Disney is said to have fallen off around 2003, with their notorious piece of shit Brother Bear. This was followed by an even bigger piece of shit by the name of Home on the Range. It seemed pretty clear at the time that Disney was falling fast, just as Pixar was reaching their pinnacle with The Incredibles. Disney went through a slow rebuilding phase, but is ultimately said to have officially bounced back with 2010’s Tangled. And meanwhile, Pixar is said to have fallen off themselves with… 2011’s Cars 2. Huh. I guess Pixar and Disney’s successes are inversely proportional. This means bad things for either Zootopia or Finding Dory.
Anyway, the most recent of Disney’s successes is Big Hero 6, which also holds the distinction of being the first animated feature film based on a Marvel comic. Obviously, there was a lot of pressure on this movie, coming off the tremendous success of last year’s Frozen, being based on a beloved existing property, having a culturally diverse cast of characters that needs to be handled delicately, and boasting a pretty impressive cast, including TJ Miller, Alan Tudyk, Maya Rudolph, and Scott Adsit, who played Pete on 30 Rock, and let’s face it, Pete in everything else. Does the film meet expectations?
Yeah. For the most part, it totally works. It’s action-packed, very funny, and beautifully animated, with a Fall Out Boy-based soundtrack that has me really feeling it, to quote one particularly dank meme.
The one main problem I had with the movie is that I spent most of the run time thinking about how familiar it all felt rather than actually enjoying it. I could compare it to just about every scifi/superhero film of the last thirty years. But the more I started to think about it, the more interesting the familiarity became. Despite being made by totally different people and not being part of the Cinematic Universe, this still manages to be the exact same Marvel movie we’ve seen twelve times. It had elements of Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Winter Soldier, Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3 (yes, separate elements of all three), and even quite a few connections to The Amazing Spider-Man. But I think I realized what the main issue with the film’s familiarity is: the team dynamic. This is in all essences the very same team dynamic from Monsters University, Wreck-It Ralph, Parks and Recreation, The Avengers, and even going all the way back to Scooby-Doo. Allow me to explain.
First of all, there’s the Shaggy. Dear god, the Shaggy. In very deceptive ways, every team you’ve ever loved has had its own Shaggy. Parks and Rec, for example, has Andy. I should clarify just what the Shaggy is: the character that is often dumb and doesn’t actually contribute anything, the Shaggy is usually a comic relief side character and is often revealed to be a very valuable asset to the team in a way that he never puts to use. Monsters had its own Shaggy in Art, played by Charlie Day, who is best known for his role on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, a show in which everyone is Shaggy except Charlie Day. As I mentioned before, Scott Adsit is best known for his work on 30 Rock, a show in which he plays the “slightly worse version of lead” character. The Shaggy on that show is Frank, played by Judah Friedlander, who is also the Shaggy of real life. Unless you’re talking about the singer Shaggy, who did the soundtrack for the Scooby-Doo movie, in which Shaggy was played by Matthew Lillard, who prior to that movie was best-known for playing Stuart, the killer from Scream. I don’t know where I’m going with this.
The crew also has its own mascot (Baymax/Scooby/Olaf from Frozen/at least one character in every Disney movie ever) In the Avengers parallel, Baymax could also be seen as the Hulk character, the man of few words who gets the most done out of any of them. Another example of this would be Ferb from Phineas and Ferb, who is played by Thomas Sangster, who also plays Jojen on Game of Thrones. The Baymax on Game of Thrones is Hodor, who can literally only say one short phrase, much like Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy, who has been compared justly to Chewbacca from Star Wars. That being said, there are several very interesting human characters in the film who get fewer words out than Baymax does, making him just about the most talkative out of any of these mascots.
As you can see, this is pretty much the only topic worth discussing concerning this movie. Everything else is good, but nothing else is notably good. One common complaint for Disney movies is that the female characters have unrealistic body proportions, and while a few characters do fall victim to that in this movie, at the very least the male characters are also impossibly hot. Progress!
Now may be a good time to talk about the short at the beginning: Feast. As per Disney standards, the short is better than the actual movie. It tells the story of a man’s love life through the food his dog eats. If that doesn’t make sense to you, that’s too bad. I’ve seen the thing and I still don’t understand how they did it. The animation is beautiful beyond belief, and it tells a very compelling story over the span of a few short minutes.
Anyway, I guess I give the movie an A-. I recommend you see it, but try not to over-analyze it, as I’ve already done that bit for you. MANY reviews coming up, including a ranking of EVERY LIL WAYNE ALBUM, as well as some decidedly shittier stuff over at Media Pick. Like if you like, favorite if you favorite, follow if you follow, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @BreakingPOORLY, and as always…
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