some nasty macroblocking in the night time battle sequences, but that’s usually a sign of over compression in streaming film and most likely won’t be on the Blu-ray.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=38010[/img]The audio is presented in lossy Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 and sounds really good considering that it’s not a lossless track. LFE is deep and throbbing, adding a crushing weight to the movie during the action oriented second half as Baymax and crew roar around fighting the Kabuki masked villain. Surrounds are heavily active and the dialog sounded great. I was a little surprised that it was only a 5.1 mix considering it was a 7.1 theatrical mix and Disney REALLY loves its 7.1 mixes. I’m not complaining as the track sounds phenomenal, but am a bit puzzled. Similar to the video score, the quality can fluctuate depending on your internet speeds, so the score for those portions will be left blank.
• The Origin of "Big Hero 6": Hiro's Journey
• Big Animator 6: The Characters behind the Characters
• Alternate Opening: Prologue
• Alternate Opening: Silent Sparrow
• Yokai's Crew
• Every Great Superhero Origin Story Starts With a Grappling Hook
“Big Hero 6” manages to capture the essence of the comic books, while softening it for Disney environment, giving a wildly enjoyable experience that made for one of my favorite theatrical visits in 2014. Baymax will make the children squeal in glee and the writing keeps the adults in their seats with equal measure. I really can’t recommend the movie enough, with my only warning being that people who usually let very very young children watch Disney movies may want to check it out first, since there are several rather heavy thematic elements that might frighten them. Those of you who love the movie and have moved over to digital should be ecstatic since the film is out 3 weeks before the physical release date, and those of us who lean towards wanting the technical specs of the Blu-ray now have to impatiently wait till the 24th. Either way you go, you can’t go wrong as the movie is simply fabulous. Much buy.
Starring: Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit, T.J. Miller, Damon Wayans Jr., Jamie Chung
Directed by: Don Hall, Chris Williams
Written by: Jordan Roberts, Daniel Gerson
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital Plus 5.1
Studio: Disney/Buena Vista
Runtime: 102 Minutes
Release Date: February 3rd 2015 (Blu-ray/DVD on February 24th)
Buy Big Hero 6 Digital File on Disneymoviesanywhere.com
Recommendation: Must Buy!
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