“Are you satisfied with your care?” intones a 10-feet-tall amalgamation of the Pilsbury Doughboy and Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, while looking like the most benign creature in the universe.


With a carefully calculated demeanor both frustratingly adorable and instantly likable, you’re looking at Baymax (voiced by Scott Adsit), the iconic mascot and sidekick to Hiro (Ryan Potter), the obvious hero of the animated film.

But Baymax did not come upon such an appearance easily. In its original design, the lovable puffball looked much more like a massive hulking mecha-dragon than a white blimp, but Disney-fied into its current form. This Disney-fication also extends to the other aspects of Big Hero 6, making this adaptation of an obscure Marvel comic more of a deviation.

In Big Hero 6, we’re thrown smack into ‘San Fransokyo’, where the gizmos and whatsits (think flying wind turbines) are just a tad more advanced than what we currently have today though we spied a decent iPhone in a scene. Enter 14 year old Hiro, a budding genius in robotics and rebel with a penchant for illegal botfighting.


Hiro’s brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney) convinces him to join a contest where he simply has to create something that outshines the competition. The bounty? Admission into a prestigious university. With that goal, Hiro invents telepathically-controlled microbots, something that impresses Professor Callaghan (James Cromwell) enough to clinch the top prize.

Unfortunately, things go sour from there in a series of misfortunate events, leading Hiro to accidentally activate Baymax, a robot created by his brother to nurse and help millions of people. The duo soon runs into a hostile man in a kabuki mask who has been using Hiro’s microbots for nefarious means.

The plot of Big Hero 6 may sound convoluted, but it boils down to a simplistic good-versus-evil trope. The characters have clear motivations for their actions. Cookie-cutter dilemmas in the movie have similarly convenient solutions and everything simply works out.

The 3-D flick presents itself perfectly for children – it is after all a movie targeted for all ages – but appear contrived in emotionally-charged scenes involving Hiro, Tadashi and Baymax.


Although Big Hero 6, as the title suggests, comprises of 6 main characters, we’re really only looking at 2: Hiro and Baymax. The other 4 – Fred (T.J. Miller), Go Go (Jamie Chung), Wasabi (Damon Wayans Jr.) and Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez) are largely relegated to second-fiddle status but thumbs-up for the ethnically diverse cast. At times, they provide comic relief and prevent Hiro from veering off track, but none of them seem to have grown at all during the course of the film, or contributed anything beyond their handy technology. The myopic treatment of the cast becomes increasingly obvious throughout the film, and we’re left wondering if the movie should be called Big Hero 2 instead.

Despite its flaws, Big Hero 6 cleverly conceals meaning behind an otherwise fluffy-feeling adventure. It explores loss and revenge, rage and forgiveness, all tied into an easily digestible narrative.

Thankfully, the animation blows anything we’ve seen in recent times out of the waters. With a budget that of Interstellar’s, every scene and interaction is realized in stunning complexity and detail. Action scenes are fluid and intensely energetic, making the film a joy to watch for its visual excellence.

The movie’s soundtrack is no slouch either. Scored by Henry Jackman of Wreck-It Ralph fame, the tracks are at times soothing and humbly complementing the scenes, or taking front stage and center in “First Flight”, a track every bit as exuberant as “Test Drive” from How To Train Your Dragon.


At the end of it all, we’d be remiss to forget that in the middle of this film beats a Marvel heart: we’re almost guaranteed that this won’t be the last time we’re seeing Baymax, and Stan Lee makes his trademark appearance in the post credits.

In essence, Big Hero 6 is a lot like cotton candy: light and fluffy but substance-less and ephemeral. Disney’s marketers have crafted a film entertaining enough to exert a gravitational pull on parents, in the form of their children, and is indeed a worthy successor to the mega blockbuster of yesteryear, Frozen.


Rating: 3/5

Release Date: 13 November 2014

Runtime: 105 minutes

Language: English

Censorship rating: PG

Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure

Directors: Don Hall, Chris Williams

Main actors: Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit, Jamie Chung


Photos Courtesy of Big Hero 6’s Facebook Page