Prime Reactions Review – Big Hero 6

Welcome to another Prime Reactions post where I give thoughts on newly released movies. Seeing how I did the first episode of The Flash for my last Prime Reactions, let’s get back to what these were intended for. This time I’ll be giving my thoughts on Big Hero 6. Keep in mind that I’ll be trying to keep spoilers to a minimum or be as vague as possible about everything.

I saw very early trailers for this one so I didn’t remember much about anything, which is a good. I try to avoid trailers as much as I can now and there’s little downside to that. The movies I usually see are ones I would’ve seen anyway regardless of trailers. All I knew going in was that it was Disney and I was willing to give it a chance. Something I didn’t know until after I saw the film was that there’s a Big Hero 6 comic. I barely remembered this had a connection to Marvel but I think we’ve sort of gotten back to the point where non-Pixar Disney films are a lot less dicey when it comes to quality which is why I went to see it. Okay, maybe just the CG animated ones. Okay… maybe just the CG animated ones that aren’t Planes.

Anyway, I liked it. I liked it very much. The posters say that it was from the creators of Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen and both of those were widely-liked films. I liked Wreck-It Ralph for the most part but I think it had some focus problems. I didn’t care for Sarah Silverman’s character becoming the main focus and only because they made Ralph so likeable that I wanted more of him. While Frozen was a more solid film and I liked it more than Wreck-It Ralph, I had a lot of problems with it. I still commend both efforts because there was new stuff brought to the table and they’re pretty fun. That said, I think Big Hero 6 is better than both. It’s only been a day since I’ve seen it and while it had some time to settle in my head, I haven’t come up with too many nitpicks or story issues. Not so with the other two so that’s something, right? A lot of the weaknesses with the other two seemed to have been absent in this one. This is personal opinion but if these guys are learning from each movie and taking into consideration their strengths and weaknesses, that’s just fantastic. This is how you get me to see more of your movies, guys.

I didn’t go through every movie that came out this year but I think many will agree with me on this point. I’ll do this next month but for anyone who does top X movies of the year, would it surprise you if a bunch of kid’s movies show up on it? I think now more than ever it seems kid’s movies are taking more risks, being more serious, and addressing themes that studios have shied away from. Most would rather play it safe or just throw something out there because there needs to be a kid’s movie. Some of these kid’s movies treat the audience with more respect intellectually than the movies intended for adults. All studios should strive for this and when they do, they deserve the money when the films become big hits. I’m glad when tons of people see these because it tells the studios “We want more of this”. The problem is that it works both ways like if they see a terrible movie (i.e. Transformers 4) but as long as the good side of films is getting points too, fine.

I’ve gone on and on about anything but the movie. If you know me by now, it’s harder to talk about something I liked than something I didn’t like. The likes are going to be sort of whatever comes to mind but they won’t be too detailed because I’d need to see the films again to give a proper review or to pick up on things I might’ve missed. Just so you know, I didn’t see this in 3D. Won’t be doing that ever again unless I get tricked like with Guardians of the Galaxy.

Not really a positive or negative but this film didn’t have an all-star cast. They didn’t seem to rely on really big names this time and I appreciate that. I get tired of animated films relying on star power. Nothing against their acting skills but voice acting is different than acting on screen. Voice actors just sound more natural because they understand it better. I’d rather studios hire people who do voice acting for a living but so far, there’s little indication this will change. Nobody sounded awful here but it’d be nice for voice actors to get some big screen recognition. I feel the actors here did a good job for their roles.

A huge positive for me was that it was only about 90 minutes long. Hardly anybody knows how to make a 90-minute movie these days and what they accomplished here in that time felt just right. The pacing was fine as I never felt there was too much or too little time spent on something.

The film’s got a lot of heart and boy did people get emotional in the theater. Without getting into spoilers, I genuinely cared about the main character and the Stay Puft/Michelin guy. They’re very likeable and you’re going to like when these two interact with each other. Funny, charming, and d’awww are just a few words to describe the type of reactions I heard while watching. I’m really happy that the guys making the movie kept the focus on these two. There’s never a point where you didn’t feel that this wasn’t their movie. The side characters aren’t too intrusive and they’re simply there for support as they should be. This was where Wreck-It Ralph lost me because at some point it became less his movie and he played a more supporting role to other things going on.

It’s a little hard to talk about the story without spoilers but I’ll be as generically vague as I can. The story is very much an origin story. The events in the main character’s life shape who he is and what he sets out to do. During the film he questions his motivations and decides what he wants to use his “power” for. Then the characters save the day. This isn’t without sacrifice or loss though which goes back to the risk-taking I mentioned before. This movie doesn’t talk down to kids or dumb things down. This is without a doubt a kid’s movie. You can’t really put it into another category but that’s exactly what’s so great. The adults will have a good time and so will the kids. It’s not too complicated for the general child to understand and it deals with real life experiences that kids will have to face some day. The end of the movie was very open-ended and they could easily make a sequel. I honestly hope they do because there’s no doubt this movie will make a lot of money and I trust these guys to make a good film.

There are a few twists in the film and for the most part I could see them coming. That’s not a negative towards the film because the twists don’t have to be extremely out there for me to appreciate them. The ones in this film were handled very well. Some happening near the end but tied into something in the beginning. The best part is that they’re believable and not as “in your face” as you may think.

Surprisingly, the villain is okay. Like most superhero movies these days, we don’t get too much time with him. The guy doesn’t even talk until the very end. However, unlike superhero movies these days he has a clear motivation and reason for doing what he’s doing. Not a spoiler but he doesn’t want to take over the world, be bad just because, or simply destroy things. He was handled very well for what little time he got to be on screen. My favorite thing with the villain was that his motivations are the same as our main character’s. This just feels like strong writing to have both the hero and villain want the same thing only for the hero to learn that it’s not right and try to pass that on to the villain. It doesn’t work of course but it’s really nice to see the hero decide against the path of the villain when he was so easily falling into it.

This is a little embarrassing but I only have one nitpick. At least there’s one, right? Around the middle of the movie, the main character creates super suits for everyone so they can help him take down the bad guy. The super suits are very cool and what they do depends on what the individual was working on at their college lab. The Stay Puft Michelin robot also gets one and is now equipped with parts that allow him to fly. So here’s the complaint. The main character’s suit doesn’t do anything. His hand and foot pieces allow him to sort of lock onto the robot’s armor so he can ride it while it’s flying and that’s it. I can’t believe that’s it. The main character is the one who’s supposed to be a teen genius and had a big hand in making these suits. Yet he didn’t think to make his suit have a “power” too? He’s completely useless by himself. There’s a point in the film where there’s a black hole and he’s holding on for dear life. If the robot doesn’t go and get him… Uh-oh! Spaghetti-Os! I recall what every other character’s suit does except this one. I don’t think I’m remembering wrong but feel free to correct me if I am. There you go. The one problem I had with my first viewing of Big Hero 6.

It’s annoying but I did sit through the credits for this one. I feel I have to do this for every movie now even though I want to leave. I questioned if there really would be something after but there actually was. This one didn’t disappoint and it was foreshadowed cleverly earlier in the movie. It was also a surprise because this is the first time I’ve seen this guy have so many lines in any movie. Good to hear him though because he does have a voice we’re used to hearing at this point. Would be great if what happened here carries over to a sequel.

There was also a short played before the movie. It got a lot of laughs from the audience. The words I’d choose to describe it are: cute, funny, sad, and “That’s how they got back together?” Don’t really feel a need to review or talk about this much. It got a lot done in such a short amount of time but it was fun.

Final Thoughts:
I had a really good time at this one and I highly recommend it. I’ll always tell you to spend the least you can on things but you won’t be disappointed if you pay full price. I expect a sequel but let’s just hope that it doesn’t take as long as The Incredibles 2. I know that’s Pixar but with all the unwanted sequels they put out over the years, the only one that deserved one and people wanted took way too long. For the here and now, go see this movie. Take yourself, take your kids, and take care.

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