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The Heros Journey

Big Hero 6

Fig 1: Poster (2014)


Big hero 6 (2014) directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams is an animated film adaption of an
old marvel comic. It tells the story of Hiro Hamada (Ryan Potter) a teen who lost his parents at
a young age. He lives with his aunt Cass (Maya Rudolph) and older brother Tadashi Hamada
(Daniel Henney).
The film starts at a robot fight (an illegal activity in which two participants battle robots), Hiro
swindles some money from a bot fight ring leader, who is not very happy about being cheated.
His older brother comes to save him before he is harmed, and manages to make it in time. They
drive off only to be caught by police and arrested, which forces their aunt to come and bail them
out.

Act 1

Fig 2: San Fransokyo (2014)


The heros journey is applicable to Big Hero 6, although it took a while to narrow down the call
to adventure. At first Hiros bot fighting seemed like the "call", but that idea was too
inconsistent. How could bot fighting be his call to adventure, when it is made clear he does it all
the time, and it has become somewhat of a norm for him? Hiros adventure truly starts, when
his brother Tadashi takes him to his university. When Hiro goes to nerd school, he is given a
goal or rather he finds his purpose. Once he found his purpose he started trying to develop his
technology for the university showcase, At this point his journey has begun.
The refusal of the call was not as difficult to narrow down, Hiros refusal happens when
Tadashi dies. After Tadashis death, Hiro gives up on everything. It is possible that because
Tadashi was the catalyst for Hiros his initial journey, the loss of his proverbial quest giver has
made the initial quest pointless. Hiros acceptance of the call comes in the form of Baymax,
Tadashis care giving robot. Baymax helps Hiro piece together the truth to his brothers death,
essentially acting as Hiros new quest giver. Hiros new quest is to find out who stole his
technology; but understanding that Baymax is not equip to fight, Hiro gives him crude armour
and teaches him karate. Because of Tadashi's death, Hiro is more psychologically attached to
Baymax. Baymax is the last tangible memory of his brother, this is probably why he gives
Baymax armour instead of building a new fit for propose robot. They then go to search for the
man in a kabuki mask.
After failing to defeat the enemy, Hiros friends come to his rescue. Although Baymax contacted
them before hand, their appearance can be interpreted as supernatural aid. Hiro crosses the
first threshold when he realises that he cannot defeat his enemy alone, after this realization he
asks his friends to help, they willingly accept and they begin to create there suits. After a short
training montage the newly formed group enter the belly of the whale , by going to the island
to fight with Yokai the villain.

Act 2

Fig 3: Hiro, Baymax and Gogo (2014)


The concept of meeting the goddess Is puzzling, because throughout the film Hiro never really
has a love interest or strong female lead who guides him. Go Go (Jamie Chung) was the
strongest female lead, but she didnt do anything that would give her the goddess status. The
only other conclusion is that the goddess may not be a person, but a concept/idea, in which case
the goddess could be seen in the technological advances they achieve to defeat the villain. The
woman as temptress is similar to meeting the goddess , this is because they are both
concepts instead of characters; woman as temptress could be explained as Hiro's rage and
anger. Hiro is overwhelmed by anger when he finds out that Robert Callaghan (James
Cromwell) is Yokai, and he caused the fire that killed his brother just to steal his technology; in
his blind rage Hiro tells Baymax to terminate Robert. Hiro is tempted to kill in his blind rage
and would probably have gone through with it, if he wasn't stopped by his friends. His friends
collectively act as "the goddess" at this point, and stop Hiro from making a decision he would
regret.
After Robert escapes, Hiro turns on his friends for stopping Baymax and abandons them on the
island. It is here when he atones with the father or rather his father figure Tadashi (his
brother). Baymax insists that Tadashi is here a few times, then plays recordings of Tadashi
trying to get Baymax to work, it is then Hiro realises that Tadashi lives on through Baymax as
his creator. After his trials (temptress and atonement with the father), Hiro is able to
transcend his past self and become a stronger character. Finally after all the previous trials, Hiro
is able to achieve the ultimate boon and defeat Robert, a victory made more satisfying by
outsmarting the rage filled villain.

Act 3

Fig 4: The goodbye (2014)


Earlier in the story the viewer is told that Robert Callaghan's daughter was sent through a
dimensional portal, which became unstable and collapsed before she could come back. Robert
blamed Alistair Krei for what happened to his daughter and creates a portal to destroy
everything Krei has worked for. This is important as it sets up the 3rd act, Baymax senses that
Abigail Callaghan is alive in the portal; Hiro and Baymax then decide to save her before the
portal collapses again. After finding the capsule Abigail is in, the duo try to escape the portal but
they hit debris which destroys most of Baymaxs suit. At this point Hiro refuses to return
without Baymax.
The magical flight and Rescue from without are both in the same scene. "Rescue from
without happens when Baymax tells hero that he will always be with him, those comforting
thoughts give Hiro the strength to leave without him. The magical flight is all the time spent in
the portal, but is made most prevalent when Baymax fires his rocket fist to save Hiro and
Abigail. Crossing the return threshold is simple, as it is hero making it back to earth through the
portal. Master of two worlds is interesting in the fact that there are two options. The first option
is Hiro is master of the world beyond the portal, because he survived it, and also the master of
his own realm. The second is the more logical approach, Hiro is master of the double life as a
superhero and a teenager.
The film concludes with Hiro having the freedom to live, he goes to the university and carries
on his brothers legacy by rebuilding Baymax, after finding his memory chip. The film ends with
a heart-warming reunion of Hiro and Baymax, which is a very Disney style ending.
Illustrations list
Fig 1: Poster (2014) [Poster]. At:
http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/marvelmovies/images/5/55/Big_Hero_6_poster.jpg/revisi
on/latest?cb=20140611014916
Fig 2: San Fransokyo (2014) Big hero 6, Don Hall and Chris Williams. Walt Disney
Animation Studios [film still]
Fig 3: Hiro, Baymax and Go go (2014) [Advertisement]. At : http://smithsonianapa.org/now/wpcontent/uploads/sites/15/2014/11/bighero6-banner.jpg

Fig 4: The goodbye (2014) Big hero 6, Don Hall and Chris Williams. Walt Disney
Animation Studios [Film still]

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