Movie outings are becoming less frequent for us of late, mainly because there were no movies that really piqued both our interests enough to part with $20. However, I was tickled by the trailer for Big Hero 6 sometime back, so yesterday, A surprised me with tickets. We had dinner at Tim Ho Wan, JEM before the movie.
At first, I vaguely wondered why a movie about a boy (Hiro Hamada) and his balloon robot (Baymax) was called Big Hero 6, because I didn’t notice any other main characters in the trailer. Even halfway into the movie, there were no other heroes. But of course, it picked up from there when Hiro’s friends (GoGo Tomago, Wasabi, Honey Lemon and Fred) were “upgraded” with awesome abilities. Together with Baymax, they became six heroes.
WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD
Plot synopsis (with some references from Wikipedia):
Hiro is a young robotics prodigy who lives in San Fransokyo with his elder bro Tadashi and their Aunt Cass. Tadashi attends university at the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology under the mentorship of robotics professor, Robert Callaghan. Tadashi did not want Hiro wasting his talent building little robots for illegal robot fighting and getting into trouble around town, so he brought him to the university to meet Callaghan. There, Hiro also met Tadashi’s mates, GoGo Tomago, Wasabi, Honey Lemon and Fred, as well as a robot he had built, a personal healthcare companion called Baymax, who could detect when someone is in pain, do a split second body scan and execute treatment. Inspired, Hiro worked hard on a microbot that, when linked up to other microbots of its kind, could form any structure imaginable by the one in control using telepathy. He presented this at the university’s annual robotics exhibition and impressed Callaghan enough to give Hiro a spot at the university. The microbots also gained keen interest from Alistair Krei, the president of Krei Tech, who wanted to buy this technology. However, Callaghan, who seemed to have a bad history with Krei, stepped in an warned Hiro against selling his invention.
As soon as they left the exhibition hall, the place caught fire. On hearing that Callaghan was still inside, Tadashi went back to save him despite Hiro’s protests. The place exploded and it is next shown that Tadashi and Callaghan had perished. Devastated, Hiro secluded himself and did not attend classes.
One day, Hiro found one of his microbots but it was behaving strangely as though trying to go somewhere. He accidentally activated Baymax, which had been left in Tadashi’s room. Baymax sensed Hiro’s mood swings and concluded it was due to puberty. It asked if finding out where the microbot was trying to go would make Hiro feel better, and proceeded to leave the house with the microbot in its hand, leading the way. Hiro chased Baymax all around town, and they ended up an abandoned warehouse where they discovered barrels and barrels of the same microbots, and saw a masked man who activated all the microbots to go after Hiro and Baymax. This brought them to the police station attempting to report the attack (which is the scene of the movie’s trailer) but of course their story was too absurd to be believed, so they left.
Hiro deduced that the masked man who stole his project must be Krei, who was probably the one who started the fire that killed his brother, and decided to take revenge. Baymax contacted the group of friends from the university, and together they hatched a plan and Hiro made upgrades to give special abilities to all of them. Baymax tracked Krei to a remote, quarantined island and they found remnants of Krei’s lab in which Krei’s team had attempted and failed a human teleportation, with the victim vanishing without a trace.
The masked villain, Yokai, appeared and attacked them. After a battle with the Heroes uncovered his mask and revealed him to be Callaghan, he explained that he had started the fire to steal Hiro’s microbots. Furious that his brother had died in vain, Hiro removed the healthcare (nice robot) chip from Baymax, leaving only the battle (killer robot) chip. and ordered it to take out the professor. However the rest of the Heroes restrained them as they did not sign up to take lives. Honey managed to slot the healthcare chip back into Baymax, and Yokai escaped.
Filled with anger, Hiro flew off on Baymax, leaving the Heroes behind. Back home, Hiro broke down. Baymax asked if killing the professor would make him feel better, and cheered him up by showing him funny clips of Tadashi running tests on Baymax during the early stages. Hiro realized Tadashi’s goal was to save lives, and would not have wanted the professor killed. He reunited with the other Heroes and made amends.
Still determined to catch Yokai, they went back to the drawing board. The Heroes found out that the victim, Abigail’s last name was Callaghan, and realized she was Callaghan’s daughter and that he had been seeking revenge on Krei. They saved Krei in the nick of time, but the unstable portal was still active. Baymax detected life in the portal, and entered it with Hiro to save Abigail. On the way back out, the portal waves damaged Baymax’s armour, leaving it unable to thrust. It got an idea to save Hiro and Abigail by ejecting his armour fist, hence catapulting them out of the portal, but in doing so, it would sacrifice itself. Hiro refused to leave Baymax behind, but eventually relented upon its insistence, and together with Abigail, exited the portal to safety. Professor Callaghan got arrested for his crimes.
Sometime later, when Hiro’s life had returned to normal, he discovered Baymax’s healthcare chip held by the armour fist that saved him. As the chip was programmed with Baymax’s personality, Hiro was able to rebuild it and was thus reunited with his beloved companion. The six Heroes continued their adventures around the city, fulfilling Tadashi’s dream of helping others.
There is also a post-credit scene (sadly I did not know about it and thus left the cinema as soon as the credits rolled). As described in Wikipedia:
“Fred talks to a photo of his father in the family mansion, telling him he would be proud of him. Fred accidentally opens a secret door and, upon entering, finds superhero gear. His father arrives and states they have a lot to talk about as they embrace.”
Although there were sad moments like when Tadashi died and when Baymax sacrificed itself, there were many, many hilarious moments which had me in laughing fits and tears.
That said, I still enjoyed the movie thoroughly, and although I’m not usually a fan of comic-based superhero movies and rarely ever re-watch them voluntarily, I would not mind watching this one again.