Movie: Big Hero 6
Oscar Nominations: Best Animated Feature Film
Unlike most of the listed Oscar films, I saw this one earlier this year -- twice, in fact. I narrowly avoided seeing it a third time, not because I didn't like it, but because I don't get to see that many movies and I had qualifying exams to study for, people. So yeah.
Big Hero 6 is based on a Marvel property; I never read the comic book, so I can't say much about whether or not it's true to the source material. The story revolves around 14-yr-old supergenius Hiro Hamada and his search for his big brother Tadashi's killer, helped by Baymax, a medical assistant robot Tadashi built, and Tadashi's fellow engineering students at "nerd school," or San Fransokyo Tech, in the robotics department.
So, barring weather and scenery, SFT is effectively Case Western Reserve University. That means there's a lot of familiar stuff for me in this show -- they handle the academic science backdrop of the setting very well. I have heard complaints of whitewashing, but I don't feel that way about the movie; I think it was actually pretty diverse for a Disney film, although there can always be more.
I really enjoyed this film. The story had far more depth than an average Disney flick has any right to, and the characters were well rounded and convincing. Baymax in particular wobbled effortlessly along the fine line between "imaginary all-powerful friend" and "realistic limited creation," which isn't easy to pull off in a story like this. The voicework was uniformly awesome, including yet another great turn by Alan Tudyk, whom I never recognize in a film these days until I see the credits -- his range is astounding.
I know there might be downsides to this movie, but it's hard to see them. I'd happily buy it for my kids and watch it with them, even with the crying parts (because yes, there are crying parts). It shows a welcome sensitivity to situations that I've missed from Disney for a while now, and it's good to see it again -- also good to see something from them that isn't a "princess" film. :P I'm kinda done with those for a while.
In terms of winning... I think it's pretty much the 800 lb gorilla in the category. Train Your Dragon 2 was good, but I really think this is better, and anything with the Disney brand attached to it is going to have a powerful pull. I still have to see the rest of the nominees for animation, but when I do, I'll be sure to post about it here and see if anything changes my mind.