Jan 31, 2015


'If Apple ever got their hands on Florence Nightingale they might end up with something like Baymax, the big, inflatable white blob at centre of the new Disney animation Big Hero Six. Baymax is a robot care-giver who asks people “On a scale of one to 10, how much does it hurt?” in a soothing, slightly effeminate voice like that of HAL from 2001 (in actuality Scott Adsit from 30 Rock), and who dispenses hugs that envelop you like a duvet — “It’s like spooning a marshmallow,” says one of the teen heroes of the tale, although adult viewers may find older memories prodded by Baymax’s air of poly-poly befuddlement. When his batteries are low, he lollops drunkenly across the screen like Chaplin on the deck of a rocking boat in The Immigrant, and when he gets stuck in a window — that old routine — he extricates himself by partially deflating himself with a gnatlike peeooowwww sound while maintaining a straight face that would be the envy of Buster Keaton. But then deadpan has always been the secret weapon of animators: Keeping a straight face is so much easier when you’re nothing but a straight line to begin with.  One of the best reasons to watch kid’s cartoons is to brush up on your physical comedy. You used to be able to tell Chuck Jones and Tex Avery cartoons apart by whether they focused on the character’s face after it was blackened by an exploding bomb or in the last few ticking seconds before it went off. The best of today’s kid’s movies play like silents, from the Chaplinesque pleasures of Pixar’s WALL-E, to the first ten, almost completely wordless minutes of UP. (Sometimes you feel all they do up at Pixar is watch old silent shorts.) Big Hero Six doesn’t match the grace of those films, but it’ll do for no.' 
— from my review of Big Hero Six for Intelligent Life

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