Recently I had the chance to snuggle down with some of my favorite young people to watch the movie Big Hero 6. I’ll admit I did not have high expectations, given that the hero of the movie bears a striking resemblance to Ghostbusters’ Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. But Big Hero 6 was not just delightful entertainment, it was full of both examples and advice for creative young people.
The action heroes in the story do not have magical super powers, but come out of a self-titled “Nerd Lab” in which engineering marvels take shape (albeit with unnatural speed!) As the story progresses, it becomes clear that creative successes can be preceded by many set backs and failures, and that a creative of team can be more powerful than any single creator. And what a team! For once, girls are both nerds and heroes—the rescuers rather than rescuees.
But perhaps my favorite creative advice in the picture comes from the call to “look at things from a different angle.” At first this entails the main character’s brother shaking him upside down, but later, when the techno-villain is about to be victorious, it is not superpowers that save the day, but a new look at the situation, a new angle for problem solving.
Big Hero 6 is probably too long to use in school, unless you have a chance to sponsor a family movie night. But it is a fine example of problem solving and creativity, entertaining for adults as well as young people. So if you haven’t seen it, and there are young people in your life, it’s time to crank up that video player and look at things from another angle. You’ll have fun, and opportunities for conversation about what makes these heroes tick. Enjoy!