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Big Hero 6 by Henry Jackman (Review)

posted Oct 30, 2014, 1:11 PM by Kaya Savas

There’s no need to repeat just how diverse and talented Henry Jackman is, but if you had any doubt about his abilities then Big Hero 6 should put that to rest. Big Hero 6 is a beautifully realized story executed with so much passion and heart. The score is a huge part of why Big Hero 6 works so well, and it’s Henry Jackman’s most emotionally resonating score to date. While Big Hero 6 follows the mold that many other films have such as How To Train Your Dragon and E.T., this story does enough to be unique to itself. It really is a film about family and dealing with loss, which makes it a very emotional journey. Henry Jackman handles these emotional beats with care, and the score’s organic emotional resonance will stay with you long after the film is done.

The score immediately introduces us to our protagonist, Hiro Hamada. Hiro is a young teen with a huge untapped potential that only his older brother sees. Hiro is very close to his brother, and they have been raised by their loving aunt after their parents passed away. The score does an amazing job of painting that relationship between Hiro and his brother. Jackman also does a stupendous job at crafting the fictional world of San Fransokyo, a meshing of San Francisco and Tokyo. The score makes the city come to life, and you accept it as a real place. The score is so in-tune with the characters, especially Hiro’s and Baymax’s relationship. Baymax is a medical robot created by Hiro’s brother, and is the only thing left of his true family after the tragedy of his brother’s death. So Hiro holds onto Baymax as the last remaining piece of his late brother, and the emotional connection of that is the heart of the score. Jackman holds onto that relationship in the score throughout, so even when Hiro’s friends join his cause to find out who stole his technology and killed his brother, the score never loses focus. It never becomes a big “superhero” score, which is great. Sure there are some of those heroic flourishes, but the main theme feels like a toned down superhero theme, and that makes is more personal. The music is never bigger than the characters. Jackman infuses electronics into this orchestral adventure to accent Hiro’s passion for robotics and of course Baymax. The score hits all the beats, and can be supremely heartfelt at times and even emotionally overwhelming. You are in for a real journey that is all about the characters and the closeness of their relationships.

The score doesn’t feel manufactured in anyway. The emotions are so organic and so real, that they complete the relationships you are watching onscreen. Jackman’s orchestral approach makes the action a true adrenaline rush, and it stylistically has its own identity while still feeling like a true Henry Jackman score. I felt similarities to his X-Men: First Class score a few times throughout, so you definitely know it’s Jackman. However, it’s Jackman really firing on all cylinders. Big Hero 6 is an emotionally lush adventure score that has a central core dedicated to its beautifully realized characters and their relationships. The film and score are about keeping your loved ones alive in you even after they’re gone, and that’s what makes it such a beautiful musical journey. Beautiful themes, flourishing adventure, fully developed character arcs, a sense of danger and loss, emotions that resonate deep, a unique sonic voice and Jackman’s signature style all await you in Big Hero 6.