If you haven’t been to the movies to see Big Hero 6 yet, you need to go immediately. Though the movie’s target audiences are children, I wholeheartedly enjoyed this film as an adult. There are many reasons why Disney’s latest film is so good, but the biggest reason why I appreciated it so much were the diversity of its characters, with the main protagonist being Hapa. If you aren’t familiar with the term, Hapa is a Hawaiian word that describes someone being mixed with Asian or Pacific Islander descent (equivalent to Afakasi). In this case, our protagonist was Japanese and White.
Disney’s first superhero animation film is set in the fictional city of San Fransokyo, meant to be a hybrid of San Francisco, California and Tokyo, Japan. The concept is great, and the animation of the city was spectacular. The film focuses on a 14-year old genius named Hiro, and learning to cope with the death of his brother Tagashi, with the help of Tagashi’s research project, a robot named Baymax, who will no doubt steal your heart. These brothers are voiced by two Hapa actors in real life, Ryan Potter and Daniel Henney, who are reportedly very proud of this movie. Along the way, we meet some of Tadashi’s friends; among them are Wasabi, an African-American college student (voiced by Damon Wayans Jr.), a girl named Honey Lemon, who is reportedly Hispanic, and also Gogo, another Hapa girl. This is the first Disney film to feature biracial characters, which I really appreciate, as I am biracial myself.
Though we have seen Disney characters of other ethnicities before, we’ve never seen such a melting pot put together in a Disney movie before. It does not seem like it, but I believe this is a big accomplishment within the entertainment world, as so many ethnicities are so underrepresented as it is. We are beginning to see a lot more diversity within Disney, as they have also announced their new Disney Polynesian princess Moana to make her debut in 2016. Films like these become even more relatable to children of different colors. My own little brother, who is also biracial, loves Hiro and loves the movie, and found a character he can relate to. The movie itself is hilarious, heart-warming, and has a great message about having to cope with loss. Loosely based on the Marvel comic, we also we a signature cameo from Stan Lee in the film. Trust me when I say that you won’t be disappointed in this new Disney film.
Photo Courtesy of Disney