'Big Hero 6': What the Critics Are Saying

Disney's Marvel-inspired 3D action-comedy features a voice cast of Scott Adsit, Ryan Potter, Jamie Chung, T.J. Miller, Maya Rudolph and Damon Wayans Jr.

Big Hero 6, out Friday, is the Marvel-inspired action comedy-adventure that chronicles the special bond developed a plus-size inflatable robot named Baymax and a robotics prodigy who turns him and his adrenaline-seeking friends into a band of high-tech heroes. Set in the slightly futuristic city of San Fransokyo, the film is directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams, produced by Roy Conli and features a voice cast of Scott Adsit, Ryan Potter, Jamie Chung, T.J. Miller, Maya Rudolph, Daniel Henney, Damon Wayans Jr., Genesis Rodriguez, James Cromwell and Alan Tudyk.

The Walt Disney Animation Studios 3D family film is expected to soar past the $50 million mark at the North American box office in its opening weekend.

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See what top critics are saying about Big Hero 6:

The Hollywood Reporter's Michael Rechtshaffen writes, "East meets West to immensely satisfying effect in the vibrant mashup of an animated romp." Like Frozen, Big Hero 6 "handily defies convention in regard to presumably skewing more to one gender demo over the other. Sure, it’s got robotics and superheroes, but it also has plenty of emotional resonance and, of course, merchandising gold." However, "the film’s big-ticket action sequences, while unmistakably state of the art, ultimately fall short of matching the visual exhilaration of those gorgeous San Fransokyo backdrops, which present a seamless fusion of traditional Japanese and Victorian-influenced American architecture."

Of the many characters, "Baymax handily steals the show," while voice actor Adsit is "pitch-perfect," Rudolph is "always reliable" as the caring Aunt Cass and Potter's character Hiro Hamada is "affectingly voiced." Additionally, "screenings of Big Hero 6 will be preceded by Feast, Patrick Osborne’s sweet, elegantly animated, dog’s-eye-view take on life, love and, especially, food, that contains all the ingredients of an Oscar frontrunner."

The New York Times' Manohla Dargis asks, "Have the Walt Disney and Pixar animation studios become Walt Pixar, or maybe Wixar or Dixar? It’s getting hard to tell these once-distinct siblings apart." The characters' designs "are gently exaggerated, with innocuous looks to go with their friendly, unthreatening temperaments," and "what makes Baymax so memorable and emotionally potent is that he’s also something of a Proustian Marshmallow who triggers an irresistible chain of elemental pleasures: He’s a stuffed animal, a warm blanket, a cozy chair, a warm embrace." Though the plot is initially superfluous, Big Hero 6 "is good enough to transcend its blah ending and to make the case that every superhero story should be entirely animated."

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Chicago Tribune's Michael Phillips says Baymax is "considerably more beguiling than his movie. Yet there's enough visual invention afoot, and enough spirited interplay among the human characters, to keep things bobbing along." However, "without making a big deal out of it, Big Hero 6 features a shrewdly balanced and engaging group of male and female characters of various ethnic backgrounds. It'd be nice to live in a world where this wasn't worth a mention, but it is. And yet the movie belongs to the big guy. … Somehow [Baymax's] face, delineated by two black dots connected by a straight line, expresses plenty of human emotion."

The Washington Post's Michael O'Sullivan notes "the movie’s striking originality," as it "is fresh and inventive enough in every important way — visuals, storytelling and, most significantly, in terms of character — to satisfy even the most jaded animation fan" and "is part of the recent boom in great-looking animation that includes The Boxtrolls and The Book of Life." Additionally, "the story is equally engaging" and "it’s a movie that’s as fun to watch as it is funny."

New York Post's Kyle Smith, however, calls it "one of those Disney movies in which you can practically see the hot breath of the marketing guy condensed on the neck of the screenwriter," as it "is marred by slow development, bland characterizations, limp jokes and meaningless action scenes thrown in at random."

Email: Ashley.Lee@THR.com
Twitter: @cashleelee