When Disney bought Marvel in August of 2009 everyone was a little worried about the ramifications of the purchase, worried that the child friendly company was going to Kid-ify the brilliant content coming from Marvel studios during the highest ever peak of their production history. However the merger resulted in little more than an Avengers cameo in Disney’s secretly fantastic cartoon ‘Phineas and Ferb’… that is, until now.
‘Big Hero 6′ is the first release under the joint banner and follows child prodigy Hiro Hamada and his extra squishy inflatable robot pal, Baymax, as they team up with a group of friends to form a band of high-tech hero’s out to save their city from a mask wearing tech menace.
Many people are calling this a kids movie, citing it to be less mature and theme laden as other such similar genre’d films such as ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2′. They are right in the fact that this is indeed a kids film, as pretty much all of the films produced by Disney are, however these people are obviously missing the undertones that are seen throughout the entire piece, another staple of Disney releases.
The great thing about this film is that it treats us with images of both Gender and Race equality… and I think that is a pretty grown up subject matter don’t you?. Rather than shoving this imagery down our throats or making overtly obvious references to it ‘Big Hero 6′ just shows us a world where race and gender aren’t an issue. The main characters in the film are a group of diverse ethnicities, most notably the main character Hiro being a non-white character with an Asian family background. He is then joined by Wasabi (African American), Honey Lemon (Hispanic), Fred (Caucasian) and my personal favourite Go Go (Korean). At no point is humour derived from anyones nationality, you could technically argue that the character of Fred (the only white member of the hero group) is there to be made fun of. However Fred is the comic relief character, although his way of life and super hero decisions can been seen as comedic no one makes fun of him, they accept him for who he is.
The group is also diverse with gender with two of the main characters being women. Honey Lemon and Go Go are two fantastic examples of how women can be portrayed in the industry, with neither being a generic view of women that so many other animated features are guilty of portraying. Honey Lemon is a tall, slender, heel wearing woman that’s enthusiastic about her work and is unashamed of her girly-ness. Going against the stereotype of dumb blonde girly girl, Honey Lemon uses her love of chemistry and combines it with her femininity to create a weapon that every fashionista would love to have, all the while kicking ass in some killer platform heels.
Go Go on the other hand is a short, curvy, no nonsense biker that is the strongest character in the group. Unafraid to tackle most situations head on, she is also the most level headed and is not afraid to put people in their place, often telling the male characters to “Woman up” when the situation calls for it. Purposely designed to go against the typical Disney female proportions Go Go’s figure is small and curvy, based on Korean body structure to make her more realistic.
With Marvel is responsible for the story, overall action and the obligatory after credit cameo (it is worth the wait, although easily guessed) it is down to Disney, as always, to provide what the kids refer to nowadays as “the feels”.
Enter Baymax, an inflatable marshmallow like robot thats primary function is to be a health care provider. This naive medical mechanoid is the heart of the film, providing Hiro with support after a family tragedy, Baymax trundles lightly through the events of the movie doing everything he possibly can in order to give excellent care and service to his patient. His lack of human experience and overall robot-ness is where the majority of the humour is derived. More heartwarming than malicious, you cannot help but feel warm as you watch him try to assimilate with the humans around him. His attempts at fist bumping being a movie highlight and something that will be copied by kids and adults everywhere.
Since the initial worry of Disney taking over Marvel all of our fears have pretty much dissipated, ‘Big Hero 6′ is another example of why we should not be worried. With believable and true to life characters, intense action scenes, trademark Marvel and Disney easter eggs and an inflatable robot that will have you both laughing and crying uncontrollably ‘Big Hero 6′ is a fantastic film that will fly straight to the top of many “Favourite Disney Film” Lists