Walt Disney Animation Studios’ follow up to Frozen takes audiences to the aggregate city of San Fransokyo (a mishmash of San Francisco and Tokyo). It seemed like a big departure from the types of films Disney animation is famous for, but quickly became the second highest grossing animated film of the year. To put the success of Big Hero 6 into perspective, it did better at the box office than Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph. It serves as proof that Disney is once again at the top of the animation game.
Big Hero 6 tells the story of Hiro Himada, a boy genius who excels at robotics. When one of his creations falls into the wrong hands, he transforms his genius friends into a team of super heroes. Among them is an inflatable personal healthcare companion named Baymax. He’s not programmed for battle, but with a few upgrades Hiro makes him the most awesome member of the team. Now they must race to get Hiro’s microbots back before all of San Fransokyo is destroyed!
Based on an obscure Marvel comic series, Big Hero 6 offers unforgettable characters, an imaginative setting, and amazing imagery. It’s packed full of comedic moments, but is also as touching as it is funny. Most viewers are surprised by how moving this film truly is. As a fan of superhero films I was pre-programmed to love it, but I was surprised to find that I liked it even better than Pixar’s The Incredibles.
Big Hero 6 arrives on Blu-Ray and DVD on February 24th. It is offered in a Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital combo pack as well as a standalone DVD release. Disney has no plans on release this film on 3D Blu-Ray in the United States, but it is available digitally through Vudu (For more information, check out our review of the 3D digital version). The Blu-Ray combo pack is the subject of this review.
Big Hero 6 shines on Blu-Ray. The film has a vibrant color palette and the transfer captures if all exquisitely. Black levels are deep and colors pop off the screen. It looks as perfect as it possibly can.
The DVD presents the film as well as the medium can. It lacks considerable detail compared to the Blu-Ray and the color spectrum feels less vast. Bright colors look dulled down and less vibrant.
The main audio track on Blu-Ray is English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. The mix uses all 7 speakers often during action scenes. Even Fall Out Boy’s song “Immortals” fills the complete sound spectrum, with percussion instruments filling out the rear speakers. Other audio options include a 2.0 Descriptive English track and 5.1 French and Spanish Dolby Digital.
The audio options on the DVD are English, French and Spanish 5.1 and the 2.0 Descriptive track.
Disney has assembled an impressive array of bonus features for this release. Compared to the content that was available on home video releases of films like Frozen and Tangled, this feels like a deluxe edition.
- Theatrical Short: Feast(6 minutes) – This heartwarming short is about a dog whose love of food impacts his master’s quest for love.
- The Origin Story of Big Hero 6: Hiro’s Journey (15 minutes) – A making-of feature that, while brief, is incredibly insightful. I learned lots while watching it and was happily surprised by the quality.
- Big Animator 6: The Characters Behind the Characters (6 minutes) – Another pleasant surprise, this round table discussion features the lead animators of the main cast discussing the inspiration for their characters. It’s a refreshing introduction to modern animators that have become faceless with the recent lack of behind the scenes features for Disney animated films.
- Deleted Scenes (13 minutes) – Four deleted scenes are presented with introductions by directors Don Hall and Chris Williams. They are Alternate Opening –Prologue, Alternate Opening – Silent Sparrow, Yokai’s Crew, and “Every Great Super Hero Origin Story Stars With a Grappling Hook.” They can be played individually or with a Play All feature.
- Theatrical Teaser (1 minute) – The adorable teaser trailer is preserved here since it features different animation than what’s in the final film.
Only three bonus features are found on the DVD disc. They are Theatrical Short: Feast, Teaser Trailer, and Big Animator 6: The Characters Behind the Characters.
All of the bonus features are included digitally through Disney Movies Anywhere and the iTunes digital copy it unlocks. There is one bonus feature that is exclusive to DMA called “Tokyo Go – A Mickey Mouse Cartoon” (3 minutes) which is one of the critically acclaimed TV shorts from the new Mickey Mouse series.
Packaging & Design
Big Hero 6 is housed in a standard sized Blu-Ray case that holds the Blu-Ray on the right, DVD on the left. Inserts include a code for Disney Movie Rewards/Disney Movies Anywhere (That same code unlocks your digital copy) and an ad for Disney Movie Club. The case is housed in a foil embossed slipcover.
The menu features a countdown with each member of the Big Hero 6 team in comic book style. Both discs open with ads for Disney Movies Anywhere, Inside Out, Aladdin Diamond Edition and Tinker bell and the Legend of the Never Beast. Selecting “Sneak Peeks” from the menu plays additional ads for Disney Movies Anywhere, Disney Infinity 2.0, Star Wars: Rebels, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars – The Lost Missions. The DVD is enhanced with Disney’s Fast-Play.
Big Hero 6 is an amazing film that proves that Walt Disney Animation Studios knows what they’re doing and are once again at the top of their game. The film looks amazing on Blu-Ray and the combo pack ads value by including an HD digital copy. The bonus features are more insightful than Disney typically provides for new animated films. Overall, this is a great release and every Disney animation fan should have it in their collection.
Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.