Can ‘Big Hero 6’ pull off an upset at the Oscars?

Three of our 24 Oscars Experts predict an upset in the race for Best Animated Feature: Michael Musto (Out), Kevin Polowy (Yahoo) and Mike Cidoni (Associated Press). Could they be right that “Big Hero 6” will pull off a jaw-dropper over “How to Train Your Dragon 2“?

“This has been an awards season full of surprises and I think they’ll keep coming,” Musto says. “As for ‘Big Hero 6,’ there are a few categories where there’s a supposed clear frontrunner, and I like to buck the trend and go with something else. You can’t win the pool if you agree with everyone on everything! Besides, I don’t think it’s a slam dunk that a sequel will win. And ‘Big Hero 6‘ is well regarded and made a lot of money.”

Polowy pipes in, too: “The first ‘How to Train Your Dragon” had the misfortune of going up against ‘Toy Story 3’ in 2011, so I could see the Academy awarding its sequel, even if it’s not quite as charming as the original. But I’m sticking with ‘Big Hero 6,’ which has the Disney/Marvel machine maneuvering behind it, and should score more points for originality; ‘Toy Story 3’ is the first and only sequel to win in this category. ‘Big’ is also one of the first animated superhero movies to click with both critics and audiences, despite the fact that we could’ve all so easily mistaken the movie’s poster for a Michelin ad.”

That giant, Michelin-type, marshmallow robot is one of the reasons the film has a real shot at the Oscar. He’s not only in charge of the orphan boy’s health, but of his aching heart, too – making the young rascal feel loved in a bully world. Remember: movies with the most heart often win Oscars and “Big Hero Six,” arguably, has the biggest heart of all. That’s why it must be regarded as a serious threat in the race for Best Animated Feature.

There have been only 13 winners in that Oscar category since its inception in 2001, but quite a few have dealt with the same theme we find in “Hero” – a child lost and drifting alone in a scary world. Sometimes the protagonist is seen on screen as an emperor penguin (“Happy Feet”) or a rat (“Ratatouille”), but they’re really lonely children, too, just like the girl we see abandoned among monsters in “Spirited Away” when her parents are turned into pigs.

When “Spirited Away” won the Oscar in 2002, some pundits considered it to be a shocking victory over “Ice Age” and “Lilo and Stitch” because they’d mistakenly pooh-poohed “Spirited Away” as “too Japanese.” Could they be making the same goof with “Big Hero 6,” which is set in “San Fransokyo” – a future mash-up of east-west cultures? That means it’s anime lite – it’s cool and accessible to the geezer academy crowd.

“Big Hero 6” is different from rival nominees “Dragon” and “The Boxtrolls” in other ways, too – its plot and characters are more complex and dimensional. The story has many more twists and turns. It may get extra points for all that from voters.

And, oh, yes, it has exhilarating flying scenes, too – just like “Dragon” – but with its hero (or rather “Hiro”) riding on the back of that giant, lovable marshmallow instead of a fire-spitting, lovable lizard.

“Hero” lost the Annie Award to “Dragon,” but it demonstrated strong industry support by winning three key prizes from the Visual Effects Society.

Bottom line: “Hero” poses a serious challenge at the Oscars. You’ve been warned.

9 thoughts on “Can ‘Big Hero 6’ pull off an upset at the Oscars?

  1. Spirited Away won, because it’s from Miyazaki, and they didn’t know how long he had left to make more films. But no other anime pic has been able to get that far, since, and Kaguya’s just lucky to be nominated.

  2. @aaddsa You do realize that Big Hero 6 was born in the 90’s right? Also the Boy and his Companion is nothing new in Cinema, cause if BH6 was a copy of Dragons, then you can say that Dragons copied Lilo and Stitch, which copied Iron Giant, which copied T2, which copied ET which everyone one of these have copied some sort of element from Lassie/Old Yeller.

  3. @Daniel Castelan

    Dude, don’t bring Lilo and stitch in it because they had the same directors..

    and i’m pretty sure the movie was nothing like the comics..

    Second, im not really talking about the boy and his companion
    Here i’ll show you what im talking about

    -in HTTYD Nerdy boy finds cute creature
    in BH6 nerdy boy finds cute robot. (baymax wasn’t cute in the comics)

    -in HTTYD hiccup makes toothless a tail and goes through trial and error, finally succeeds.
    in BH6 hiro makes baymax a suit and goes through trial and error, finally succeeds.


    Seriously thats the big thing that pissed me off in BH6.. The flight scene was extremely identical to the HTTYD one its not even funny. So don’t tell me it didn’t copy a lot of major factors in HTTYD

  4. Not to mention BH6 grabbed the voice actor that played as tuffnut (a funny/stupid dude)
    AND GUESS WHAT HE PLAYS IN BH6 (a funny/stupid dude)

    SO beotch please, they copied a lot..

  5. aaddsa, you say that but like most fanboys you don’t see the bigger picture you are blinded by the similarities. Dragon, specifically the first one is the most clichéd story in animation. Boy is an outcast, he has no friends because he sucks, he is attracted to the girl who happens to be the best viking, the Dad doesn’t accept his son for who he is. Hiccup learns that there’s another way to Dragons, he keeps toothless a secret. The girl finds out his secret and begs her not to tell anyone. They have a romance flight. The big lie gets revealed and Dad hates his son. Boy goes off to fix problem and he makes people that hated him, to be his friends.. Success. The end.

    Big Hero 6 is a film where the boy is being healed by the robot. He is dealing with the death of a loved one and he can’t move on and the only thing that can get it out of his mind is being a superhero. His friends are there to support him and lead him the right path. The flying scene is Baymax healing Hiro and making him happy. The Red Armor is to improve his heroics. Its not teaching a robot how to fly.

  6. if you’re calling dragons cliche then you’re calling BH6 cliche. You seem like a fanboy of BH6. I like HTTYD, but I think Kaguya if better. All i’m saying is the BH6 doesn’t deserve the oscar. and plus, HTTYD pulled off the cliche PERFECTLY. Big hero 6 is obviously a copy of HTTYD, end of it. And the flight scene is still identical.. Hiccup almost crashes when flying and Hiro and baymax almost crash while flying.. And you’re saying thats not similar?

    And what you described of BH6 sounds super cliche.. So they’re both Cliche, but HTTYD pulls it off better.

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