Big Hero 6 may seem like the umptieth Disney movie, especially the umptieth digitally animated one. Considering it’s by the team of Frozen, people may expect something along those lines. Nothing is less true as Big Hero 6 is one of the best things released by the Disney Studios since well, quite a while (possibly since Princess and the Frog, which was full of excellent Dieselpunk elements).
This Marvel/Disney collaboration is proof that both companies should work together more often, because this feature film is not only a magnificent feat when it comes to animation, but also has the same kind of imaginative storytelling and feel of adventure that Marvel movies have become famous for in the last decade.
Based on an old, rather obscure Marvel title of the same name (which I think may be rereleased soon [but that’s just my guess!] considering the success of the movie), Disney reinvents both story and characters in the fictional, high-tech and futuristic world of San Fransokyo where traditional Japanese influences are crossed with the best of futurepunk and futuretech. Zeppelins cloud the skies alongside vehicles that have only been dreamt up in sci-fi settings. Japanese battlesuits, monsters and robots are go hand in hand with Tokyo style streets, traditional San Francisco trams whilst Japanese and Western architecture stand next to each other. Some of the background scenes are done so realistic that for a second you think you’re watching an actual live action movie rather than a digitally animated one. The use of colours is splendid, and the detailing on backgrounds as well as characters is amazing.
A lot of criticism has been made on this movie online, especially on sites such as tumblr. One of them being that Disney is stuck on the same character design over and over. Let me tell you something: once you are watching the movie you will see that this critique is entirely unjustified. Whilst the character Honey Lemon may look slightly like Rapunzel in some of the portrait stype promo images, in the movie she is very much an original character. Also: most of the male and female characters have distinctively different body types, which is something that can only be encouraged. The characters are well developed for their part in the movie, and are as loveable as the casts of many other Disney movies people have come to love over the years. Even though the movie is all about science, robotics and superheroes, it has more than enough features to be interested to those that don’t much care about these topics as it is pretty well rounded as a whole and there is much more to the story than a bunch of students going after a villain. The only thing that can be said against it is that it is a mite predictable, but in the end of the day, it’s an animated Disney movie, so some measure of predictability is to be expected.
In short, Big Hero 6 is a fantastic piece of cinematography for animation fans of all ages. Fans of sci-fi, futurism, futurepunk and colourful animation in particular will find this movie appealing. And as this is a Marvel collaboration, yes, there is a Stan Lee cameo, and yes, you really should wait for all the credits to end, because in Marvel tradition there is a last piece of film to come after that. But I won’t say more, you’ll have to go see and hopefully enjoy this movie as much as I did for yourself.