Review: <em>Big Hero 6</em>

Maybe you see a cute animated feature here, but to me, buster, this seems more like a dark portent masquerading as a cute animated feature. Big Hero 6 has a lot going for it: cool, obscure comic-book origins just like Guardians of the Galaxy, animation directors with faultless credentials in Bolt and The Emperor’s New Groove, and fun. But what many people fail to grasp is this film’s true underground connection; this is the first spawn of the unholy marriage between Disney Animation and Marvel Entertainment, and, without a doubt, it wears the shared DNA on its cartoon sleeves.

The first half of Big Hero 6 is Lasseter-Day-Disney brilliant. Two orphaned genius brothers living in the semi-mythical city of San Fransokyo cultivate their robot-making talents in different ways. Older brother Tadashi attends “Nerd School,” while the younger and angrier Hiro hustles robot battles on back streets. Tadashi brings Hiro over to the bright side by introducing his bro to his invention, Baymax, a giant, super-sweet blowup robot. The long setup is beautiful and touching, strewn with winsome characters and touching details — you can almost smell the baked goods in adoptive Aunt Cass’s café — and scenery that sparkles.

But in the midst of celebrating the fun line between genius and loveable nut, a terrible mishap sets Hiro on a more vengeful path. As such, the second half of the film devolves into a simple-minded superhero outing, with obvious jokes and spectacle usurping the human flourishes that made the opening scenes so exhilarating. Don’t get me wrong; this movie is never boring or stupid. But it also doesn’t love its own ideas enough. Instead of taking after The Incredibles, Hero ends with the Marvel’s clichéd obsession with sequelization


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