Pro Tools
•Register a festival or a film
Submit film to festivals Promote for free or with Promo Packages

FILMFESTIVALS | 24/7 world wide coverage

Enjoy the best of both worlds: Portal with Film & Fest News and Social network for the festival community.  

We started in 1995 connecting films to festivals, documenting the world of festivals worldwide.
We offer the most comprehensive festival directory of 7 000 festivals, browse festival blogs, film blogs...and promote yourself.

The website is currently being redesigned, we will surprise you very soon.

User login

Siraj Syed


Siraj Syed is the India Correspondent for FilmFestivals.com and a member of FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics. He is a Film Festival Correspondent since 1976, Film-critic since 1969 and a Feature-writer since 1970. 

 

feed

Big Hero 6, Review: Disney Marvel in San Fransokyo

                             

Big Hero 6, Review: Disney Marvel in San Fransokyo

Heroes 6 is fine for young children, since there is almost no swearing, the violence is not really graphic, there is no sex, some drinking is seen at a party, the word ‘nerd’ is used tongue-in-cheek, the hero plays an ‘illegal’ game of Bot (robot) Fighting and makes money by illegally betting on it (this is a negative), a fire destroys a building and kills his brother (another negative), but it all equalises to a fun film, with computer generated animation action and comedy prevailing over any possible harmful side-effects on a child’s psyche.

Heroes 6 first appeared in a Marvel Comics series as Sunfire & Big Hero 6 #1, in 1998, and most of the team that has made the 2014 Disney film through rights now owned via their interests in the Marvel parent company in 2009 had never heard of it till they started work on it. The original Heroes were Sunfire and Silver Samurai. Eventually, Sunfire left Big Hero 6 so that he could work at Charles Xavier's X-Corporation office in Mumbai, India (haven’t seen them around yet!). His slot on the team was filled by Sunpyre, a young woman with similar solar-based powers, who was pulled into this reality through the Power Purse. Similarly, after Silver Samurai was seemingly martyred in an encounter with the assassin Elektra in Iraq, his spot on the team was filled by the enigmatic Ebon Samurai. Hiro became the team's new leader. The current comic series team consists of Baymax, Ebon Samurai, GoGo Tomago, Hiro Takachiho, Honey Lemon, Sunpyre

The film is about the special bond that develops between Baymax, an over-sized inflatable robot, and 13-14 year-old prodigy Hiro Hamada. When a series of events that threaten life in the city of San Fransokyo (portmanteau) catapult Hiro into the midst of danger from a masked super-villain, he turns to Baymax and his close friends to help counter it--adrenaline junkie Go Go Tomago, black neatnik Wasabi, chemistry wiz Honey Lemon and billionaire fanboy Fred. Determined to uncover the mystery, Hiro transforms his friends into a band of high-tech heroes, called Big Hero 6. It is the 54th animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series and follows in the footsteps of Frozen and Wreck-It Ralph

Heores 6 is directed by Don Hall (Winnie the Pooh) and Chris Williams (Bolt). With respect to the design of Baymax, Hall mentioned in an interview, "I wanted a robot that we had never seen before and something to be wholly original. " Talking about story-boarding, Williams revealed, “We’ve probably storyboarded 10 movies.” (Shall we read: Sequels)?

Hall and the design team took a research trip to Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute, where they met a team of researchers, who were pioneering the new field of 'soft robotics' using inflatable vinyl, which ultimately inspired the Baymax’s inflatable, vinyl, truly huggable design. Hall stated that "I met a researcher who was working on soft robots. ... It was an inflatable vinyl arm and the practical app would be in the health care industry as a nurse or doctor's assistant. He had me at vinyl. The minute he showed me that inflatable arm, I knew we had our huggable robot." Co-director Williams stated, "A big part of the design challenge is when he puts on the armor you want to feel that he’s a very powerful intimidating presence...at the same time, design-wise he has to relate to the really adorable, simple vinyl robot underneath."Baymax's face design was inspired by a copper suzu bell that Hall noticed while at a Shinto shrine. A software program called Denizen, meaning citizen, was used to create hundreds of characters that populate the city, while a new ‘rendering’ system called Hyperion offered new illumination possibilities, like light shining through a translucent object.

You cannot help but marvel at the technology that is, maybe, just 10 steps ahead of state-of-the-art today, and hence more credible than many alien and other CGI sci-fi flicks that tend to look eons ahead. Some of the funny twists and dialogue humour is well integrated, but most of it is drowned in the pace. In the plot, the fire and the fake death are convenient but not convincing. One ploy used twice ruins its effect: Hiro ‘upgrades’ his team’s weaponry twice, since it proves inadequate the first time. Also, the Microbot angle is overdone, while there is no denying its technical finesse. First San Fansokyo and now BayMax—nevertheless, the health assistant is a clever, if somewhat weird idea. Why was a health assistant, who should obviously look healthy, designed by Tadashi to be so fat, with bulging arms and a pot belly, is beyond logic.

Now, the names and the voices.

Ryan Potter is Hiro Hamada, a 14-year-old robotics prodigy. His brother Tadashi inspires Hiro to gain admission to San Fransokyo's Institute of Technology. Speaking of the character, co-director Don Hall said, "Hiro is transitioning from boy to man, it’s a tough time for a kid and some teenagers develop that inevitable 'snarkiness' and jaded attitude. Luckily, Ryan is a very likeable kid. So no matter what he did, he was able to take edge off the character in a way that made him authentic, but appealing.”

Scott Adsit is Baymax, an inflatable robot built by Tadashi to serve as a healthcare companion. Hall said, "Baymax views the world from one perspective—he just wants to help people, he sees Hiro as his patient." Producer Roy Conli said, "The fact that his character is a robot limits how you can emote, but Scott was hilarious. He took those boundaries and was able to shape the language in a way that makes you feel Baymax’s emotion and sense of humor. Scott was able to relay just how much Baymax cares.”

Jamie Chung is GoGo Tomago, a tough, athletic, non-talkative adrenaline junkie. Hall said, "She’s definitely a woman of few words...We looked at bicycle messengers as inspiration for her character, which uses wheels as discus throw-like weapons."

Damon Wayans Jr. is Wasabi, a smart, slightly neurotic, heavily built neat-freak, who later dons plasma blade weapons on his forearms. On the character, co-director Chris Williams said "He’s actually the most conservative, cautious and most normal among a group of brazen characters. So he really grounds the movie in the second act and becomes, in a way, the voice of the audience and points out that what they’re doing is crazy."

Génesis Rodríguez is Honey Lemon, a quirky chemistry whiz. Williams said "She’s a glass-is-half-full kind of person. But she has this mad-scientist quality with a twinkle in her eye—there’s more to Honey than it seems.” T. J. Miller is Fred/Fredzilla, a laid-back comic-book fan, who also plays the mascot at San Fransokyo Institute of Technology. Speaking of Miller, Williams said "He’s a real student of comedy. There are a lot of layers to his performance, so Fred ended up becoming a richer character than anyone expected."

Daniel Henney is Tadashi Hamada, Hiro's older brother and Baymax's creator. On Hiro and Tadashi's relationship, Conli said, "We really wanted them to be brothers first. Tadashi is a smart mentor. He very subtly introduces Hiro to his friends and what they do at San Fransokyo Tech. Once Hiro sees Wasabi, Honey, Go Go and even Fred in action, he realises that there’s a much bigger world out there than [sic] really interests him."

Maya Rudolph is Aunt Cass, Hiro and Tadashi's aunt and guardian, who owns a popular San Fransokyo bakery and coffee shop (actually referred to as café in the film).

James Cromwell is Professor Robert Callaghan, the head of a robotics program at San Fransokyo Institute of Technology, and Tadashi's professor and mentor.

Alan Tudyk is Alistair Krei, a pioneer entrepreneur and tech guru. Also one of the most distinguished alums of San Fransokyo Institute of Technology and owner of the biggest technology company in the world, Krei Tech.

Mention must also be made of Daniel Gerson as the Desk Sergeant and Paul Briggs as Yama, Hiro’s opponent in Bot Fighting.

All these voices are okay, without being distinguished. They match the characters for a large part, but there are occasional flat or contrived bits of dialogue. Adsit, Wayans Jr., Miller and Gerson get to deliver some laugh-raising lines.

And by the way, if you think having a hero named Hiro is a novelty, look up an Indian Hindi film called Hero Hiralal!

Rating: **1/2

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rD5OA6sQ97M

User images

About Siraj Syed

Syed Siraj
(Siraj Associates)

Siraj Syed is a film-critic since 1970 and a Former President of the Freelance Film Journalists' Combine of India.

He is the India Correspondent of FilmFestivals.com and a member of FIPRESCI, the international Federation of Film Critics, Munich, Germany

Siraj Syed has contributed over 1,015 articles on cinema, international film festivals, conventions, exhibitions, etc., most recently, at IFFI (Goa), MIFF (Mumbai), MFF/MAMI (Mumbai) and CommunicAsia (Singapore). He often edits film festival daily bulletins.

He is also an actor and a dubbing artiste. Further, he has been teaching media, acting and dubbing at over 30 institutes in India and Singapore, since 1984.


Bandra West, Mumbai

India



View my profile
Send me a message
gersbach.net