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Big Hero 6 – An Intergenerational Review

Published in ChicagoNow December 26, 2014

“Awesome! I loved Go Go Tomago. She was strong and brave.”

“As good as Frozen!”

These comments from my Let it Go obsessed 8-year-old granddaughters surprised me. But what really made me love this movie was my 5-year-old grandson’s confession that he almost cried at the end. That’s how much he loved Baymax, the marshmallow-like, sweet robot designed to be a health care companion.

I’ll confess I was prepared to be bored with the movie. After all, I was never a fan of Marvel comics and had no idea what the deal was with Big Hero 6. I agreed to go because my granddaughters who live near me are half Korean and don’t get too many chances to see Asian role models in Disney cartoons.

Spoiler alert. When Tadashi, Baymax’s creator and the world’s best big brother, dies in a fire trying to save his mentor, I was rather shocked. I can’t remember a Disney cartoon when a hero was really killed. Watching the relationship between Hiro, the younger brother, and Baymax evolve was heartwarming. Even though Baymax was outfitted with red armor and the eclectic and Disney-diverse gang of supporting friends became superheroes, I hung in there sensing there was more to this movie than “pow” and “bam.”

Sure, there was a lot of superhero action, but the animation was engaging and the ending offered hope. Even though Baymax was destroyed saving Hiro, his chip survived. So much to my grandson’s delight, Baymax could be recreated. Now the band of superheroes could right all the wrongs in their world. Do I sense a sequel coming?

Several critics have noted that, while there is a lot of action in the movie, it is Baymax’s heart that is most memorable. Despite looking like a blobby blow-up decoration, Baymax is extremely lovable.

When my grandson opened his holiday gift of Baymax with removable armor, there were tears in his eyes. He told me Baymax was his best dream, and I told him his dream traveled to me and I just knew what to get him. And that is somewhat true. I bought it for him before he saw the movie. My grandson is a little guy with a big heart, and I just knew this was the perfect gift for him.

I guess this grandmother has to give Big Hero 6 two thumbs up. Despite the superhero antics, the movie’s message isn’t so different from Frozen’s in the end. If Anna’s and Elsa’s love for one another saves the day in Frozen, then why not the love between Hiro and his robot, Baymax?

In the end, you don’t need to be rescued by a prince anymore. You can save yourself. All you need is love.


by Laurie Levy
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