It’s been three years since the Academy Award-winning film, Big Hero 6, hit theaters nationwide, and for the first time since the film hit theaters, Walt Disney Television Animation is finally expanding on the world of these fantastic characters. The new renaissance of Disney Animation seems to be split between their continuing stories, with some of their popular films gaining sequels (Wreck-It-Ralph, Frozen) and some receiving television series (Tangled: The Series, and now, Big Hero 6) but truly, for a world as immersive as the one that Big Hero 6 boasts, television provides a truly promising medium for the studio to explore the immersive world that is within the wacky adventures of this new superhero ensemble.
The best thing about Big Hero 6: The Series is that it certainly follows the heart and hilarity of the film, blending together comedy, action, and a quick dash of emotionally touching moments, as brought back in flashback of Big Hero 6’s tragic loss. The show doesn’t forget about the loss that Hiro endured during the film, and it’s quick to remind viewers of this fact, and how Hiro’s tragedy continues to fuel the motivation of the Big Hero 6. The pilot episode of this series retreads the ending of the film again in order to blend together the elements that will be integral to this show’s story, and the entirety of the episode takes place within the movie’s final scenes, which as it turns out, had a lot of story in-between the moments of Hiro’s discovery about Baymax and the final scene that has our heroes posing for battle in an epic final moment.
The show also does an impressive job at translating the look and characters of the film to a new animation medium, this time in a two-dimensional hand-drawn style. The same goes with Tangled: The Series, but Tangled perhaps succeeds more in presenting a colorful, rich world, while Big Hero 6’s color-tones are rather dark and different than the beautiful San Fransokyo skyline as seen in the beautifully animated film. However, as this is simply the first episode of the series, the show should have plenty of time to visit different locations within this world, and there are certainly no limits to where this story can take these characters next.
Unlike many of the shows that have been translated over from movies to television (especially from the 90s era of Disney Television), all of the original cast members have returned for the show, and this is certainly to its strength. This way, the translation from the big screen to the small screen feels pretty seamless, especially considering the events that happen in this film happen in-between the movie’s final moments. It’s so great to see these characters return to bounce off each other, and their work results in some truly hilarious moments.
Big Hero 6: The Series is hardly as spectacular as Big Hero 6 is, but it has a lot of room to grow. The heart of the film is certainly present, even if it is not nearly as impactful, but it has the potential not only to reach the level of the film, but maybe even expand upon it. Big Hero 6 explored some heart-wrenching ideas and situations, and that film created an endless amount of possibilities for the characters to go next. If Big Hero 6: The Series ever wants to truly emulate the spirit of the film, the best place to begin would be at the heart of what defines that heart-wrenching classic.
In the meantime, the series is certainly off to a very fun start, and it will be fun to keep up with the show on a weekly basis. The ability to keep up with the wonderful antics of the Big Hero 6 is a delight on its own, and this series is helmed by some truly talented writers, directors, and artists, and that makes it one of the most exciting new additions from Disney Television this year. So grab a seat, cozy up with your nearest health-care companion, and eagerly await for the ability to keep up with the wonderful world of Big Hero 6 once again when Big Hero 6: Baymax Returns airs Monday, November 20th on Disney XD.