Big Hero 6 Blu-ray Review

Significantly improved over Big Hero 5

You can tell Big Hero 6 is from Disney: There is near instantaneous tragedy. After establishment of the world and the necessary science therein, people die. Explosions, fire, smoke; it’s all the facets of tragic Disney.

From there, it’s a boy-meets-robot story. Audiences have been given them before – in better form too (Iron Giant). San Fransoyko, a neo-future version of California’s heart, mixes in Asian and American cultures. Big Hero 6 recalls the dubbed version of the imported ’60s TV show Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot, more boy-meets-robot sci-fi.

Of course, this is slightly more advanced than Japanese TV fifty some years ago. Big Hero 6 is a technical darling. Healing ‘bot Baymax (Scott Adsit), made of vinyl, is translucent. The way light passes through with such a delicate touch is cinematic geekery. This design is not without context either as portly Baymax is meant to be soft and even cuddly. His flexible outer skin is merely one of his traits.

Ported from Marvel’s lesser known comic output, the theatrical adaptation is less a part of its starting medium than it is pulling at the necessities of the current super hero cycle. Big Hero 6 is another origin story, approachable and liberal with its diversity. Storytelling techniques are well manicured, often utilizing the visual splendor to enhance humor or drama silently. Outside of necessary spoken exposition, Big Hero 6 frequently speaks through animation design.

Themes of loss and togetherness are pure (and also pure Disney)

The film is difficult to dislike. However, it’s also small. With so few characters, parsing out the “secret” villain is effortless. Big Hero 6 also stumbles into a finale before readying audiences. Blink and you’ll likely miss the leading moments.

It’s not that set-up is rushed. Hiro (Ryan Potter) passes through emotions after losing someone close and finds a support group of intellectual types who slip into the improbable Hero 6 as a team. They work well enough to dispel their overt unlikeliness as a squad of right and bond through Hiro’s misfortune. Then they blow stuff up.

Big Hero 6 is loaded with flying, colors, explosions, and dimensional portals. Often, it feels like too much action. There is more of this world – left completely unseen – to be introduced to. Themes of loss and togetherness are pure though (and also pure Disney), leaving a mark which is not forgettable even in the rush of genre movies being spit out en masse. A suitable structure is in place for Big Hero 6’s franchise expansion.

Movie ★★★★☆ 

Cast shot @ 1:02:57

With a bevy of colors and neon lights everywhere, it is hardly a shock Big Hero 6 is a Blu-ray stunner – despite Disney’s irritating exclusion of a 3D release for the American market. Seriously Disney. This is getting old.

Highlighted moments are easily exteriors, whether flying over San Fransokyo or waiting at street level for an establishing shot for finish. Details are absolutely astonishing. Signs are legible, lines are perfect, and lighting adds vividness to the contrast. It’s not even a bother when Big Hero 6 steps into shades of blue for dramatic moments. They’re equally as sharp.

All of the minutiae is visible, from Baymax’s vinyl skin to the hero costume’s varying material makeup. Plus, given this movie’s appropriate favoritism for visual storytelling, capturing the nuance’s of Hiro’s room is essential. Nothing is lost.

Encoding work is challenged yet flawless. Hiro’s micro-robot invention involves millions of the little things, all scattering and moving about. That is never a bother for the transfer work.

Video ★★★★★ 

If Big Hero 6 sets any standard, it’s for LFE use in an animated film. From its outset, battling ‘bots slam into one another with tremendous force. That’s only the start. A litany of rocket engines, explosions, and towering micro-robot creations are superlative. Come the final brawl with collapsing objects and crumbling buildings, Big Hero 6 has certainly won the low-end race.

DTS-HD 7.1 mixing continues of course, elevating scenarios with pleasant and bold positioning. Big Hero 6 is quite spacious, easy for action/flying scenes, impressive for everything else. San Fransokyo is sonically bright. All of its future is on display for the audio to take. And so it does, keeping streets active, interiors full, and conversation wide. Expectantly great.

Audio ★★★★★ 

If none of the other bonuses mean much, then Feast will be enough. The Oscar winning short about a hungry puppy is a joy. Featurettes open with the glossily produced The Origin Story, offering a great look if somewhat mundane content. This is clearly selling Big Hero 6 the property through the Disney/Marvel brand. Big Animator 6 is better, also sharply dressed but stronger in content as animators come together to discuss their work. Four deleted/extended scenes offer intros from co-directors Don Hall and Chris Williams.

Extras ★★☆☆☆ 

[display_rating_form]
[display_rating_result]

Click on the images below for full resolution screen captures taken directly from the Blu-ray. Images have not been altered in any way during the process.

  • Big Hero 6’s highlight is the fractal-based animation seen inside the portal dimension. That animation looked incredible, the scene should have lasted longer.