Big Hero 6 is an animated film set in the futuristic city of San Fransokyo. The film’s lead character Hiro Hamada (voice of Ryan Potter) is a teenage technology genius who has a passion for illegal back alley ‘Bot’ fights in which small robots fight each other until one is destroyed.
In an attempt to turn Hiro’s intellect to more constructive ventures, his older brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney), takes him to the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology where Tadashi is a student. At the institute Tadashi introduces Hiro to several of his nerd friends including Go Go (Jamie Chung), Wasabi (Damon Wayans Jr.) Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez) and Fred (T.J. Miller) all of whom have created unique and ingenious inventions. Tadashi also introduces Hiro to his own unique invention, an inflatable robotic medic named Baymax (Scott Adsit). Hiro is so impressed with what he sees at the institute that he decides he must become a student himself, but the only way Hiro can be accepted into the institute is by impressing the head professor Robert Callaghan (James Cromwell) via the annual robotics exhibition.
Hiro designs and builds thousands of ‘micro-bots’, controlled via a neural transmitter worn as a headband, and able to be transformed into anything that the wearer can imagine. At the exhibition the micro-bots impress Callaghan so much that Hiro is accepted as a student but his happiness is short lived. A fire breaks out, the exhibition hall erupts in flames, and a massive explosion kills Tadashi and Callaghan.
While recovering from the trauma of Tadashi’s death, Hiro discovers Baymax stored away in his bedroom and, when the robot is accidentally activated, Hiro learns that Tadashi’s death may not have been accidental after all. With the help of Baymax, Go Go, Wasabi, Honey Lemon and Fred, Hiro sets out to uncover the truth behind his brother’s death and the quest leads them into a world of danger and unexpected outcomes.
Big Hero 6 contains intense animated action violence; self-sacrifice resulting in the deaths of main characters, and destruction of robots. Examples include:
- A number of pit fights between small robots where one robot fights a second until one is destroyed while people bet on which robot will annihilate the other. In one scene a robot owned by Hiro boy rips the arms and head off a much larger robot. Following the fight several men approach Hiro in a threatening manner but Tadashi rescues him.
- A menacing man in a long coat and wearing a mask attacks and chases Hiro, who falls from a second story window but escapes uninjured. In a later scene Hiro and others are chased by the menacing man who throws a shipping container at them. They escape in a speeding car with the menacing man in pursuit. After a dangerous chase they drive the car off of the end of a pier and into the ocean, but are rescued uninjured.
- Video footage of a teleportation experiment where a woman riding inside a spacecraft enters a circular portal and disappears, she is meant to reappear via a second portal but when the second portal catches fire the experiment is closed down and the woman is not returned; we hear that she died as a result of the failed experiment.
- An extended fight scene/battle between a menacing masked man riding a wave of thousands of micro-bots and five teenagers wearing futuristic superhero suits.
Content that may disturb children
In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, Big Hero 6 has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under the age of five. For example:
- There are a number of scenes depicting a menacing looking man wearing a long black coat and a Kabuki mask (a scary looking Japanese theatre mask). The man constantly rides upon a wave consisting of thousands of micro-bots which has a threatening and menacing appearance, being able to transform and move at great speed.
- The teenagers wear superhero suits with weapons that might be scary for young children.
In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:
- Baymax (a large inflatable robot) walks into oncoming traffic with cars swerving around him. Hiro runs after the robot, dodging traffic and is nearly hit several times.
- We hear that Hiro and Tadashi were orphaned when Hiro was three.
- Tadashi runs into a burning building to try to save Callaghan. The building explodes (we see the explosion in slow motion), the force throwing Hiro to the ground. A short time later we see a group of people standing around a grave at Tadashi’s funeral. A couple of scenes depict Hiro in a very depressed state as a result of the death of his brother.
- In an emotionally intense scene, the robot character Baymax sacrifices his life to save the life of young woman.
Younger children in this age group may also be disturbed by some of the above-mentioned scenes.
Nothing of concern
There are some sexual references in Big Hero 6, including:
- A robot talks about a teenage boy reaching puberty - making reference to changing hormones, pubescent moods swings, and facial and armpit hair.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
There is some use of substances in this movie, including:
- A robot low on power acts in a comical, intoxicated manner - slurring his speech, speaking loudly and falling up a flight of stairs.
- A speaker at an exhibition holds a glass of champagne.
Nudity and sexual activity
Nothing of concern
There is no product placement in Big Hero 6 itself, but associated merchandise is being marketed to children.
The film contains some language that might be imitated by children.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Big Hero 6 is an animated action adventure targeted at older primary school children and teens. Positive messages relate to siblings supporting and encouraging each other as well as the importance of education and the drive to learn, create and invent. However, the film does contain some intense animated action violence, scary images and themes that are likely to disturb children under eight. It is therefore not recommended for this age group and parental guidance is recommended for the 8-10 age group.
Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:
- Selflessness/self-sacrifice: Some of the film’s lead characters display selflessness and self-sacrifice for both friends and for people they don’t know.
- Friendship: the film portrays friendship as having a vital role in relation to support and as a means to help heal psychological injuries.
Parents may wish to discuss Hiro’s seeking of revenge for the death of his brother at one stage and the consequences of this type of action.