Jottings on science, religion, technology, pop culture and faith from the Antipodes.

Comics, Pop Culture, Science Fiction

Comic-based films (3) – Big Hero 6

The previous two posts () focused on films with a live-action vibe, albeit often augmented by various forms of computer animated graphics. In this post we’re going to go for a fully animated film, which means that we’ll be going with a big, cuddly robot, some action and emotions, and connections to US and Japanese comics with Big Hero 6.

Big Hero 6 (2014)

Directors: Don Hall & Chris Williams
102 mins

Big Hero 6 focuses on a talented young man and his late brother’s inflatable robot, who, together with some others, team up to bring the person responsible for his brother’s death to justice. It produced respectable returns at the box office, had some TV spinoffs, and produced a number of comic-related properties often under the Japanese name for Big Hero 6 (Baymax (Beimakkusu) ). The film was pitched at on levels for both children and adults, and received strong positive responses from critics and the public with its mix of action and emotional connection to the characters.

While Big Hero 6 spawned a number of subsequent comics and other media products, it originated from the Marvel comics archives being trawled for properties that might transition to the cinema. Rather than the more family friendly film version or the manga spin-offs, the Big Hero 6 comics were originally intended to be set in the Marvel universe with the X-Men, Alpha Flight, and other mainstream characters. As it turned out though the characters got a run in their own 1998 three-issue miniseries before being subsequently appearing in a 2005 issue of Alpha Flight, and later in a 2008 miniseries. The comic book characters names overlap with some similarly named characters in the film.

Who are the members of the Japanese super-team Big Hero 6 and what is their mission? Well, there’s Hiro (the smartest boy in Japan), Baymax (his trusty robot companion), Honey Lemon (with her all-containing handbag), Gogo Tomago (somersaulting into an unstoppable energy ball), plus a few new additions to the team. Their mission: Defend Japan from a band of mysterious villains, setting the stage for adventure and intrigue in the Land of the Rising Sun!


After the movie, a number of comics were made including the formation of manga for the characters.

Big Hero 6 movie poster (above) and 2008 comics (below)
Big Hero 6 (2014) movie trailer