Television Reviews

REVIEW: Big Hero 6: The Series – Season 1, Episodes 5 and 6, “Fred’s Bro-Tillion” and “Food Fight”

*Spoilers*

In “Fred’s Bro-tillion,” Aunt Cass fights rowdy kitchen supplies. Meanwhile, Fred calls his friends, insisting that it’s an emergency, but when they arrive, he’s on the couch getting a foot rub. He tells his friends that his Bro-tillion is coming up; a Bro-tillion, he explains, is his coming out to the high society of San Fransokyo. Fred’s mother is determined to impress a woman known as Binky, the hardest sell amongst the city’s elite. The caterer backs out of the party, and Hiro convinces her to hire his Aunt Cass. At the party, Fred forgets what to do and panics. A villain named Baron Von Steamer shows up and begins blasting things with steam, prompting the party-goers to run away. He mistakenly captures Wasabi instead of Fred and says that Boss Awesome will have to fight him to get his son back; essentially, it’s revealed that Fred’s father was a superhero in the 70s. Naturally, Wasabi’s friends come for him, breaking him out of Von Steamer’s trap. However, the Baron wipes the floor with them until Fred uses the dance moves he learned for his party to defeat Steamer and his mechanical creations. Fred’s party is re-done at Aunt Cass’ cafe, and his mother says they shouldn’t worry about what Binky thinks.

In “Food Fight,” Krei is poisoned by a sushi chef preparing his dinner, who will only give him the antidote if he gives her his prototype anti-gravitational device. She is only able to get one part of it, however.  Meanwhile, at Aunt Cass’ cafe, top celebrity chef Bolton Gramercy is dining but rejects her friendliness and calls her food “swill.” The heroes go to Krei Tech to help and Aunt Cass, worried about Hiro, heads to the bot fights under the assumption that he’s there. However, she accidentally ends up at a cooking competition called Food Fight rather than a bot fight. She wants to leave, but some smack-talk from Bolton Gramercy from the cafe changes her mind. Cass wins without cheating, which was previously thought to be impossible. It’s revealed that the sushi chef is working with Yama. Hiro and Cass both make it home and decide not to discuss where they’ve been. The mysterious sushi chef evades Hiro and Wasabi in a battle, getting the rest of the anti-gravity device.  Aunt Cass competes and wins a Food Fight again. The sushi chef joins the Food Fight under the name Momakase. The challenge of the night is sushi, putting Aunt Cass at a severe disadvantage. However, Cass holds her own despite Momakase’s constant cheating. Though she gets distracted by a fight between the heroes and Yama’s lackeys, Cass wins and helps the heroes catch Mamakase. Bolton Gramercy shows up to the cafe, apologizes, and asks for his knives back, which Aunt Cass gladly returns.

Big Hero 6: The Series, "Fred's Bro-tillion," "Food Fight"

“Fred’s Bro-tillion” is a goofy episode, but being that it centers on Fred, I’m OK with that. It isn’t laugh-out-loud funny, but I did enjoy the lighthearted tone, and it is kind of humorous for the villain to kidnap Wasabi, seriously believing him to be Fred — especially since he knows what Fred’s parents look like. As an aside, I love that Stan Lee returned to reprise his role as Fred’s dad. This is a little joke I loved in the movie, and I appreciate that they’re drawing it into the series. I was hoping Fred’s dad would show up in full hero garb and fight Von Steamer, but I guess that would kind of defeat the point of the show being about Hiro and his friends. I also like the campiness of Von Steamer and how he talks about Boss Awesome. I really enjoyed this episode in general, and I’m glad they gave Fred the spotlight. There is one thing that bothered me, though: in “Fred’s Bro-tillion” they give Fred serious anxiety about the party and a phobia of spiders. Maybe now that they have a TV series they’re (admirably) trying to flesh out all the characters, but this feels wrong. Fred is a geeky, goofy, laid-back kind of guy. Wasabi is the one with all the phobias and compulsions, in contrast to his big, strong exterior. It feels weird to have one character act so much like another, rather than to exude his usual care-free nerd vibe.

I also really like the designs for Von Steamer and Boss Awesome in “Fred’s Bro-tillion.” I hope they can bring these back at some point — and maybe show them fighting — even if it’s in a flashback. Although the point is that he’s busy and a pretty minor character, it would be nice to see Fred’s dad interact with his family a little bit. The music and animation in “Fred’s Bro-tillion” are good and move the story along well, but don’t stand out much in relation to anything we’ve seen in the series so far.

Aunt Cass, Big Hero 6: The Series, "Fred's Bro-tillion," "Food Fight"

“Food Fight” is another good (and pretty silly at times) episodes. When they focus on characters other than Hiro and Baymax, the stories seem to be more comedic in tone. I mentioned in a previous review that I’d like Aunt Cass to get her own episode, and I’m glad she did. It’s also really cool that they got Gordon Ramsay to play the stuffy chef; it’s awesome for a celebrity to be willing to basically parody himself. The host of Food Fight is also voiced by real-life chef contest host Alton Brown. I didn’t care much for Momakase, however; her design is forgettable, and she honestly made very little impression on me through her dialogue and actions. I also find it kind of weird how they showed Yama sneaking around the Food Fight competition, making it seem like he’s in charge or something. What about the shadowy figure we saw in the first few episodes? When does he get to come out and play? I want to know about that guy. Anyway, in comparison to baddies like High Voltage and Baron Von Steamer, Momakase feels like a filler villain who was created to suit this episode, not the other way around.

In short, I really liked both episodes. There’s not much here to tug on the heartstrings, but they’re funny and action-packed. I love that they chose to focus on Fred and Aunt Cass respectively, and hopefully, they’ll do this a lot in the series. Although “Fred’s Bro-tillion” has a more memorable villain than “Food Fight,” both episodes have amusing premises and great guest stars. Big Hero 6 is shaping up to be one of the better Disney animated series, and I look forward to seeing where they take the characters next.

Big Hero 6: The Series - "Fred's Bro-Tillion"and "Food Fight"

Plot - 7.5
Acting - 10
Progression - 9
Production Design - 9
Action - 9

8.9

Great

In short, I really liked both episodes. There’s not much here to tug on the heartstrings, but they’re funny and action-packed. I love that they chose to focus on Fred and Aunt Cass respectively, and hopefully, they’ll do this a lot in the series. Although “Fred’s Bro-tillion” has a more memorable villain than “Food Fight,” both episodes have amusing premises and great guest stars.

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