Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I want a healthcare companion too!

If you like lovable puffy companions in anxiety, such as the Moomin or Totoro, like I do, you will love Baymax, the robot hero of Big Hero 6.

This is the story's set up (image via): 
The Hamada brothers have responded differently to the death of their parents ten years earlier. Big brother Tadashi has created Baymax, a "healthcare companion" who only wants to help, and little brother Hiro creates fighting bots who only want to win. 

No spoilers, but guess who wins.

Tadashi is voiced by Daniel Henney, who I know from Tintorera is one of the most beautiful people on the planet. In fact, I'd avoided the movie in the theaters because I don't often like animation, and one reason I finally gave it a try is because she keeps posting photos of this guy. 

I'm particularly fond of Henney in these striped pants:

The brothers have a fantastic crew of nerd friends too. 

My favorites are bicycle-designer Gogo Tomago (she says, "Quit wining! Woman up!") and Wasabi, a timid nerd who designs lasers. I vote his wasabi-colored sweater as Best Sweater Ever.

There's a lot to love here––including the fact that nothing annoyed me–– 
unlike two very good films out this summer: 
Inside Out, which I like because it champions sadness, but I didn't like that it left me wondering why the characters who act out the adults' emotions were all [or rather, as Michael points out in the comments here, they all present as] the same sex as the adult, while the girl's emotions are mixed sex--are we supposed to solidify as we age?;

. . . and the otherwise crazy-excellent Mad Max: Fury Road, with its, shall I say, failure of imagination around race, which annoys me no matter how generously I read it (the Citadel-dwellers appear to be Nordic supremacists, but why are the Many Mothers all white?)––

 but, anyway, I guess my favorite thing in Big Hero 6 is when Hiro is urging Baymax to run faster to escape the bad robots, and Baymax tootling along on its little legs calmly says, 


Michael Leddy said...

Elaine made a post with some pics from Inside Out. The dad’s Joy is female, with a tie and mustache. I’m not sure what to make of the grown-up emotions in general: they look to me like they’re wearing costumes to mark them as belonging to one parent or the other (ties, mustaches, glasses, wigs).

Fresca said...

Ah, I didn't catch the father's Joy! Interesting.
I still didn't really like the way the parents'Emotions were personified though--thought they were the weak spot in an otherwise dear movie with a welcome message:
depression was the absence of feelings, and sadness saves the day!

Michael Leddy said...

I just realized where my thinking was leading: it’s like the parents’ emotions are in drag. [Slaps forehead.]

Fresca said...

Ah, interesting--perhaps we *are* meant to think that the emotions of adults have solidified/conformed, while the girl's are still flexible?

In my opinion, the movie doesn't give us enough information to answer that question, though I've only seen it once (and am not really bothered or interested enough to see it again).
It's not a major issue for me--I still liked Inside Out-- it was just that I noticed Big Hero 6 didn't leave me with any such dangling annoyances, and yet wasn't at all preachy or politically correct.

Michael Leddy said...

Flexibility or solidity: I’m not sure. Maybe the grown-up is just a costume put on the child. I suppose that a DVD with commentary might say something about it. Or maybe someone already has. I know that they took several years figuring out how to depict the inner life.

The other movies you wrote about I don’t know. I don’t know much modern animation at all. But I just got a Miyazaki from the library, so anything’s possible.

Fresca said...

Michael: I very much enjoy talking about and trying to figure out movies. So thanks for commenting!

I do listen to commentary and read reviews, but I think each movie is a complete, freestanding work and must be judged on its own merits, apart from commentary from the movie's creators or critics (which most viewers will never bother with anyway).

Some fans of Mad Max: Fury Road, for instance, argue that the movie is not as white as it seems because two of the actresses are part Maori. There's no way a viewer can know this "in universe" (within the movie's reality), however, so I say it doesn't count. (Not that every movie has to be racially diverse, of course, but in a post-apocalyptic movie, you kinda wonder, what happened to everyone?)

Have you seen Wall-E?
I'm not a fan of animated films, but my list of Top 100 Films includes that one: a film that creates a world that stands on its own––and, amazingly, does it all visually, with no dialogue at all, in the first third, while being amusing and entertaining and thought-provoking too. I highly recommend it, if you haven't seen it.

My "Top 100 Films" list exists only in my head. I should write it down. I'm going to start that right this instant.

Michael Leddy said...

Yes, I liked Wall-E a lot. It was another reluctant-to-go but glad-I-did movie.

That Mad Max explanation seems to blur the line between fiction and life. Pretty unconvincing.

For whatever it’s worth, I almost never listen to DVD commentaries. :) But I look forward to more of your movie picks.