‘Big Hero 6’: A Review and Comic Comparison

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[dropcap size=small]B[/dropcap]ig Hero 6 is another brilliantly successful and hilarious adaptation of a relatively unknown Marvel comic series. Set in the beautifully imagined “San Fransokyo”, the film follows 14-year-old tech genius Hiro Hamada, a robot fight hustler. When his older brother Tadashi takes him to his “nerd” lab at the university, Hiro sees just where applied potential can get you. Here we meet the rest of the future Big Hero 6 team: GoGo Tomago, Wasabi, Honey Lemon, Fred, and of course Baymax, a healing bot created by Tadashi. Inspired by their creativity and talent, Hiro elects to gain admission to the University via a science project competition, for which me makes an impressive invention. Following tragedy, Hiro is helped by Baymax and the two soon encounter a menacing villain who has stolen Hiro’s own invention technology. With the help of the university techies, the Big Hero 6 save San Fransokyo with creativity, humor, wit, and friendship. You will spend the rest of your life waiting for the invention of a big marshmallow of a cuddly robot for you to own yourself.

 

***SPOILERS BELOW!***

Let’s take a closer look at the characters, plot, and animation that make this film so spectacular! The Big Hero 6 team first appeared in Sunfire & Big Hero 6 issue #1 in 1998, published by Marvel Comics and created by Steven T. Seagle and Duncan Rouleau. Because the comic had a short run and is relatively unknown, we thought it would be fun to show you how some of the characters changed in the Disney iteration of the super team.

 

The Characters (left) with a Comparison to the Originals (right)

Hiro Hamada (voiced by Ryan Potter)

Hiro (Film)

  • Graduated high school at 13
  • Now admitted to San Fransokyo’s Institute of Technology
  • Inventor of microbots; inventor of Baymax’s combat upgrades
  • Contributor to the rest of the team’s inventions as well
  • Orphan living with his brother and aunt

Hiro Takachiho

Hiro (Comic)

  • Boy genius admitted to the Tesuka Advanced Science Institute at 13
  • Inventor of Baymax
  • Originally declined joining the team so he could live a normal life, until his mother was kidnapped

Baymax (Scott Adsit)

Baymax (Film)

  • Created by Todashi Hamada
  • Programmed to be a healing robot and composed of inflated vinyl for an unmenacing, cuddly look
  • Responds to signals of distress, like “Ow”
  • Upgraded for combat by Hiro

Monster Baymax

Baymax (Comic)

  • Created by Hiro
  • Programmed as a protector, but infused with Hiro’s late father’s thoughts and emotions, making him much more
  • Shapeshifter, especially into a dragon

GoGo Tomago (Jamie Chung)

GoGo (Film)

  • Clearly the tough one of the group
  • Develops a bike with electromagnetic wheels, which becomes part of her speedy superhero getup
  • Gum enthusiast

Leiko Tanaka “GoGo Tomago”

GoGo (Comic)

  • Hothead of the group
  • Has a suit that amplified kinetic energy
  • Utters her hero name to transform into a powerball (“Tomago” = egg)
  • Released from prison to serve the team
  • Accomplished motorcyclist

Wasabi (Damon Wayans)

BIG HERO 6

  • Works on laser technology
  • Has laser-like knives in his power suit
  • Law-abiding and cautious

Wasabi-No-Ginger

Wasabi (Comic)

  • A chef with extensive knife-skill
  • Can form knives with Qi-Energy

Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez)

Honey (Film)

  • Friendly and bubbly chemist
  • The only one who insists on pronouncing “Hiro” in Japanese
  • Invents the Power Purse to create little chemistry bombs of various substances

Aiko Miyazaki “Honey Lemon”

Honey (Comic)

  • Secret agent and inventor of the power purse
  • Power Purse contains mini wormholes used to retrieve supplies and travel inter-dimensionally
  • Plays dumb to catch opponents off guard

Fred (T.J. Miller)

Fred (Film)

  • School Mascot and groupie of the tech lab nerds
  • Huge comic fanboy and enthusiast of every crazy superhero-like thing that happens to the Big Hero 6
  • Surprisingly wealthy, likely due to his famous father
  • Gets a monster suit with super jumps and fire-breathing

Fred (Fredzilla)

Fred (Comics)

  • An Ainu (indigenous people of Japan) who grew up on the S.H.I.E.L.D. base in Japan
  • Can transform into a huge Godzilla-like creature

Other characters include:

  • Tadashi Hamada (Daniel Henney): Hiro’s brother and the inventor of Baymax; hunky and kind
  • Robert Callaghan (James Cromwell): head of the robots program at San Fransokyo Institute of Technology; Tadashi’s mentor
  • Allistair Krei (Alan Tudyk): technology entrepreneur; owner of powerhouse Krei Tech
  • Aunt Cass (Maya Rudolph): guardian of Hiro and Tadashi; owner of a coffee shop; makes some mean wings
  • Yokai: the kabuki-masked villain! Sort of like if Doc Oc’s arms were made of a zillion little magnetic pieces that could take the same of anything and maim you for life…
  • Unfortunately Silver Samurai and Sunfire, two major characters in the Marvel comic, are owned by a different company and didn’t appear in the film.

 

The Plot

Big Hero 6 is a break from modern dark hero movies, but the plot is undeniably predictable (perhaps just due to the flood of superhero flicks hitting the screen nowadays). Despite this, Big Hero 6 remains endlessly entertaining and full of twists and treats, like a low-power drunk Baymax and Fred’s wealthy pedigree. It also has great balance; numerous times, there was a thrilling chase scene in which I was both terrified for the characters and laughing uncontrollably at their dialogue and clumsiness. There are great messages for kids, like the benefit of going to college and a more optimistic prediction for the future of technology. It’s light-hearted and funny, but that doesn’t mean it won’t punch you right in the feels sometimes. It also has an Iron Giant (my favorite movie) feel to it at times, a great bonus!Baymax Warm

The Animation

There is some amazing animation in Big Hero 6. As someone with no experience in animation, even I could tell that this animation must have taken some serious effort. The lighting was perfect, the backgrounds were complete and complex, and each character had quirks of movement that perfectly suited their personalities. Baymax in particular has a very simplistic design and limited facial features, but his emotion remains as expressive as the human characters. One of the best shots in the film is of Hiro riding Baymax around San Fransokyo, which lets you really see how skilled the animators are and how much thought went into this San Francisco-Tokyo hybrid of a city. Cherry blossoms, temples, skycrapers, and oceanfronts; you’ll think this place is real and wonder why you haven’t visited yet! The animators also include several Easter eggs, like a status of Hans from Frozen, a Wreck-It-Ralph billboard, A113, Stan Lee, and a post-credits scene.

 

Feast, the Animated Short before the FilmFeast

I always forget that these films come with bonus short films! If you’ve ever had a dog (or really if you just love cute animals), you’re going to love Feast. Although it chronicles the meals of a puppy, there is a greater love story there that also somehow manages to punch you in the feels… How do these animators do it?

 

Just go see this movie. You need it. It even beat out Interstellar opening weekend! Directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams, Big Hero 6 is in theatres now!

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