During watching Big Hero 6 in theater, I frequently felt deja vu. After watching the Disney animation movie, I found the similarities to an animation mini series, FLCL (Fooly Cooly, released 6 episodes in 2000~2001).
In this post, I compare the similar points that I found between Beg Hero 6 and FLCL. And categorize the possible reason why they seem to be similar.
Similar Story Settings:
The basic settings are similar.
The protagonists are both juvenile boys – Hiro in Big Hero 6 and Naota in FLCL.
For Big Hero6, Hero lives in “San Fransokyo” which is an imaginary hybrid city of San Francisco and Tokyo.
For FLCL, Naota lives in Japanese rural area.
Alternative of Big Brother:
Both boys are raised in single-parent family. And the missing big brother is an important story line under the whole story.
In Big Hero 6, Hiro misses his big brother (Tadashi) by the arson of university. In the distress of dead of brother, Hire is contacted by the care robot “Baymax”. The robot care for Hiro as if the robot turns over big brother’s role.
In FLCL, Naota’s big brother (Tasuku) never appear in the anime because he went to study abroad for baseball.
Mamimi cannot bear with the situation, so she deals naota as proxy of missing big brother.
The robot “Kanti” comes out of Naota’s forehead in Episode 1. The robot has many quality of Naota’s big brother, and the role overlaps.
Mamimi worships Kanti, and Kanti pads her on the head as big brother did in episode 2. Kanti is very good at baseball in episode4.
The robots resemble each other.
The color of blue(normal mode) and red(fighting-mode) is almost the same.
They both work for daily use in normal status. Baymax is originally a care robot, while Kanti is used as TV or chore robot in the home.
In both film, there is a scene where the robot is flying in the sky bringing human on the back, Although it is common scene in many robot anime.
Similar Scenes and Items:
Institution in mysterious shape at the center of city exist in both worlds. It’s a symbol for ominous technology that is used in the final battle.
It’s University in Big Hero 6, Medical Mechanica in FLCL.
I feel silhouettes of boss are also similar.
In Big Hero 6, the enemy rides on fluidic pile of microbots. And he wears long jacket.
In FLCL, The enemy in episode 6 looks like a mountain covering himself with long jacket.
There are similar car action sequences that the friends in car are chased by enemy.
But it probably not a proper case for similarities because car action is very frequently inserted in many movies.
Big Hero 6 bizarrely has so many hug scenes.
Even putting aside Baymax’s hug, almost all women in the movie hug Hiro. It is probably because the main theme of the movie is “care of hurt mind” and hug scenes are inserted as a visible cue of caring for Hiro.
FLCL has also many hug scenes, although almost all hugs are not done by true love and caring. The hugs show Naota’s pending juvenile mind to Mamimi side or Haruko side.
There is tilting magnet to a target in both films.
Microbots attracted to other microbots. Haruko’s iron attached on wrist is attracted toward Atomsk in a kind of star gate.
In the last battle of Big Hero 6, a futuristic machine vacuums buildings.
I think the machine is suddenly introduced in the middle of story like patch work, and I think it is no need for the story line.
In FLCL, the last battle end up with catastrophic vacuum of the city by Atomsk.
On Comparing similarity of two movies:
Comparing similarity of two films can be settled in three patterns – There is no similarity / They are similar but no direct influence / They are similar and one has influence to another.
I omit no-similarity pattern here because this article aims for pointing out similarities in the first place.
Similar But No Direct Influence:
In this pattern, I think there are more two possibilities.
- Similarities come from usual choices. For example, If you make story for Japanese juvenile boy, you can easily come up with robot action film with hero team. Car action or boss design can also be made by common sense of movie making.
- Influence from common ancestor. Even if there are similarities, they can possibly come from past influential films. In this regard, compared two films are brother, there is no child-parent relationship.
Similar And Influenced:
I think there could be two cases in this way — intentional or unintentional.
- Intentional reference. I don’t get any proof that the creators of Big Hero 6 are inspired from FLCL. But they learn many Japanese anime to prepare the Disney CGI movie (How anime inspired Disney’s ‘Big Hero 6’). So I think they could possibly learn FLCL and could mix a bit essence of FLCL into the film.
- Unintentional reference. Since FLCL is admired outside Japan and there are many fans of the anime, creators of Disney studio perhaps took some parts of FLCL unintentionally.
- Idea: Festive red rice looks like scales of white snake
- Idea: Asymmetric computer mouse looks like slipper animalcule
- CGI: Hokusai’s “Great Wave” is Finger Monster
- Blender: Smoke of The United States? or Smoke of fried chicken?
- Lorenz attractor is owl.
- Blender: Every time I see a U.S. map, I meet the mammalian
- Idea: Drip Coffee looks like Satellite
- Big Hero 6 is similar to FLCL (Fooly Cooly)