Big Hero 6 - Can a superhero be soft as a marshmallow? 4 stars

"I just want the future to happen faster. I can't imagine the future without robots." 
                                                    -Nolan Bushnall 

Walking into the cinema...
There is an electric feeling in the theatre as we wait for the film to start. The anticipation of a new Disney/Marvel film was exciting for all in the family. It seems to have it all: drama, action, humour and, for the sake of the male audience members, no musical numbers. We did not want to succumb to the hype, but this film looks to be fun. 

Overall rating: 4 stars
Cinematic value: 4 stars 
Family value: 4 stars

Hiro Hamada is a brilliant, but bored, 14 year-old genius who builds robots and takes them to fight in back-alley robot fights in the fictitious, future city of San Fransokyo. His brother, Tadashi, sees his younger siblings talent is being wasted and wants to recruit him for the robotics team at the local university. Tadashi is a skilled robot inventor himself and has created Baymax, a special healthcare robot. Hiro is challenged to qualify for the local robotics programme and rises to his brother's challenge. He creates a new type of robot that could change the face of the robotic industry, but then tragedy strikes his family, the university and the city. Hiro, Baymax and the university team of Go Go Tomago, Wasabi, Honey Lemon and Fred have to work together to save the city from a new threat. without giving away the fascinating twists to this hero's tale, the team has to challenge themselves to become more than the thought leaders behind the robots, but to utilise the technology to serve as heroes, albeit unwillingly at first. Hiro works to transform Baymax from healthcare to heroics. He equips the lovable marshmallow-like creature to battle against the new evil in the city. The mystery behind this new villain and how to stop him gives the story a needed depth and builds to the inevitable climatic finish. This high energy adventure is full of new characters to spearhead a new Disney/Marvel franchise. 
       It is always a risk to introduce a new animated concept, even for Disney. Big Hero 6 was worth the risk. How original can you get with the superhero genre? This film has whispers of many robot/hero/coming of age films of the past, but the characters are fresh and the story delivery is on the mark.  and  direct a well-crafted animated film. In this era of animation, John Lasseter's involvement with a project seems to have the qualities for a breakthrough hit. Like most of the films of the past decade, his fingerprints seem to be all over this film while developing new directorial talent. The other challenge to this film was the addition of the Marvel label. This is another adaptation from the multitude of comic book series. Disney will have to carefully manage the exposure to their new financial behemoth of a sub-brand. Fortunately, Stan Lee's inclusion in the storyline was the only real Marvel touch. Otherwise this merely comes across as original animated material and they continue to go from strength to strength with the animation. 
     The film might be a bit too dark for the youngest audience members, but overall this was a film for the whole family. The villain can be a bit scary and the action pretty intense, but nothing that would exceed other animated films, such as the The Lego Movie or Tarzan. You would have to be hard pressed to find objectionable material in this film. If you are looking for something to talk about with your family, this film is full of opportunities. Conversations about revenge, heroes, salvation and sacrifice will fill the family car and dinner table for hours after seeing this film. Not to be misunderstand, Big Hero 6 is an entertaining and action packed film, but you do not have to look too deep into the story line to find worthwhile points of family conversations. 
      A small note of consideration, Pixar helped to re-introduce the short animated film to the theatrical experience. These films help to move the audience beyond their everyday lives and gently progress to the upcoming feature. A cinematic clearing of the palette. With Lasseter's move to Disney, one hold over is the tradition of the short film prior to the feature. Feast was a joy in itself and helps to develop another great animated storyline. Winston's story of a dog and his owner is reminiscent of the opening sequence of Up. Many times the common thread in people's lives are their dogs. Feast manages to help audience members to move into the animated world that is full of emotion, humour and heart. Big Hero 6 is a wonderful film, but Feast is a wonderful compliment to the cinematic experience. Both films make for a good day for anyone at the theatre. 

Leaving the cinema...
Reviews like this are harder to write than one might think. When a film is this good, it is hard to strike a balance in the comments. It is a rare film that can be recommended to anyone, but this one makes the cut. Take the family and enjoy a fun film with a strong message and potential for great conversations with the family.  

Reel Dialogue: What are the bigger questions to consider from this film? 
1. Is revenge the answer to injustice? (Psalm 37: 27-29, Romans 12:17-21)
2. What is biblical justice? (Psalm 7:9, Romans 3:5-6)
3. Who determines right and wrong? (John 3:19-21, Matthew 28:18)

Written by Russell Matthews based on a five star rating system @ Russelling Reviews #russellingreviews