Big Hero 6 2-Disc Blu-ray/DVD/Digital | Instant Video
Directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams
Starring Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit, Daniel Henney, T.J. Miller, Genesis Rodriguez, Jamie Chung, Damon Wayons, Jr., Maya Rudolph and James Cromwell
Walt Disney Home Entertainment
Digital Release Date: Feb 3, 2015
Blu-ray Release Date: Feb. 24, 2015
It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s Big Hero 6 blasting off on Blu-ray. The Disney animated hit sees its Blu-ray home release and digital download premiere via Disney Movies Anywhere. Walt Disney Animation Studios’ latest production won over audiences and critics upon arriving in theatres, and those same individuals will be glad to hear that its home release does not disappoint either.
As I suggested in my original review of Big Hero 6, this action flick demonstrates the studio’s ability to seamlessly blend multiple genres in one. As much as this embodies an origins film that could lead to a sequel, the bustling gang of eccentric characters are crafted to make us fall in love with each of their personalities. This is a story about brothers, loss, new friendships, perseverance and the other touching factors you’re accustomed to from watching a great Disney movie. Additionally, laughs enter in each minute and a few tears are not far behind.
When you have a film as startlingly awesome as Big Hero 6, it must be complemented by a supreme visual and aural experience to feel complete. The overall presentation meets those expectations. Big Hero 6‘s rich color palette reveals itself in magnificent form here, crisp and wonderful. The quintessential flight scene shows this off most rewardingly. Most any scene feels immersive due to the meticulous sound editing and well-realized world that the crew produced here. Henry Jackman’s A-level soundtrack may become even more apparent and appreciated upon listening to it while watching the movie from the comfort of your couch. The sound seems balanced and clear throughout. Few other studios can compete with Disney in the presentation department from an overall excellence standpoint. Big Hero 6 continues that trend.
“Feast Theatrical Short,” the Academy Award-nominated short that played prior to Big Hero 6 in the theaters, reminds us why Disney is at the top of its game in the shorts department. Walt Disney Animation Studios’ piece about an adorable and always ravenous canine accurately depicts the relationship between an owner and his dog, especially during times of stress. Like Paperman, words need not be said to convey raw emotion. The last minute is as heartwarming as they come. The end credits portion entertains as much as the main short, and the line of “adopt a new friend at your nearest animal shelter (and feed them responsibly!)” truly connects with any of us animal shelter volunteers.
“The Origin Story of Big Hero 6: Hiro’s Journey,” hosted by Jamie Chung, who voices Go Go Tomago, is a most fantastic documentary about the making of the film. The 15-minute feature chronicles translating the niche comic book to a mainstream movie, including some story changes. For instance, Baymax was designed by Hiro’s father in the comic, but the crew chose that the film would have a more emotional core to have Hiro’s brother Tadashi serve as Baymax’s creator. Disney’s more recent Blu-ray releases have disappointed somewhat from the overall “making of/documentary” standpoint, and albeit a bit brief, this one delivers. The variety of talking heads, fascinating footage (the robotics visuals are plain cool) and solid pacing make this both accessible and entertaining for viewers of all ages.
“Big Animator 6: The Characters Behind The Characters” gives each of the main animation supervisors some props. Often these important individuals are overlooked, but this roughly seven-minute feature allows them a chance to share their words of wisdom. The roundtable format adds a nice informality to the format and feels akin to what Pixar often accomplishes in their home releases.
Bloopers & Deleted Scenes contain four clips. “Alternate Opening – Prologue,” which follows a younger version of robotics fanatic Hiro (in storyboard format), was removed due to its slow pace. I can see the filmmakers’ point about the four-minute opening’s more leisurely pace, despite it covering much ground from a timeline approach. “Alternate Opening – Silent Sparrow,” about equally as long, was appropriately shifted to a later point in the film for its disjointed state. Yet it still works as a solid scene with vital exposition. “Yokai’s Crew,” at around 2 1/2 minutes, involves the villain and other baddies committing a heist. It lacks substance and much of a point. “Every Great Super Hero Origin Story Starts With A Grappling Hook,” less than one minute, shows a costumed Fred trying to help Hiro “escape” from a structure. Hilarity ensues.
“Big Hero Secrets (Easter Eggs)” explores the hidden treats for the movie nerds in all of us who play back our favorite films multiple times just to catch the fine details. No additional viewings necessary – unless you want to – as the main ones are found here.
Note: Disney Movies Anywhere allows viewers to catch some additional content, including a newer Mickey Mouse cartoon with a Tokyo theme (an appropriate tie-in, given the Big Hero 6 setting is based, in part, on the Japanese city). As of press time, two additional features exclusive to Disney Movies Anywhere (“Gag Animations” and “Beatmax”) were not accessible for viewing on that platform.
Bonus Features: B
Overall Grade: A-
Set aside a space on your shelf, likely next to Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen, for Big Hero 6. Film repeatability is often a sign of entertainment value, and the frequency you may end up watching Walt Disney Animation Studios’ 54th feature signals that greatness sometimes comes in small packages. In this case, it’s a film starring an affable and very huggable balloon-like robot. Be sure to make Baymax and friends permanent members of your home film (character) library!
This is Brett Nachman, signing off. Follow me on Twitter for alerts of new editions of Disney In Depth, Thursdays on Geeks of Doom.