Well, I feel a little silly, having spent quite a few weeks picking on “Big Hero 6”, because it’s actually pretty good. I believe I like “Song of the Sea” a little bit better, but it’s at least on a par with “The Boxtrolls” quality-wise. Plus, I definitely found it superior to “How to Train Your Dragon 2”, which was expected to conquer it on Oscar night, before “BH6” grabbed the big prize early in the evening. I expend so much energy railing against the “big Disney machine” sometimes, that I forget they often churn out really good stuff. And after the passable “Brave”, and overrated “Frozen”, I was ready for something different. So, “BH6” turned out to be a pleasant surprise.
Hiro Hamada (voiced by Ryan Potter) is a 14 year-old robotics genius, in the futuristic society of San Fransokyo, who ends up caring for the “healthcare robot” Baymax (voiced by Scott Adsit), which was created by his older brother Tadashi (voiced by Daniel Henney). But soon after kindly Professor Callaghan (voiced by James Cromwell) talks the Hamada brothers out of selling their secrets to an untrustworthy corporate giant, an accident occurs at the University, and Callaghan and Tadashi are lost. Before long, Hiro, Baymax, and a team of misfit “geeks”, fight for their lives upon discovering that the explosion and fire may not have been accidental after all.
“Big Hero 6” is smart, and has a nice amount of sass. The screenplay is rich with comedy and pathos, and the directing team of Don Hall and Chris Williams, keep the pace fluid–if occasionally too frenetic. Outside of those already mentioned, the vocal work of T.J. Miller, Jamie Chung, Damon Wayans Jr., Genesis Rodriguez, Alan Tudyk and Maya Rudolph is inspired and dexterous. Miller, as Fred, is an especially memorable hoot. Respectful of it Japanimation roots, and wise enough to linger at just the right moments, “Big Hero 6” is a much more deserving winner of the Best Animated Feature Oscar than either 2012’s victor, or that of 2013. Solid stuff.