Follow eastcountytimes on Twitter

Become a Friend of The East County Times


Click on the paper above to visit our
Digital Edition



Article by Teddy Durgin

'Big Hero 6' makes Baymax No. 1 in your heart

There is no denying that the biggest reason to see "Big Hero 6" is Baymax. This is the white, inflatable, plus-sized robot that I'm sure you have seen in advertising for this movie since Disney released the first glimpses of character art over a year ago on through to the blanket marketing we've been seeing for at least the past month. He is a wonderful creation, assembled with the best parts of C-3PO, Wall-E and the Iron Giant and featuring some endearing behavioral programming by way of Frosty the Snowman and the Pillsbury Doughboy. He is THE Happy Meal toy of the season. I want a little doll version of him for my desk; I want the Christmas tree ornament; I want the antenna topper. Most of all, I want Baymax to be a real invention who - in the absence of a hot nurse - will tend to mine and my family's boo-boos in real life. Who is Baymax? He is a medical diagnostic robot designed and built by Tadashi Hamada (voice of Daniel Henney), the older brother of rebellious tweener Hiro (voice of Ryan Potter). He is programmed with a calming voice (that of Scott Adsit) and a re-assuring bedside manner. In the film, he is presented as an instrument of complete good, who suddenly finds himself playing a key role in thwarting an evil mastermind's plan to use Hiro's invention of tiny nano-bots to take over the fictional East-West mishmash metropolis known as San Fransokyo. Tadashi and Hiro are both robotics students at the city's science and technology college under the tutelage of Professor Robert Callaghan (voice of James "That'll do pig... er, droid" Cromwell). Hiro is a new addition to the class, a prodigy who has used his smarts so far to craft small, tricked-out droids that he uses to bet big on and win underground 'bot fights. Callaghan, though, inspires him to use his smarts for greater things. So, too, do his new classmates: hotheaded Go Go (voice of Jamie Chung); chemistry genius Honey (voice of Genesis Rodriguez); techno whiz Wasabi (voice of Damon Wayans, Jr.); and finally, the school's spacey mascot, Fred (voice of T.J. Miller). When an arson fire set by the masked super-villain destroys their lab and claims two of their own, Hiro and the survivors use their smarts to make themselves into superheroes to try and save the city. At the same time, Hiro seeks to give the team extra help by armor-plating the cuddly, plus-sized Baymax and downloading martial-arts skills into his programming. The result is quite entertaining. Three things distinguish this movie. One, again, the Baymax character. Two, the filmmakers selected a range of voices that will not be recognizable to most moviegoers. So, you really believe them as characters. And, three? The adept way this movie handles death and personal loss. There is a depth of feeling here that adults will be able to plug into and access the story, maybe even better than their children. What doesn't distinguish the story is all of the tired, played-out superhero hijinks that dominate this film's third act. I've just seen this same kind of climax play out way too many times before in everything from "The Avengers" and "Man of Steel," to "Godzilla" and the "Transformers" flicks. There are only so many times one can see super-beings doing battle and thoroughly thrashing a city before it becomes almost completely uninvolving. The quirk here, of course, is it's kind of a Roland Emmerich flick crossed with multiple episodes of "King of the Nerds," and it'll thrill kids who have seen far less movies than I have. But, for me personally, I would rather the climax of this film kept the focus on emotions and the characters' intelligence than them running from fireballs and crumbling buildings. "Big Hero 6," though, certainly entertains enough to warrant at least a matinee ticket price. And have I mentioned that I'm going as Baymax next Halloween? Oh yeah. I'm workin' on the belly portion of the costume right now!

"Big Hero 6" is rated PG for action, peril, some rude humor and thematic elements.


@2008 East County Times. All Rights Reserved

Phone 410-780-3303 Email Reporting Staff [email protected] Email Art Dept. [email protected] Advertising [email protected]