As an Asian American, I can sadly say that Big Hero 6 is simply the latest Disney movie to indulge homogeneity and cultural appropriation. Clearly, in spite of the glowing reviews, Disney is no more ready for Asia or Asian Americans than the rest of Hollywood. Big Hero 6 is better than the incredibly whitewashed casting for the live-action Ghost in the Shell and the one-dimensional misrepresentation of Asians in this summer’s Lucy. Big Hero 6 did develop an adequate number of Asian characters and matched them with diverse voice actors, and it did cast them as heroes in a quasi-Asian universe when the exact opposite is frequently employed. Big Hero 6 has some strengths. But they are strengths for audiences and critics with low standards.
To the entertainment industry and to the viewers, I implore you—why must we continue to support whitewashed films yet ignore their very real problems that dismiss the importance of world cultures and peoples to our international storytelling language? Why must we settle for “colorblind” casts that are still used to fulfill diversity quotas when diverse people and cultures of color reinvent and enrich our media?