Friday, 2 October 2015

Big Hero 6 (2014) - Archetypes

Figure 1. Big Hero 6 Poster

Big Hero 6 is a film in which we can identify hero’s journey archetypes. Our protagonist is Hiro who is the Hero of the story. Hiro is a young boy and has yet to discover his calling. We watch him grow during the film and see how he personally deals with tough issues. Hiro leaves his ordinary world behind and takes up a new world in which he is a superhero.

Figure 2. Hiro Hamada

At the start of this story we are introduced to a Hiro that doesn’t really acknowledge his full potential, McLaughlin touches upon this in her review “Hiro, having already graduated from high school, is a bright spark with no direction.” (McLaughlin, 2015). This lack of direction is frustrating to Tadashi, Hiro’s brother. Tadashi can be considered the Herald in this story because when he takes Hiro to his university he gives Hiro direction in his life, a call to adventure. Hiro and Tadashi are also orphans meaning that Tadashi could also be considered a Father or a Mentor to Hiro as he guides him and is somewhat an authority to Hiro.

Figure 3. Baymax 

Unfortunately Tadashi passes away during the film meaning that Hiro not only loses a guiding figure in his life but also must grow and come to terms with his brother’s death. Hiro finds a new Mentor in Baymax. Baymax is a healthcare robot which Tadashi built. Baymax stays with Hiro refusing to shut down unless he says that he is satisfied with his care, during this time Baymax provides motivation and guidance in a very honest and innocent way. The honesty, innocence and also growth of Baymax’s understanding also suggests he comes under the archetype of the Child. Being a healthcare robot Baymax can also be considered to be part of the Mother archetype. Baymax cares for the Hero, providing ways to help Hiro feel better such as providing hugs as shown in figure 3. The traits of the Mother are also described by Fitzherbert Resembling a cross between the Marshmallow Man and a hot air balloon he is a cuddly life support system (soft on the outside and in) who attends to all the health and emotional needs of 14-year-old Hiro” (Fitzherbert, 2015). This cuddly, soft and loveable appearance of Baymax creates a soothing and nurturing feel to Baymax’s character.

 Figure 4. Big Hero 6 Team 

Later in the film Baymax accidentally contacts Tadashi’s friends from university to help Hiro deal with his grief. During this time Hiro forms the titular group, drawn from his science-nerd chums, pimping and weaponising their own inventions.” (Jolin, 2015). This team that Hiro creates is essentially a Group Hero. As you can see from figure 4, Hiro takes each one of their creations, considers their personalities and draws up superhero costumes for them. They help Hiro during battle therefore Go Go, Honey Lemon, Fred and Wasabi are his Combat Allies as well as Hiro’s friends. Fred, the comic relief of the group, can also be considered the Trickster with the mischief he causes. During the film the Big Hero 6 team go up against the Shadow, Robert Callaghan, who’s intent on destroying Krei over the loss of his daughter. Callaghan mirrors our Hero because he too lost someone he loved, he represents the dark path Hiro could have taken if his Allies were not there to support him. Big Hero 6 is clever in using it’s archetypes to show that it’s possible to deal with grief and that love and support go a long way. 

Archetypes summary

Hiro Hamada
The Hero – Protagonist of the story, we experience his growth through the film.

The Mentor  - Guides and motivates Hiro.
Mother – Cares for and nurtures Hiro.  
Child – Has an innocent view of the world.

Tadashi Hamada
The Herald – Gives Hiro his call to adventure.
Father – Is an acting father figure and somewhat authority figure.

Go Go Tomago, Honey Lemon, Wasabi
Combat Ally - Is part of the big Hero 6 team and Hiro’s friend.

Combat Ally - Is part of the big Hero 6 team and Hiro’s friend.
Trickster – Is the comic relief and likes mischief.

Big Hero Six (team)
Group Hero – The team defeat Callaghan together.

Cass Hamada
Threshold Guardian – When Hiro crosses the threshold by interacting and following Baymax he sneaks past her.
Mother – Aunt Cass is Hiro and Tadashi’s guardian and cares for them.

Abigail Callaghan
The Maiden – She has been sleeping the whole time in a place of purity.

Alistair Krei
The shapeshifter – We are unsure what his intentions are throughout the film.

Robert Callaghan
The shadow – Not completely evil but wants to destroy Krei for revenge. Fuelled by his loss of Abigail.


Illustration list
Hall, D/ Williams, C (2014) Figure 2. Hiro Hamada (Accessed 01/10/15)
Hall, D/ Williams, C (2014) Figure 3. Baymax (Accessed 01/10/15)
Hall, D/ Williams, C (2014) Figure 4. Big Hero 6 Team (Accessed 01/10/15)

1 comment:

  1. An interesting read Kayliegh and an good choice for your archetypes. Well done.