Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Big Hero 6 [or 'How many times should you see Big Hero?"]

"Mr. Murray, may I talk to you
about Ghostbusters 3?"
Now that Disney owns Marvel and Pixar, it was bound to happen that John Lasseter & Crew would do an animated feature of some Marvel property - and that property needed to be unknown and have good story possibilities.

Lasseter glommed onto Big Hero 6 and we are glad he did.

It is a classic supers origin story, but set in the future city of San Fransokyo - obviously a mega-city conglomeration of San Francisco and Tokyo, though we do not know how, or really need to.

What we need is compelling characters and a great story, replete wtih love, loss, hope, hatred, pain, power, revenge and redemption. The Pixar Storytellers deliver all this and more - I honestly would have paid just to do a virtual tour of San Fransokyo, it was so beautiful and intriguing.

The heart of the story is a young prodigy named Hiro ["Hero"] and his ability to make cool robots. His brother, in an attempt to re-direct his energies away from illegal 'Bot Fighting, introduces him to his university friends, all wonderful and cool and excited about the science and technological applications they are developing. Hiro is amazed and to prove himself worthy of joining the University via open competition, he develops a micro-bot that functions like a swarm of ants or bees, making whatever shapes the controller imagines. At the demonstration, he is fabulously successful and wins entrance into the University.

But then there is a fire, an explosion, and soon all Hiro is left with is his older brother's friends and the simple inflatable medical robot he'd made: BayMax.

BayMax is motherly. BayMax is protective. BayMax is funny. But he is not built for combat. Ultimately, just to serve Hiro's desire to capture the murderer of his brother, he is upgraded to an armored version with a rocket punch arm, flight and a new-program mode: DESTROY.

The Team, in a montage, is seen developing their own superpowered devices to help Hiro. Very nicely done, IMO.

When they discover the Big Bad, things get ugly at the revelation of who he is and how he got Toshi killed. Hiro, enraged, sics BayMax on him in "DESTROY" mode. It is honestly frightening to see his full potential unleashed.

The Team is being brutally overrun trying to prevent on-the-spot murder when, thankfully, the original programming card is re-inserted.

Furious at being denied retribution, Hiro jumps on the back of BayMax and flies home.

What happens next is film gold: while Hiro is intent on fixing BayMax, he's trying to re-insert the DESTROY programming card when BayMax begins asking if this will make Hiro feel better?

Hiro says it will. BayMax questions the logic of this. He even says that Toshi, his dead brother "is here." Over Hiro's protests, BayMas shows an old video of Toshi starting up Baymax for the first time. His joy and excitement are clear.

Hiro gets it: BayMax was never supposed to do anything but help and care for others. He should never be a weapon of vengeance. Toshi only wanted BayMax to help.

Fast Forward past Team Reconciliation and showdown with The Big Bad.

BayMax is going to use the last of his power to save Hiro when he asks the standard medical examiner/patient question:
"Are you satisfied with your care?"
"No, I can't lose you too!"

"Hiro - I will always be with you."
At Hiro's heartbreakingly meek affirmation, BayMax sends him away to safety before being lost to otherdimensional forces. [ See on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNVbqS34PgI ]



It is a Christ moment, no ifs-ands-or-buts.

It is something we need to learn and re-learn as Christians. We are not here to defeat evil with warfare. Yes, we will stop it and contain it, but ultimately we have to see what makes evil take hold in a human heart: it is when that heart believes no one cares.

A callous disregard for safety created the Big Bad's rage that caused our Hiro to also want to become callous and get revenge.

Like David on the way to kill Nabal, but was prevented by wise Abigail, Hiro is blocked from killing the Big Bad guy by his Team and BayMax.

Like Christ, BayMax asks questions to drive home the correct answer. He exemplifies something the Great Sacrificer wants us to learn, and as an arch Conservative, it is a slow process for me, but it is what Jesus said to do:

"Go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.'"

I have given up a lot to follow Christ, but He gave up more to change my heart.

Jesus was talking to the moral leaders who felt they had done a lot to win God's favor. Guess what that causes when you run into people who have done nothing?

Pride. You want to slap them for being dumb or straighten them out. The LAST thing on Earth you want to do is be merciful, but if you don't, you know what happens?

Nothing.

Nothing good, either. "Tough Love" only works if there was soft love to begin with. If there is or was no "soft love" of grace, then all they see is judgmentalism.


"Are you satisfied with the level of your care?" asks BayMax. So does Jesus, I think.

Do you think God cares for you and died for you? If He did, are you satisfied?

If He did, are you merciful or do you demand blood?

Big Hero 6 did a better job of showing me my self-righteousness than a thousand crying liberals.

Yet that means something too: if you are crying that hard, folks, you need to be cradled by God. You need Jesus.

God forbid I keep you from His arms.

Be satisfied with His care.

Amen.

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