Last Sunday we decided exactly 30 minutes before show time to take the boys to see "Big Hero 6". I had done zero research on the movie. Had read no reviews. I was a blank slate.
(Here's a movie synopsis if you'd like to be a more informed parent than I was . . .)
We walked out of the theater with a lightness in our steps. The boys were talking over one another repeating their favorite parts. In the car ride home they were sorting out which brother would be which character in the movie.
Basically, "Big Hero 6" scored 5 stars in the Mac home.
We absolutely adored the main character/robot, Baymax. Can we get one for Christmas?
But I will make a few disclaimers to help you decide if this is a movie your family should see. (which of course means there will be some spoilers below.) SPOILER ALERT!!
Know before you go. . .
There is definitely a reason this movie is PG. It's a little intense. High speed chases, fight scenes, a villain wearing a slightly terrifying Kabuki mask, and the death of family/close friends. And there is a little scene where Baymax diagnoses Hiro with "puberty" (but young kids may not even notice).
Also, the movie opens at a robot match. . .which seemed a bit mature for kids. . .gambling, rough crowd, girls dressed with less clothing than I'd like. The good news is Hiro's older brother rescues him and points him in a positive direction (bottom line: college is better than gambling).
I loved how brothers looked out for each other in this movie. And we all appreciated the element of teamwork, learning to use your unique gifts to contribute to team goals.
Who should go. . .
We took all four boys to the movie. Probably the best age range is for 6+. Even though there are lots of robots and superheroes. . .I think boys and girls would like this movie.
And your fist bumps will be changed from this movie forward. . . (we still imitate Baymax fist bumps and laugh).
The movie provided lots of great material for deeper discussion, here were the conversations we had:
1. Using gifts in the right way
The boys kept talking about how you had to be careful when being an inventor. The "bad guy" used the invention to hurt people, while Hiro's big brother created Baymax (personal health care provider) to help people.
You also see how Hiro (child genius) used his intelligence to win Bot Matches. His brother introduced him to the awesome college science lab and potential to change the world for the better using his intellect.
In studying StrengthsFinder, I discovered the author wrote a book for the church. He noted Paul, from the New Testament, had the gift of passion. Before Christ, that gift was used to persecute the church. After Christ, Paul used his gifts to champion the cause of Christ and grow the church. Same gift/strength, two different directions.
Questions to ask: What do you want to study in college? If you could invent anything what would it be? What talents/strengths/gifts do you see God growing in you and how can you use them for His glory and Kingdom building?
2. Grief is real
A child who hasn't lost someone close to them may struggle to relate to the portions of the movie where Hiro is grieving. I think Baymax does a great job communicating the physical impact of grief and the need for community.
I've had several friends lose loved ones this year. Grief is real. It comes in waves and it also is ever present. Being a present and available friend is essential for the healing process.
(If you are looking for a good resource if you lost a loved one suddenly, check out: I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye: Surviving, Coping and Healing After the Sudden Death of a Loved One by Pamela Blair **Amazon Affiliate Link).
Questions to Ask: Do you have a friend who is grieving? What is the best way to care for them?
3. Revenge doesn't heal
Throughout the course of the movie, Hiro goes through extreme pain at the loss of his big brother. It's this pain which fuels his creativity, but the ultimate goal is revenge. Thankfully his new friends point out revenge isn't the answer.
Hiro, in turn, helps the "bad guy" realize revenge will not heal the pain. In fact, Hiro puts aside his own anger and to help the "bad guy" reunite with his long lost daughter.
The Bible speaks the same truth:
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. Romans 12:19
Questions to ask: Has someone ever hurt you so badly that you wanted to hurt them back? What could you do instead of returning 'evil for evil'? How did Hiro find healing?
4. Love shown through Sacrifice
I don't want to totally ruin the movie for you before you see it. But, just know that a powerful theme in Big Hero 6 is loving others through action (and even sacrificing your own life for a friend).
My 2nd son asked me if a Christian had made this movie. I told him, "I don't know. But I do think we can find God's story of redemption in most stories told."
We went on to talk about how Jesus gave his life to save us from our sins. And how Jesus then came back to life. Without Jesus' death, no one would have been saved. With His death, Jesus lives forever and so do we who believe in Him. (If you haven't shared the good news with your kiddos, this would be a good time!)
Questions to ask: What sacrifices have you made for a family member or friend? Do you think Jesus wanted to die on the cross? (Read Matthew 26:36-42)
A great quote from the movie:
We didn't set out to be super heroes, but life doesn't always work out like you plan. My brother wanted to help people and that's just what we'll do.
Have you seen the movie? What conversations did you have after?
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