Big Hero 6
Run Time: 102 minutes
Directed By: Don Hall, Chris Williams
In addition to promoting positive messages such as friendship, teamwork, and accepting yourself, Big Hero 6 does an excellent job at engaging with positive representations of gender, race/ethnicity, and the body.
Hiro Hamada, a young engineering prodigy, and his inflatable robot team up with their heroic friends to fight a high-tech villain.
• Fighting- kicking, throwing
• Tadashi is killed in an explosion- no gore
• Baymax (the robot) intends to kill the human villain but is stopped at the last minute.
• Sci-fi weapons- sticky substance, discs, retractable plasma blades, flame-thrower
• Robot fighting- tearing limbs, pulling heads off
Drugs and Alcohol: 0 poos
• Go Go and Honey Lemon are depicted as intelligent and defy traditional gender roles regarding femininity by participating in chemistry and engineering projects. Go Go and Honey Lemon are also very active female characters as they are skilled fighters and help solve the mystery of finding the villain.
• Fred defies gender stereotypes regarding men by not appearing traditionally masculine. For example, he is very thin, scruffy, and is a proud “nerdy” fanboy (he loves comic books and monsters).
• Aunt Cass runs her own very successful business.
• Both men and women play active roles. The female characters are just as involved in the story as the male characters. For example, Go Go and Honey Lemon fight alongside their male counter-parts to help save the day.
• Major and minor characters appear to be of a number of marginalized races/ethnicities. For example, Go Go is coded as Korean-American and is depicted in a positive manner as she is athletic and independent. Hiro, the lead character, is Japanese-American and depicted as intelligent, loving, and appreciative. Another example is Wasabi who appears to be black and is also depicted in a positive manner, as he is cautious and brave. This is important because these characters do not conform to racial/ethnic stereotypes we tend to see in the media.
• The film takes place in the city of San Fransokyo. Although fictional, San Fransokyo depicts a racially and ethnically diverse community.
Sexual Orientation: N/A
• A minor character is shown wearing an eye patch.
• Various body types are shown in the film.
• Cass fulfills stereotypical gender roles regarding femininity by being the caretaker. When Hiro and Tadashi’s parents die, Aunt Cass becomes the primary caretaker.
• There are no variations of sexual orientation.
• No major characters appear to have a visible disability.
• The woman with the eye patch works in a bar where gambling and robot fighting take place and is thus depicted as immoral. This is problematic because it portrays disability as a signifier of moral character.
• A fat-bodied robot fighter is depicted as mean, aggressive, and greedy.
• Baymax, although a robot, is fat-bodied. In order to successfully fight, his body transforms from a fat body to a muscular body.
Suggested talking points
• This film shows that women can participate in “masculine” activities such as science and engineering. This is extremely important because it contrasts with princess culture, which is very pervasive in old and contemporary media.
• Who are some other famous female scientists or engineers (hint: Natalie Portman, Mayim Bialik, Lisa Kudrow, Marie Curie, Sally Ride)?
• Oftentimes, people interested in science are considered “nerdy,” but the film makes it a point to show that science can be fun, creative, and most definitely not “nerdy.”
Keywords: big hero 6, 4 paws, four paws, disney, family, animated, gender, race, ethnicity, body, movie, progressive, positive, recommended