Back when the Oscars started to hand out the award for Best Animated Feature, it went to films from Studio Ghibli, Dreamworks, even Aardman got into the mix. Nowadays, it’s typically either from Disney and Pixar, and in 2014, the fantastic Lego Movie didn’t even get a nomination! Instead, the winner was Big Hero 6, from, you guessed it, Disney.
Our hero is Hiro (the most on the nose protagonist name ever, I know) Hamada, a young lad who’s interest goes from illegal bot fighting to going to his brother, Tadashi’s university. His amazing invention gets him in, but soon after, the uni catches fire and Tadashi (rather stupidly) goes in to save the guy who invented bot fighting, and surprise surprise, a family member dies in a Disney movie. In other news, water is wet.
One of Tadashi’s creations is Baymax, a robot to help those in pain. Hiro finds him and soon after, discovers a mysterious man in a mask is using his invention from earlier for evil. Hiro, Baymax and some of Tadashi’s uni friends become superheroes to try and discover who lies under the mask.
Unlike a lot of other Disney films, they actually do develop some chemistry between Hiro and Tadashi before he gets killed off, which makes the pay off all the more effective. And even the most stone hearted couldn’t fall in love with Baymax, who never strays from his robotic roots, which makes for some very funny moments. When the movie is about these three characters, it truly shines.
When it gets to the actual superhero stuff, however, it comes off as a bit gimmicky. That’s not to say it’s bad, there’s a decent twist near the end, but after the great material with Tadashi’s death, it feels like “here’s the part where we have to sell toys!” On top of that, most of the side characters aren’t that interesting. They’re likeable, but they don’t leave a lasting impression like the brothers and Baymax do.
Despite the aforementioned issues, the pros definitely outweigh the cons here. If it was all about the superhero aspect, The Lego Movie would’ve been snubbed big time, but when I think back to the brother’s chemistry and the relationship between Hiro and Baymax, I can see why the Oscars went for this one. Indeed, I was satisfied with my care.