The foundation for any lovable Disney film is its hero not quite fitting in. With Big Hero 6, they’ve found the key ingredient in Baymax; a doughy, well-mannered machine with the sole purpose of making things better.
The unmistakable robot is held at arms length even in its futuristic setting; a high-rise, hybrid city deemed San Fransokyo. With its simple face and disarming nature however, Baymax nestles comfortably into the hearts of all that behold him.
The staple misfit delivers then, but is the rest of the film enough to carry its paunch?
Deriving loosely from a Marvel series of crime-fighting comics, Big Hero 6 follows orphan Hiro, another misfit, and a band of self-professed dorks in their quest to take down a mysterious nemesis. With a voice-cast laden with comic actors including Maya Rudolph, TJ Miller and Alan Tudyk, the light-hearted sentiment is watertight, and the band of youthful characters appeal to young audiences without dowsing them in teen culture.
This is undoubtedly one of Disney’s more mature animations; bar Baymax’s cuddly demeanour there is a noticeable absence of cuteness and the peril that Hiro faces pushes past the mild mark. Drawing more on the themes of Dreamworks’ How to Train Your Dragon than the wholesome characteristics of Pixar, there is a bigger story to be found through this unlikely friendship and ample space for some breath-taking animation. A sequence that sees boy and robot take to the skies of the fictional city truly allow Disney to throw their creative weight around, proving that after decades of work they can still achieve scenes that mesmerise and astound.
Having enjoyed blinding success in the US, Big Hero 6 has already helped to push a new future for Disney separately from it’s Pixar arm, and with its beautiful character design and moments of genuine wonder there’s no doubt that this is well-deserved.