Oscars

Movie Review: Big Hero 6

Title: Big Hero 6
Directors: Don Hall, Chris Williams
Cast: Scott Adsit, Ryan Potter, Daniel Henney, T. J. Miller, Jamie Chung, Damon Wayans, Jr., Génesis Rodríguez, Maya Rudolph
Genre: Animation
Running Time: 102 minutes
Accolade: Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature

Plot
Based on a comic book by the same name, on the exterior, this movie is an action-packed adventure/comedy about how an unlikely group of 5 “kids” and an oversized robot came together to “fight evil”, but at its core, it is a beautiful story about overcoming grief.

He Said
I was skeptical about this movie due to the unappealing title that makes it sound like a sequel and lackluster “teaser trailer”, but the fact that it was from someone who worked on Frozen made me curious. Additionally, as a healthcare professional, I also thought the concept of Baymax, a personal healthcare robot, was hilarious. Therefore I watched Big Hero 6 with little knowledge of the plot/premise and relatively low expectations… and what a splendid surprise! The beginning is admittedly slow, but once Baymax comes to life and attends to the needs of the depressed Hiro, it is golden. There is so much humor and joy to be had from the scene-stealing Baymax! The action and animation are so well done, but what impresses me the most is the brilliant and mature script that so effectively portrays tragedy, grief, and healing. The emotional ending earns all of my heartfelt tears.

She Said
If the virtue of a movie resides in its ability to induce cathartic tears, then this movie ranks very, very high on my list. In short, I balled. Like Thanh, I brushed off the movie after seeing its unimpressive (and slow paced) preview. The movie, however, drew me in the moment Hiro explored the robotics lab at his brother’s university. The innovations! What started as an intellectual adventure quickly escalated to an emotional catharsis. I recommend this animation unequivocally and can’t wait to (re-)watch it with my niece and nephew!

We Say
Big Hero 6 is an amazing and brilliant movie that has tremendous emotional resonance. Disney continues to prove it is in a new “Golden Age” with Big Hero 6 deservedly earning the studio its second consecutive Oscar for “Best Animated Feature” (after 2014’s epic Frozen). This is a must-watch movie for all of its action, comedy, and heart – it is all-around fun for all ages (although “younger kids” will probably not appreciate it as much) with a wonderful message about dealing with losses.

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Movie Review: Frozen

Title: Frozen
Directors: Chris Buck & Jennifer Lee
Cast: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Santino Fontana
Genre: Animation
Running Time: 102 minutes
Accolades: Oscars for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song; Golden Globes for Best Animated Feature
Purchase Frozen: DVD | Blu-ray | Soundtrack

Plot
Based loosely on a Danish fairytale entitled “The Snow Queen”, Frozen tells a story of family, love, loyalty, and all the familiar themes of a Disney animation, except with a great twist that turns gender stereotyping on its head.

He Said
I have a love/hate relationship with Disney movies. They have many memorable songs, characters, and scenes which I do recall fondly and enjoy in small quantities. However, I was not a fan of the sometimes contrived and unrealistic stories, especially as I got older. I didn’t think I’d watch another Disney movie until I was a parent. Surprisingly, I found myself curious of the immense hype and praise Frozen received and just had to see it for myself. Magical and engaging from beginning to end and filled with endearing characters, Frozen not only embodies the best of Disney’s DNA, but takes it to new heights with a surprisingly well-written, snappy, and rather mature story. I must admit I was caught off-guard twice, which was quite pleasant given how predictable most Disney movies are. The soundtrack is extremely catchy. I whole-heartedly enjoyed the laughs and heart strings which Frozen tugged.

She Said
I did not grow up with fantasies about love or being in a pretty white dress on my wedding day. I did not grow up with Disney or fairytales. Watching Disney as an adult, I hated it. It was too unrealistic, too romanticized. Why is there always a damsel in distress? Why must the prince save the day? But as an aunt, I do watch Disney to screen/approve what my nieces and nephews should watch. I was drawn to Frozen the very moment Anna spoke, “the sky’s awake so I’m awake so we have to play!” The exact words were spoken by my nephew before and my heart just melted. A few minutes later, I teared up realizing the tragic fate of our princesses. Yes, it appears every fairytale involves the passing away of parents – and I still cry every. single. time. I rolled my eyes when Anna supposedly fell in love at first sight, and heaved a sigh of relief when her engagement fell through. Anna’s feisty nature and bravery were nicely complemented with Kristoff’s skepticism and loyalty. Their journey together was made more perfect with Olaf, the hilarious and optimistic snowman. Frozen was engaging and quick paced. I dreaded getting to the ending because I was truly enjoying the film and did not want that cliched “happily ever”. To my heart’s delight, a plot twist revolutionized my vision of fairytales and I cried in agreement with Frozen‘s definition of love. Disclaimer: I was not heads over heels with the production. There is one scene that I must pick a bone with: “Let It Go”. The concept of accepting who you are and having self-confidence is wonderful. Why smear such a beautiful moment? Must one suddenly have an hourglass figure, adorn a sexy dress, and strut like a super model in order to gain confidence? In the year 2014, I am enraged that while gender stereotype can be addressed, Disney is still sending false messages about body image.

We Say
Frozen is an entertaining movie for viewers of all ages and truly deserves its Oscar for “Best Animated Picture”. Funny, touching, and above all else, it is smart and meaningful. You will simply “melt” for Frozen! Hopefully this movie heralds a new generation of Disney!

Side note… could we get an Olaf spin-off?