“BIG HERO 6” The Ultimate Hybrid!

The Walt Disney animated feature film, Big Hero 6, which won an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature is a highly successful film. It has hopes of being the new ‘Frozen’ in terms of popularity, though much more for the boy population than girls this time – which isn’t to say that girls wouldn’t enjoy this film. Being directed by the same producers of Frozen and Wreck it Ralph, as well as having a massive budget, Big Hero 6 clearly had expectations of being a major success.

Baymax on the streets of San Fransokyo

Lovable Baymax on the streets of San Fransokyo

This animated action/comedy revolves around the story’s 14 year old hero and robotics genius, Hiro Hamada (voiced by Ryan Potter). In the beautiful, futuristic fictional city of ‘San Fransokyo’ (pretty much just Japan populated with Americans), Hiro Hamada is left with only his older brother’s creation Baymax – a health care robot – after that brother, Tadashi, dies in a terrible fire.

Hiro secludes himself until he stumbles upon the villain in the Kabuki mask who stole his invention, microbots (an invention he believed was destroyed in the fire). Together with huggable Baymax – uploaded with some new moves – and Tadashi’s friends, GoGo, Wasabi, Honey Lemon and Fred, Hiro creates a new superhero team to fight the masked villain Yokai.

Kabuki masked and silent villain - Yokai

Kabuki masked and silent villain – Yokai

The film is highly enjoyable to watch, engaging with a good plot and its moments of humour. The animation is impressive and there is enough emotional attachment to leave you watery-eyed when the lovable Baymax sacrifices himself for Hiro, even despite the rude man behind you answers his phone halfway through the scene (which is indeed what happened in my viewing of the film).

I went to see this film with a friend and thoroughly enjoyed it, and would highly recommend going to see it. I of course loved all the references to things of Japan – the Japanese writing which speedily and unsuccessfully tried to read throughout the film, the masses of telephones wires, slated roofs, blossoming trees, gardens, the futuristic city and technology, the kabuki (Japanese theatre) masked man, and down to character names (Wasabi for one, apparently so-called because of spilling wasabi on his shirt one time and nothing to do with consistently wearing wasabi-green clothes) and much more!

Tadashi's friend Wasabi

Tadashi’s friend Wasabi

Disney’s Big Hero 6 did cause some controversy surprisingly for these features suggesting Japanese origin, particularly in South Korea. Hiro Hamada’s name was changed to ‘Hero Armada’ for south korean audiences, as was Tadashi’s to ‘Teddy’. As well as this some Japanese writing was also changed, to English, such as kanji on a giant ‘maneki neko’ which simply became ‘cat’.

But still, overall an enjoyable, well put together film – well worth watching, weather you are a Japan-lover or not.

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