Big Hero 6 review

Big Hero 6 is a bit more Marvel than Disney, so it doesn’t perfectly fit into either the Marvel or Disney universes. But it’s got heart.

Spoilers ahead, turn back now if ye fear them

Start with Hiro Hamada, a 14-year-old robotics genius who is getting into trouble in illegal robotic street fights. His brother Tadashi, a student at the SanFranSokyo Institute of Technology, takes him to the university to try and capture his interest in something bigger.

Yeah, this is a really smart family, including Cass, who is Hiro and Tadashi’s aunt, who runs a donut shop while being their guardian.

Hiro meets all of Tadashi’s friends (foreshadowing!), and his professor (more foreshadowing!) and he’s completely blown away. “I have to get into your nerd college!” he says. Which he does, by a spectacular demonstration of his microbot swarm control technology. But then… something really bad happens.

Hiro now must find direction in life without his brother. In a funeral scene that reminded me of Contact, people tell him Tadashi isn’t really “gone” as long as we remember him. I hate when people say that; it’s kinda gaslighting grief.

But not all of Tadashi is lost. Hiro accidentally activates Baymax, the medical care robot his brother created. Baymax is like a big, warm pillow, and frankly I hope something like him is in medicine’s future.

Hiro has only a single microbot left, and BayMax notices it wants to go somewhere. Following the tiny robot leads them to a warehouse where someone has reverse-engineered Hiro’s invention and is making more. While they are exploring the warehouse, they are attacked by a mysterious villain commanding a truckload of microbots.

Queue the scene where the police don’t believe Hiro, so he turns to Tadashi’s friends. And they come up with… a plan! It only involves becoming superheroes, stopping the villain, and avenging Tadashi’s death. Easy.

The bright, primary-color, physics-engine animation is an invitation to suspend disbelief, along with the smart, funny dialog and lush orchestral soundtrack.

And yes, you should watch the credits to see concept art, and of course stay around for the Stan Lee appearance at the end.


  • I totally want to live in SanFranSokyo; it’s gorgeous
  • For full character and plot descriptions, see Wikipedia: Big Hero 6 (film)
  • If all the movie had going for it was this bangin’ soundtrack by Henry Jackman, it might be enough. This is one you can listen to just by itself.
  • I have a confession to make; I never read Marvel’s eponymous comic, Big Hero 6.
  • You’ve figured out by now, of course, that I just don’t bother reviewing movies I didn’t like. Nobody’s paying me to do this.
  • I got bored with the Marvel Universe a while back and have not seen a lot of the recent ones except in clips. I saw the first Guardians of the Galaxy for instance, and Spiderverse, and really enjoyed both of them. But that big fight with Captain America and Iron Man and Thanos and about a zillion other weirdos… meh.

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Older technology guy with photography and history background