Thursday, November 6, 2014

BIG HERO 6 (C+/B/A-/A-/A+)

Bottom Line: More aptly titled How to Train Your Incredible (Marshmallow-y) Iron Giant, Disney’s latest animated film may convey a lot of things, but originality in story ain’t one of ‘em.  Like this week’s other highly anticipated and yet not-so-stellar sci-fi release, were presented a hodgepodge of ideas that have been explored in a myriad of other, better movies.  That’s not to say this Avengers-like flick isn’t worth the ride; it’s sure to please the family unit as a whole - my wife (B) and three boys (9yrs A-, 7yrs A- and 4 ½ A+) have looked at me sideways more than a dozen times since seeing it two-weeks ago – unable to comprehend me not loving it as much as they did… I’m quick to remind them, however, of recent, far superior offerings like The Lego Movie, How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Frozen.  They all agree that ‘yeah, this wasn’t as good as those…’  One point for dada (I’ll take it).  I’ll be the first to admit this forcefully giddy film does have a solid ribbon of humor humming through its engine – it’s energetically innovative and gorgeously animated as well.  Easy on the eyes – it’ll definitely make you smile. My biggest issue lies in the emotion, or lack thereof… They never capture the real punishment of loss (like Up, Finding Nemo or The Lion King) or the pure joy of friendship (like Iron Giant, How to Train Your Dragon or Aladdin).  They make the leap, but don’t quite stick the landing – it all feels to forced and, ultimately false.  You’re actually better off finding more soul in the beautifully heartfelt, six-minute short – FEAST – that precedes the film.  Everything else ultimately boils down to a fairly generic origin story that’ll quickly disappear in the minds of many at the mention of much better films, what the plans are for dinner or the sighting of a…SQUIRREL!  Classic animated movies immerse you in the story – this one makes you sit in the stands and enjoy from afar.  It’ll rake in a ton of dough at the box office and most will be pleased with the experience – but why settle for a Big Hero 6 when Disney’s recent efforts suggest we could’ve been getting another 10?

Starring the voices of: Ryan Potter, Daman Wayans Jr, Jamie Chung, Maya Rudolph,  Alan Tudyk, Genesis Rodriguez and James Cromwell
Directed by: Don Hall and Chris Williams
Rated: PG
Running time: 93 minutes
Studio description: An action-packed comedy-adventure about robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who learns to harness his genius-thanks to his brilliant brother Tadashi and their like-minded friends: adrenaline junkie Go Go Tamago, neatnik Wasabi, chemistry whiz Honey Lemon and fanboy Fred. When a devastating turn of events catapults them into the midst of a dangerous plot unfolding in the streets of San Fransokyo, Hiro turns to his closest companion-a robot named Baymax-and transforms the group into a band of high-tech heroes determined to solve the mystery. (C) Disney

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