Heh, I have way too many thoughts on Big Hero 6. But I have way too many opinions about everything.
The short version is: I’m optimistic! Disney’s been on a roll lately, and Wreck-It Ralph was wonderful, solid proof that Disney can step out of their usual go-to genres and not only create a solid, beautiful film, but also one full of heart with characters you really care about. I’m also a fan of Princess and the Frog, Tangled, and Frozen, and so I think Disney has a pretty good team right now. I will not be surprised if this ends up being a good film.
But, the longer version is: I’m optimistic, but I’m cautious. And like everyone else I do have my reservations about some things.
I haven’t read the comics myself, but from what I’ve heard from multiple sources I hear they’re pretty bad, no offense to any fans of the original comics. And whether or not they’re objectively bad, I think they kind of reek of what was wrong with the 2000s in terms of trying to appeal to kids: taking the more shallow cues of Japanese culture and trying to market that in a way that’ll make kids think of their favorite animes and therefore buy into it. For all I know, Big Hero 6 is a loving tribute to Japanese fantasy, buuuuuut with names like San Frantokyo, Wasabi No-Ginger (yeah, Akira Toriyama named a ton of characters from DBZ after food, but that’s a whole ‘nother story), and such…ehh.
Let’s just say that I don’t mind Disney taking extreme liberties with the source material. And so far, it sounds like they’re doing just that. Usually I’m not a fan of adaptations that are this loosely connected to their source material, but I think in this case it’s kind of necessary. We’re beyond the How to Draw Manga stage in American culture, or at least I know I am, haaa.
So as far as the characters go, where all the controversy lies, I’d say the protagonist Hiro Hamada looks pretty adorable. There’s some dated stuff in there like the spiky hair and the cargo pants, but I think it works. Baymax is awesome with and without the armor, enough said. Gogo Tomago looks pretty interesting to me. I like Wasabi’s design, he looks like a fun character. Was it a good idea to change his race from Japanese to black? That’s kind of up for debate. I will say though that I’m not surprised they changed him in the first place from being a sushi chef (I think) named Wasabi. I mean…c’mon.
My two disappointments lie in Fredzilla and, you guessed it, Honey Lemon. Fredzilla’s design is too Dreamworks to me. Very generic, very Monsters vs. Aliens…it’s not grabbing me. I would have preferred something closer to the comic counterpart.
I will totally admit that when I first saw Honey Lemon, my jaw dropped. Because the only thing I saw at first was just a cropped version of her face, and I thought it was a photoshopped Rapunzel. It was not. Now, I was one of the people who when the first peeks at Anna and Elsa were leaked, I immediately cried fowl and said they looked too much like Rapunzel. And at the time, they did. I legit couldn’t tell if it was a real image. When the movie came around, their designs had clearly been tweaked, and they’re different enough now from Rapunzel to satisfy me. Their noses are lower, the mouth shapes different, their eye shapes completely different, etc.
But Honey Lemon…I have to say, even though it’s likely she’ll look different in the actual film and in motion, they picked a shade of blonde and a shade of green for the eyes that is almost a dead-ringer for Rapunzel. I have no idea how they did that. Hopefully she’ll look more like those sketches that appeared in a low-quality picture where she’s wearing glasses and such, but if it were me, I’d definitely throw in the bangs she had from the comics. Maybe she has them, I can’t tell. And…yeah, good god, pick a different type of blonde, a different type of green, because the similarities are striking and it’s distracting. Also apparently the original character was Japanese and just liked to dye her hair…? Yeah, I don’t know what to feel about that.
The other thing I’ll say about Honey Lemon is that I don’t like the color scheme of her outfit. Gettin’ tired of pink and purple and orange on the girl chick. And when I saw Gogo wearing yellow my first thought was the original Power Rangers, with the white girl in pink, the Asian girl in yellow, one wears a skirt, the other doesn’t, and…ehhh, seen it. I personally would have made Honey Lemon more adult looking like she seems to be in the comic pictures I’ve seen of her and let Gogo be the teen female protagonist that younger girls relate to.
Anyway, we’ll see how it all plays out. Again, I’m optimistic. But there’s definitely some things I would change given the chance.
Also, I’m starting to get a headache from all the Disney cloned women discussion. It’s a valid discussion, it’s just…driving me crazy right now.
Feelin’ bored and sassy with you rn, Disney fandom. Wish we could talk about this stuff without the drama and grumpiness.
Thoughts on Big Hero 6 from a friend of mine.