Big Hero 6
Talk as much as you want about what kind of future we’re leaving our children, I want you to consider how much we have now. We are in the middle of the biggest transition into machines (even more so then the industrial revolution years before) with more computers, more robots, and more information built into an interconnected system that is assessable to everyone. While I can’t say this is making people smarter, it is certainly giving us a bigger chance to help others. The trouble with introducing new technology is that the inventor will assume that everyone will use it correctly. That is never the case.
A good example is robotics. By skimming some old Popular Science magazines, I see many sketches and prints of robotics acting like our personal servants. We are now in their future (or our present) yet the majority of the tech is related to industry or toys, but no robot friends. I think the big issue with human-like robots is cracking the idea of programing the emotions of a human. How would you program love and hate in the simplest of terms. For now we’re just going to have to step back and enjoy the newest cinematic robot creation in Big Hero 6.
In the futuristic metropolis of San Fransokyo (a creative combination of San Francisco and Tokyo), a fourteen-year old prodigy named Hiro Hamada makes little fighting bots in street matches to make money as he’s already gone through high school. He’s rescued by his older brother Tadashi and taken somewhere where he can be appreciated; the robotics college where Tadashi goes. He meets some other students and is introduced to their Professor Callaghan (played by James Cromwell) who encourages Hiro to enter a show that could admit him.
Tadashi introduces Hiro to Baymax; a inflatable health care companion whose duty is to help the sick and injured. For the college competition, Hiro invents a bunch of nanobots (robots that are really small, but work together to do big things) that catches everyone’s eye. The excitement is worn off fast when a building fire destroys the nanobots and kills Tadashi.
Hiro sulks in his room for a while and gets to know Baymax’s abilities more. This causes the robot to accidently discover that a villain in a Kabuki mask is making a ton of nanobots. This gets Hiro the motivation to build armor for Baymax to search for the man that may be Tadashi’s killer.
Big Hero 6 has the distinction of being the next Disney Animated movie after Frozen. It’s a bad spot to be as most people are going to expect another major hit. Big Hero 6 managed to entertain me, but I doubt it’s going to be Disney’s most memorable. The best thing about the movie is the setting. San Fransokyo has a very awesome look that my inner child is screaming “I WANNA GO!”. The balance of the American and Japanese cultures work well to the futuristic story of robotics.
Speaking of robots, Baymax has so much of a nonthreatening and huggable design, I have a hard time imagining someone hating him. He’s curious, gentile, and always wants to help people. He plays the pet to Hiro whose story is a good one; accepting loss and finding new purpose. He’s smart, but not yet fully mature to understand the need to have friends. His friends consists of the other college students that Tadashi worked with and eventually become heroes with Hiro and Baymax. They have fun personalities, but were not given enough time to know them more. This story belongs to the boy and his robot.
I’ll give this four Baymax robots out of five. Though more time with the side characters would have been nice, Big Hero 6 has the mechanics to be an exciting, fast paced action that most families should see.