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Happy Things: Big Hero 6

Yesterday, Yebisu and I had the distinct pleasure of seeing Big Hero 6, which is one of the rare movies that I didn't want to end because it was so beautiful and so entertaining, and because the ending of the film provided a springboard for so, so many stories that would be equally as fun and interesting as the movie itself. This isn't to say this was a perfect or flawless film, but it's pretty damned good in almost every respect, and that is saying quite a lot.

There are quite a few plot summaries that are easily available on the web, and I don't want to add to what's been already said in that respect. Some of the plot aspects that I found especially interesting, though, had to do with the depiction of science and scientific process. Science, although it provides our heroes with their gadgets and weapons, isn't a solution to all problems, or something that's so simple and quick that it looks like magic. Instead, science is something all of the characters think over carefully, and get their hands dirty for. In one pivotal (and very touching) sequence, we see that one of the characters went through so many proto-types for a project that he forgot which number he was on, and what time of day it was. Being smart and willing to approach problems through trial and error is never, ever shown as a liability for any of the characters, and the story is richer for it. No one gets a free pass to becoming a hero/heroine.

The design aspect of this film, from the robots to the city of San Fransokyo, is excellent. It's hard to say where to begin with this: the Golden Gate bridge has been re-imagined in the most wonderful way, and a lot of classic SF buildings have, too. (I crossed my fingers that City Lights would appear, but it didn't, to my slight disappointment.) Everything in the city, from the signs to the trolleys, was just beautiful, and if the whole movie had just been a tour through the city, I probably would have been good with just that. (Note to my subconscious: If you want to add this city to your map of dream!San Francisco, please, please, please go ahead.) But there was more than that--all of the objects and homes and buildings around our characters felt right. Hiro's home, in particular, has that "lived in" patina of family photos/fannish posters/random pictures on the wall and discarded projects and games strewn around the floor of his bedroom that make it feel like a real space, not just a CGI, story-necessitated one.

The overall plot is the only place where things start to get shaky: for anyone who's seen a film before (or read the works of Joseph Campbell), certain aspects are visible miles away. This is a mostly a pretty kid-friendly film, although death and revenge are two of the major plot elements, so perhaps think carefully before taking younger kids. But if your kid is up for it, you won't be disappointed. Stay until after the credits have rolled to catch a scene that is just... well, it's hilarious, and I was so happy because it validated a theory that I'd formed halfway through the story. :D

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
anagramofbrat
Nov. 12th, 2014 09:34 pm (UTC)
I have been scooping my cats since taking Kidzilla to see it on Sunday and going "Haaaaaaaaaaairy baby!" at them. They have not been best pleased with me.

Also my gods I want a Baymax.
retsuko
Nov. 13th, 2014 01:13 am (UTC)
Ha ha--I would totally do that if I had a kitty!

I was surprised at how much I warmed to Baymax, and how quickly, too. Ordinarily, I don't have strong feelings for robot characters one way or another* but I loved Baymax from the moment he started calculating the distance between objects.

*The Iron Giant has been the token exception to this rule, until now...
anagramofbrat
Nov. 13th, 2014 01:36 am (UTC)
I read somewhere that part of Baymax's appeal as a health care droid is that he starts out focusing on the physical but as the story evolves he starts understanding/caring for Hiro's and the rest of the team's emotional/mental health as well. Not something you see very much.

Also that entire "Low Battery" = drunk robot bit absolutely killed me.
jtaylor2
Nov. 14th, 2014 08:06 pm (UTC)
I want to see that movie SO bad. I'm wondering if I can rope B. into hobbling to the theater tonight. ;)
jtaylor2
Nov. 16th, 2014 05:56 am (UTC)
LOVED THIS MOVIE.

I was captivated by how much detail was put into the environment, which made me think of Miyazaki. The kanji, all of the traditional Japanese cultural symbols, and how it all seemed to make complete sense in the landscape. Fantastic!

I loved how seamless the movie would go between manga and American comic book tropes. How fabulous the female characters were - smart, strong and equal to their fellow teammates.

Still incoherent from being totally wowed. Sentences are difficult! *gah*
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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