Okay, so the posts about my trip to South Korea begin tomorrow but first let’s cross off the next entry on the Disney watching challenge. I love that I was able to do this on the London-Seoul flight via the in-flight entertainment and make constructive use of a plane right where I found it near impossible to drift off to sleep (more on that in tomorrow’s post I guess).
After the phenomenon of Frozen, any animated film that Disney released was always going to pale in comparison in terms of both commercial success and cultural relevance. Looking back, no Disney animated film has yet come close to matching Frozen, but the film immediately afterward was always going to have an extraordinarily raw deal.
Enter Big Hero 6, a film that a former colleague of mine didn’t see because they hadn’t seen the first five – I wish I was kidding. I guess that was a by product of this being one of many Marvel adaptations being released and some people didn’t want to jump into a franchise. Guess the advertising team missed a trick by not making sure it was understood that this was a standalone film.
Big Hero 6 is a pretty unique film in the Disney canon in a number of ways. For one thing, it’s the only one in the superhero genre with the premise of the latter half of the film being the setting up of a hero team using the top robotics students at a nearby university. In this way, it is also one of the few films where intelligence (and I mean scientific and genius level of intelligence) is lauded and doesn’t always come with the backhand of being some sort of eccentric (yes Meet the Robinsons I am looking at you).
You also have the first time where a Disney film has had the main character have to spend the whole movie dealing with the death of a loved one – with The Lion King using it as a tipping point for the second half. In most other films, the death happens and there is a passage of time so most of the healing happens off-screen. In this film, however, we see Hiro having to deal with and eventually overcomes the pain of losing his brother in a fire. His motivations become all centred around this death and they ultimate climax shows how healing has truly begun.
Considering the amount of death in Disney films of loved ones, It’s actually shocking that it took over 70 years before they made a film that a child, who has been through a similar loss, could watch and then have a kinship with. This alone makes Big Hero 6 a special film in the canon that shouldn’t be overlooked. That and it’s an excellent film in its own right with the cutest inflatable deuteragonist of all time.
Okay so it’s going to be a while before I get to the next Disney film in the list, but was really neat to do this film now as it ensures that I’ll be able to watch Frozen 2 in the cinema and still maintain chronological order. Next up is Zootopia, or Zootropolis depending on your region, which is my favourite Disney movie of this era. I can’t wait to get to that once I am back in the UK.