The Story Formation and Symbolism In Big Hero 6
Very recently I sat down and rewatched one of my favorite animated films, Big Hero 6. This time however, I did not watch just for mere entertainment, but to analyze the plot, characters, and symbolism. Instead of looking at it as a consumer, I saw it as an aspiring filmmaker, ready to learn. This movie, just like any other, had it’s ups and downs. Some things about the plot and characters I didn’t necessarily like, but others I couldn’t get enough of. So let’s start with the first one on the list — plot.
*Spoiler alert* The plot is simple. Boy builds robot. Boy dies. Boy’s younger brother accidentally activates robot. Boy’s younger brother discovers boy’s death wasn’t caused by an accident. The younger brother sets out to catch murderer. The younger brother starts a team of superheroes with boy’s friends. They catch the bad guy. Robot makes a sacrifice. Boy builds robot. It’s a very beautiful story. One problem though — everything is very convenient. Tadashi just so happens to know where Hiro is in the beginning so that he can make a heroic entrance. Hiro’s robot just so happens to fall on his foot, activating Baymax. This of course leads to Hiro falling down and discovering the microbot in his jacket. The door to everything they need to know about Project Sparrow just so happens to be open. The list goes on. I understand that sometimes convenient things happen, but as much as it does in this movie is kind of predictable. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love this movie, and the story is brilliant, but something happening for the sake of the plot can get old.
With the struggle of equal representation of races in Hollywood, this film is a breath of fresh air. They’re diverse. They’re not a portrayal of inaccurate stereotypes. They are perfect, but the development of the team’s friendship with Hiro isn’t. To me, it just kind of comes out of nowhere. In the beginning of the movie, Tadashi takes Hiro to his ‘nerd school’ where he meets GoGo, Wasabi, Honey Lemon, and Fred. Here he sees what they’re working (or not working) on, which mirrors their own personalities. The next scene where they’re all together is at the exposition center and they’re best friends all of a sudden. There is no scene between their first meeting and the convention that suggest in any way that a friendship blossomed between those four and Hiro. I get them being their to support him with Tadashi. I understand them wanting to comfort Hiro after the explosion, because Tadashi was their friend and classmate, but when did they become friends? Even at the end of the movie, I still feel as if they’re no more than acquaintances with Hiro. I love the characters. I love how diverse they all are. I love how they learned to all work together at the end. I just hope that in the next movie there will be more time developing the relationships amongst the characters.
This one was a bit harder since there are several symbolic elements in this story. One of the first symbols I saw was the fire at the exposition center. Fire represents many different things. In this sense it symbolizes consumption. The death of Tadashi in the fire consumes Hiro. The fire also let’s Callaghan fake his death so that he may act out the revenge that has been consuming him. Another elemental symbol in the movie is water. It’s raining at Tadashi’s funeral, as it always seems to be doing at every movie death; however, the rain has a purpose — besides setting the mood. It’s showing a transformation from Hiro being happy-go-lucky to depressed. It’s a very obvious symbolic transformation. Let’s look at another water symbol: when the group is being chased by ‘the man in the Kabuki mask’ they end up crashing into the water only to be saved by Baymax. It ends up being used in the story as a way to escape the villain, but let’s look a little closer. Before going into the water, they’re just a group of normal, albeit extremely intelligent (expect Fred) people. Yet when they make their way to Fred’s mansion, still dripping wet, they end up becoming a team of superheros. So basically, where’s the nearest body of water because that’s the kind of symbolic transformation I want happening to me.
The story is amazing and the characters are incredible. To make it even better, the message is very important. No matter how hard you try running from your pain, nothing will get better until you face it.
Even though I had some issues with the convenience of the plot and the lack of relationship development between the group and Hiro, Big Hero 6 is still one of my favorite movies. The story is amazing and the characters are incredible. To make it even better, the message is very important. No matter how hard you try running from your pain, nothing will get better until you face it.
Julia Kelso,18, was born and raised in Houston, Texas. She’s an aspiring producer, writer, director who grew up involved in theatre and now attends Center For Creative Media, a Christian Film School. In addition to being a strong supporter of the arts, Julia is a left-handed, right-minded, introvert living in a right-handed, left-minded, extroverted world.