Reminders for Mon. (11/02)

Hi all,

Just some quick reminders for Monday’s class, Nov. 2nd:

  • We will finish up our discussion of Big Hero 6 on Monday
    • Facilitators: Jillian Valdes & Sara Aldaghady
    • (There are no blog responses for Monday, so no commenting homework!)
  • We will also be conducting a peer review session for the midterm essays
    • Please bring in 4 hard copies of your draft, which should include at least a working thesis paragraph and another body paragraph with a close reading example
    • If you have misplaced your copy of the essay prompts, you can download them from the “Handouts” page
  • Also, for those of you who signed up to revise your close reading papers, they are due in hard copy in class on Monday!

Have a Happy Halloween weekend!

-Prof. Tran


Check out Alissa Walker’s “A Tour of ‘San Fransokyo,’ the Hybrid City Disney Built for Big Hero 6” if you want to learn more about the technology behind the construction of the animated world of the film.

Take a look at “‘Big Her 6′ shows that an Asian American Cast Can Top the Box Office,” a piece by Adriel Luis that offers insights into the diverse voice casting of the characters in the film.

Manhola Dargis’s review, “Happiness is a Warm Robot: ‘Big Hero 6,’ an Animated Film Based on a Marvel Comic Book,” for The New York Times. 

Seeing San Fransokyo: Thoughts on Big Hero 6

Hi all- just thought I’d share this blog by Sean Miura that describes his reactions to watching Big Hero 6 as a Japanese American. There are also some interesting tidbits in here about the creative/historical context for the film, which we’ll hopefully have time to delve into tomorrow. In any case, don’t let reading this article get in the way of commenting on your classmates’ awesome blog responses on the film!

The Nerds of Color

by Sean Miura | Originally posted at Down Like JTown

Last week was a big week for Big Hero 6. Not only did the film take home an Oscar, but its DVD and Blu-ray releases hit stores Tuesday and owned the Best Sellers list on Amazon.

I’d been anticipating Big Hero 6 since the first teaser slowly revealed a jaw-dropping rendering of San Fransokyo, the Tokyo/San Francisco hybrid that sets the stage. Though I am wary of any films that feature Asian… anything, there was a certain nostalgic familiarity in the Kingdom Hearts-style pan over the city.

View original post 1,320 more words

Marjorie just sent me this article about Monica Rambeau, who is a black female superhero and apparently the first woman to hold the title of Captain Marvel. The article goes into detail about the different transitions Monica’s character was forced to undergo and how her original title was taken over by a series of superheroes, including Carol Danvers.

I think it follows really well on our recent discussions about the challenges of creating and marketing minority superheroes, so check out “The Unfortunate and Obscure History of Monica Rambeau, the First Female Captain Marvel,” if you’re interested!

Being A Team- Big Hero 6

This scene focuses on Hiro’s presentation at the robot exhibition in which he showcases his micro-bots in the hopes of getting into the school. This scene may seem ordinary and just a part of the plot line but when read closely you can see how this foreshadows to the Big Hero 6 team. When Hiro says “This is a micro-bot. It may not look like much but when it links up with the rest of its pals (garbage bins fall over letting all the micro-bots flow forward to unite onstage) things get a little more interesting”. This alludes to how as one individual they are unsuccessful but together they are stronger. As individuals, each member can be read as small, weak, and easy to defeat. You can see that they are a weak team in their first battle against Callahan. Each person approaches Callahan with the goal of getting the transmitter from his head, yet each walk away defeated. They approach the situation without a plan and mainly act on impulse, which seems ironic because they all are brainiacs who think things through, with the slight exception of Fred.  Below you can see how unattached they are and how hard it is for them to accomplish their goal of defeating Callahan. Wasabi is asking what to do, while Fred, Honey Lemon, and Go Go just act. An overall confusion is seen in the battle. The disconnect felt is also shown with the micro-bots especially when Hiro uses a singular micro-bot to find the others. The micro-bot is so drawn to the others that it is restless to become connected with its equals, it becomes a need that must be fulfilled. A point that flows into the Big Hero 6 team.

It is later on, in the final battle that we see the team become one unit. The line in which Hiro says “I think what they want them to do and they do it” relates to the final battle scene in which Hiro is the one that comes up with the plan. Hiro seems to be the one who brings the team together and helps them to think outside the box. The fluidity of the team’s actions show how they are more in sync with each other, instead of tripping over each other as they did before. They have acquired one mind, which arguably is Hiro’s, and acts upon it together.He says that “the only limit is your imagination”, which can be looked upon as nothing can stop the micro-bots as long as they are together, anything is possible.

The dark, dimly lit setting of the first battle pretty much foreshadows the impending defeat that will happen. It has an non-clarity and confusion about it that reflects the tone of the situation. While, the final battle takes place in the sunlight, which represents hope and victory. The sunlight shows a more clear mindset of the team in which they have a focus on the task of beating Callahan. The music of the first battle plays to every emotion of the scene from the funny moments to the defeat by using a more light melody and switching to a lower more pounding sound that emanates doom.

These scenes are similar to many superhero movies in which the team initial fails because they act as individuals instead of as one.  The idea of teamwork is an element that shows that superheros are not unbeatable by themselves but with others.

Big Hero 6

In this scene Hiro and Baymax have gone into the portal to save Abigail and are pressed for time before the portal collapses on itself. As Hiro and Baymax were about to head into the portal there are parallels to his brother Tadashi going into the burning building to save Professor Callaghan. Much of the story leading up to this moment touched heavily on the personal growth of Hiro and how he has developed to become a better person; and in turn like his brother. However, when it comes down to saying goodbye to Baymax in order to save both himself and Abigail, Hiro is not able to let Baymax go. Baymax is the last thing Hiro has of his brother. The last thing that Baymax asks Hiro is “are you satisfied with your care?” to which Hiro responds “I am satisfied with my care.” Both characters have had this dialogue before and it was far more mechanical. This language on paper does not have very much emotion and could be interpreted as robotic, however there is emotion in the voice of both characters prior to Baymax sending Hiro through the portal. Finally as Hiro heads towards the light at then portals entrance Baymax slips into darkness to make the audience feel that we have really lost him. It is also quite nice to think that even after death Hiro’s brother was able to save him not only from depression but from death.

BIG HERO 6, An Insight into Future Robotics Ethics

In this scene Hiro and the students from the technical University are out to capture the man in the mask who has stolen the micro-bots, and killed his brother Tadashi. After an epic battle, the masked villain it is revealed to be professor Callahan, which is very unexpected and somewhat unexplained at this point because he has been depicted as a benevolent character until this point. Hiro and Callahan have this exchange in which Hiro blames Professor Callahan for the death of his brother while become very angry at the same time. In his livid state Hiro orders BAYMAX to destroy Prof. Callahan. The Healthcare robot’s response pretty blatantly demonstrates a major theme throughout this film, robotic ethics.

BAYMAX questions Hiro’s decision in his order to destroy Prof. Callahan as he is programmed to help humans. Once he is ordered to destroy the Professor, he immediately questions the decision bringing up a major internal conflict that Hiro has been presented earlier on in the film. Initially when Hiro presents his invention during the robotics convention, he is approaced by a robotics mogul following his presentation. The general sense of the scene is that the mogul, Mr. Krei, will use the micro-bots improperly, perhaps even maliciously as suggested by Professor Callahan. Ironically in the end it is the professor that ends up abusing the power of the micro-robots in order to exact his revenge on Krei industries, but as we find out is influenced by the emotions of losing his daughter.

Along with the Ethical questions that BH6 raises when it comes to robots and their proper use, there is also a motif of revenge. More specifically, there are two examples of revenge, and how that sense of revenge can cloud the judgement of people. Two very intelligent people in both Hiro and Callahan, have had moments where there anger and emotions have gotten in the way of the values. Ultimately Hiro and Callahan abuse the power of two different types of robots, influences by their anger. Hiro’s brother designed BAYMAX to help heal and help people that are injured. Hiro directly challenges the intitial design of BAYMAX when he orders the destruction of Callahan. It isn’t until the scene above that Hiro realizes that by using BAYMAX for anything other than what he was intended for is not only unethical but disrepectful to the memory of his brother, BAYMAX’s creator. Callahan on the other hand steals the micro-bots, influences by grief and anger, however his realization doesn’t come until much later, when he discovers his daughter is actually alive. In Callahans final scene he is being escorted into a police car, when he sees that his daughter is ok, a look of sadness comes over his face as he will most likely be able to see her again. I believe that this final image of Callahan symbolizes a major message conveyed in the movie, which is revenge is often not the answer.