yokai big hero 6

Analyzing the Disney Villains: Yokai (Big Hero 6)

YOKAI (a.k.a. Dr. Frank Callaghan)
Origin: Big Hero 6 (2014)

Motivation: Like Fred said: “This is a revenge story.” Callaghan lost his daughter who volunteered for a portal experiment. Said experiment was led by Alistair Krei, a devil-may-care tech billionaire. Krei noticed a discrepancy in the experiment but continued anyway. The portal blew up and his daughter was lost, presumed dead. Callaghan rebuilds the portal machine and, through the use of stolen microbots, intends to destroy Krei’s new fancy building and Krei himself in the same manner. It’s actually a pretty understandable motivation, one that any one of us might do in the same circumstance. IMO, those are the best kind of villains. That doesn’t make it right.

Character Strengths: Like a lot of villains, he keeps his cards close to his chest in terms of revealing his true power. He even makes our heroes think he’s someone totally different without trying. Given that robotics and mathematics/science are his top skills, the powers of perception are also up there. When he saw Hiro’s microbots, he thought “I can use that to kill Krei” and then set off a distracting explosion to make people think he had died so he could carry out his vengeance. Very crafty and self-righteous.

Evilness: Well, he stole a young boy’s invention. Set off a fire in an act of domestic terrorism. Said explosion killed one of his own young prodigies. Then used the stolen invention to destroy a city block and attempt to murder a prominent businessman. I’d say he’s going to jail for a long time.

Tools: This guy might win the award for best tools. Those microbots aren’t just useful, they’re cool and innovative. It’s not something we’ve ever seen before and it’s all based on real science people are working on right now. They can be used for transportation, construction, shielding, throwing punches and hammers at people, and anything else he can think of. Because he controls them with telepathy (which just by itself should be a revolutionary invention), it’s like having a T-1000 for a pet or magic Legos. You’re only limited by what you can pay attention to.

Complement to the Hero: As Callaghan, he’s warm and fatherly, something Hiro never had growing up. As Yokai, he’s grim, serious, and silent, something Hiro is totally not. It’s like Darth Vader to Luke Skywalker. And both have similar origin stories–Hiro lost his brother, Callaghan lost his daughter. But Big Hero 6 is not a story about the villain like 101 Dalmatians or Peter Pan. Callaghan is used as a foil to demonstrate what happens when you can’t let go of grief.

Fatal Flaw: If anything, Callaghan’s only weakness is that he’s so focused on his mission of vengeance (as revengers often do) that he fails to see alternative paths. Hiro knows his own invention and knows that the microbots are a finite resource (especially when they start getting sucked up into the portal). Callaghan becomes too dependent on them, which leads to the Big Hero 6’s victory. Plus the fact that they’ve come together as a team and learned to look at things from a different angle. Like Tadashi taught Hiro, Hiro teaches them. This shows us that no one is truly dead when their spirit lives on in us.

Method of Defeat/Death: When Callaghan uses up his microbots, he can’t do anything. Then Baymax crushes the mask and the portal crashes to the Earth. (Then there’s kind of a second part to the climax where Hiro must truly prove he is capable of saying goodbye to those he loves, but that’s not about the villain). The last we see of Callaghan is him getting arrested and put in a police car. But he sees that his daughter is safe, so that’s all right with him.

Final Rating: Four stars

Previous Analyses
The Agent (Bolt)
The Spirits (Frozen II)
King Candy (Wreck-It Ralph)
Abuela (Encanto)
Prince Hans (Frozen)
Shere Khan (The Jungle Book)
Aunt Sarah (Lady and the Tramp)
Yzma (The Emperor’s New Groove)
Percival C. McLeach (The Rescuers Down Under)
Ichabod Crane (The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad)
Lady Tremaine (Cinderella)
Governor Ratcliffe (Pocahontas)
Pinocchio’s Villains (Pinocchio)
Sykes (Oliver and Company)
Alameda Slim (Home on the Range)
Rourke (Atlantis: The Lost Empire)
The Evil Queen (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs)
Ursula (The Little Mermaid)
Dr. Facilier (The Princess and the Frog)
Gaston (Beauty and the Beast)
Willie the Giant (Mickey and the Beanstalk)
Hades (Hercules)
The Queen of Hearts (Alice in Wonderland)
Jafar (Aladdin)
Shan Yu (Mulan)
Man (Bambi)
Clayton (Tarzan)
The Horned King (The Black Cauldron)
Mother Gothel (Tangled)
Cobra Bubbles (Lilo and Stitch)
Cruella De Vil (101 Dalmatians)
Madame Medusa (The Rescuers)
Captain Hook (Peter Pan)
Amos Slade (The Fox and the Hound)
Madam Mim (The Sword in the Stone)
Claude Frollo (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)
Scar (The Lion King)
Prince John (Robin Hood)
Edgar (The Aristocats)
Ratigan (The Great Mouse Detective)
Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty)

Eric Juneau is a software engineer and novelist on his lunch breaks. In 2016, his first novel, Merm-8, was published by eTreasures. He lives in, was born in, and refuses to leave, Minnesota. You can find him talking about movies, video games, and Disney princesses at http://www.ericjuneaubooks.com where he details his journey to become a capital A Author.

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