Set in the fictional city of “San Fransokyo” (think part San Francisco, part Tokyo), “Big Hero 6” depicts a science prodigy named “Hiro Hamada,” who excels at robotics making. He befriends a robot named “Baymax,” made by his much older, much wiser brother “Tadashi.” Adventures and battles against evil forces ensue.
I really had no idea what to expect from this movie, other than I heard it was clean and family friendly. The movie’s best character was “Tadashi,” who is “Hiro’s” older brother. He exemplifies that best of perseverance, wisdom and a simple good-natured manner. The movie also had its fair share of funny moments and surprise plot twists.
My initial concern about this movie was that it would be a piece of anime or manga cartoon, which is an art form connected to the Japanese style of cartoon that I am convinced contains some questionable elements. Fortunately, Disney did not go all the way with the anime style and themes and instead stuck with its popular Pixar-style animation and themes.
Within the movie, there are some imitative phrases that kids will pick up on (e.g. “What the…”) that are annoying and problematic. The movie also portrays gambling, though it is painted in a bad light.
The movie wallows in a discussion about puberty, so parents should be prepared for questions that come from that. Finally, while “Hiro” learns some valuable lessons about loyalty, friendship and goodness, the hero of the story is a robot, rather than a person. It is my firm belief that these days, children, especially boys, are raised to admire made-up heroes (“Iron Man”) more than they are real-live heroes (e.g. George Washington, Winston Churchill). While this may not be inherently wrong, it falls short of what is best and most edifying.
The theme of suffering and death were central to “Big Hero 6.” We see the characters’ life decisions are motivated by their response to the death of tragedy surrounding loved ones. There is, unfortunately, no mention of God or Jesus in the world of “Baymax” and “Hiro.” And though spirituality is presented, as well as family values, they are not rooted in Natural Law or absolute right and wrong. That being the case, the movie does not seem to overtly promote false religions or worldviews; it just doesn’t enhance a good worldview either. Finally, the movie does show the limits of technology and our ability to manage science. As someone once said, I am not against technology, I am against the tyranny technology has over mankind.
If your goal is to see a fairly clean, entertaining movie this time of year, “Big Hero 6” could be for you. If your goal is to inspire yourself or others to attempt great things in their field of interest of study, such as science, this film could help too. I do not think, however, this movie attains to the level of a classic or one with tremendous redeeming value, and I do not expect our household will watch it again and again.
Rating: 2.5. stars (out of 4)