When the first glimpses of San Fransokyo—and Disney’s Big Hero 6—lit up our TV screen, I had no idea what to expect. Or what I had just gotten myself into. I skeptically watched the first bot battle.
When the end credits finally rolled, I was a devoted fan. Despite the movie being far outside the genre I usually read or watch, it quickly drew me in.
How? Many things—the creativity of the plot, the diversity of the characters, and well, the Baymaxness of Baymax.
But mostly, something deeper that was buried in the amateur superheroes and microbots and robotic nurses.
Throughout the first quarter of the film, we not only meet the film’s protagonist Hiro Hamada, but we’re introduced to his older brother, Tadashi, too. Tadashi picks Hiro up when a bot battle goes wrong, doesn’t get (too) angry when that lands them both in jail, and even tricks things around so Hiro visits the tech school Tadashi attends—a visit that leads to Hiro abandoning his career in bot fighting and trying for their scholarship.
Then Tadashi runs into a burning building to save his professor.
And he doesn’t come back out.
Without Tadashi, Hiro turns from bright, creative, and upbeat to withdrawn and depressed. Neither his Aunt Cass or his new-found friends or his abandoned scholarship to the university can bring him out of it.
But maybe, an inflatable robotic nurse named Baymax can.
I mean, that, and a plan to save the world from the microbots that Hiro himself invented that have now fallen into the hands of a masked man who may have killed Tadashi.
What really drew me into the film was how real it was. I mean, yeah, San Fransokyo isn’t a real place, and we’re not likely to encounter microbots or inflatable nurses or basically any of the other tech in the film.
But moments like when Hiro admits to Baymax, “People keep saying he’s not really gone, as long as we remember him . . . it still hurts.”
Moments like when Hiro faces the masked man and confides, “You just let Tadashi die,” moments before he tries to kill the man.
Moments like when Hiro desperately tries to open Baymax’s access port despite Baymax’s protests, ending by banging his fists against the robot and screaming, “Tadashi’s gone!”
One thing I’ve learned through writing and reading and just living is that life hurts. I generally like to set forth life as an exciting, adventurous, and magical place to explore. And it is. But the truth is, all of that magic comes with its own shadows. And lots of people are hurting. Many writers create stories as a way to cope with very dark, very painful circumstances. Many readers turn to books for the same purpose.
But if you ever passed any of these writers and readers in church? You would never be able to tell. They smile just as bright. They shrug. They say, “We’re fine.”
But we’re not.
In one scene early in the movie, Hiro trips and ends up wedged between his dresser and his bed frame. Baymax repeatedly asks him to rate his pain on a scale of one to ten. When Hiro insists he’s fine, Baymax pulls him out of the crevice anyway, adding, “It is alright to cry.”
As the film progresses, Baymax continues his care, whether that be contacting Hiro’s friends for him, diving off the Golden Gate Bridge when he senses (before Hiro does) that their first flight is making him happy, or showing him a long-buried video of Tadashi when Hiro is at the end of himself.
But none of that healing could happen while Hiro said he was fine.
It is alright to cry.
It is alright to scream.
It is alright to not be alright.
It’s alright to need help.
It’s alright to hurt.
I still believe the world is a place of wonder. It’s a place to heal. To find hope. As Tadashi told Baymax, and Hiro, and all of us, the world needs us. And maybe that will start when we admit that it still hurts. Maybe gather a few friends. Maybe make a few mistakes and shed a few tears.
And then get back to work.
*Have you seen Big Hero 6? What did you think of it? Share your adventures in the comments below!*
Hi, I'm Rachel! I'm the author of the posts here at ProseWorthy. Thanks for stopping by!