An earlier version of this post was published at the author’s Medium page.
Before we begin, here is the video in question:
Let’s dig in.
For everyone who doesn’t speak Spanish, the translation that shoots closest to the heart is:
If you know how I get, why did you invite me?
This five-second video has more character development and more thematic elements than Big Hero Six. I saw Big Hero Six. I remember the Royale with Cheese I ate at the Alamo Drafthouse more distinctly than any of the characters I saw in Big Hero Six. It’s a good movie, but it didn’t stick with me. If I had to rank it alongside a childhood comparison, it was like Yu-Gi-Oh Forbidden Memories for PlayStation. It was a solid game, but it didn’t blow me away.
But this. I’ve sunk my teeth into this. I’ve poured over this thing like a grad student. This is some Tony Hawk Pro-Skater 2 shit. Yes. The second one.
Let’s start with the peripherals.
The man holding our protagonist in white (I’m going to just start calling him ‘our Hero,’ because that’s clearly who he is) is obviously the only person who gives a single shit about him. I know this because the second man who comes up to hold our Hero clearly isn’t pulling any weight. In fact, he makes a face at the camera as soon as he knows he’s in frame that signifies that he’s all about that “YOLO” life, which was still a thing when this video was recorded.
When I have children, I will tell them to stay away from people like this. I will use this video to teach them this lesson. Moving on.
I’m getting weird vibes from the gentlemen in the back. They’re all laughing and talking around a truck that:
- Has all its doors open.
- Is not blasting music.
Quick lesson for all of you who have never been to Mexico: If a car is just chilling with its doors open and a bunch’a dudes are just hanging out and it’s not blasting music, you should probably just walk somewhere else. I’m not trying to be alarmist here. It’s just common street sense that you might not pick up in safer parts of the world. Mexico is a wonderful place and you should all go there.
But something is iffy about these dudes, and I think I nailed what it is:
Ladies and gentlemen, you’re going to have to go with me on this. You’re going to have to follow me.
That beer that this man is drinking is, I’m 95% sure, Tecate Titanium.
This would never matter in any other circumstance but this: Check out what our Hero is drinking.
Clear as day.
There’s no guess work to be done here. That’s Grade-A, straight from the motherland, Intoxicated-Tío-at-a-Piñata-party causing, Tecate Light.
Why does this matter?
This is distinct socio-economic class struggle, my dear friends.
The guys in the back are laughing. There’s a lady walking by who isn’t at all bothered by what she’s seeing. This is a typical Tuesday.
But our Hero is both amped and faded. Do you know how many Tecate Lights it takes to get piss drunk? I’m assuming our hero stuck to Tecate Light throughout whatever event he’s getting hauled from because he seems to be that kind of dude. He sticks to his guns, and he throws down.
And maybe that truck has its doors open because these are actually his people and they came to pick him up again and they’re super chill about this because he pulls this kind of thing all the time. Remember his words:
If you know how I get, why did you invite me?
Clearly our Hero has been here before.
But it feels icky to me. Our boy just wants to get his word out. Spit his truth. But the bourgeoisie pumping their Tecate Titanium (which is only consumed by Oakley sales reps and knobby teenagers who are trying to impress their cool cousin who just came home from “summer camp”) are just hauling him away with a laugh at his expense. It’s tragic really.
And what does Big Hero Six give us for the scene?
My spell-check doesn’t even know what to do with that word. I was going to write a long-winded joke about Disney executives spinning a giant wheel with names to decide where to set this film but I decided against it, because I’m more decisive than whoever thought of this name.
Enough said. Let’s proceed.
This is my shit.
When we start the YouTube video, our Hero is unknown to us. This is actually a level playing field for both these titles. We know nothing about Big Hero Six’s Hiro, or our inebriated Hero. (It just hit me that both protagonists have similar sounding names. This is dope.) (I’m really glad I’m spending so much time on this.) Neither of these films are sequels, so both protagonists are clean slates that we’re ready to learn about.
I go from knowing nothing about our Hero, to knowing everything about him in five seconds.
That is bananas.
Here’s what I can surmise about our hero from these five precious seconds:
- I wouldn’t even need to understand Spanish to immediately know what’s going on. Pass-out drunk is a universal language. Pass-out drunk is what Catalan tried to be.
- He wakes up and stutters right before he says his line. Even he is in awe of how he’s about to master the Spanish language. “If you know how I am, why did you invite me?” That sentence is the ultimate example of Legos, Pathos, and Ethos.
- Ethos (n): An ethical appeal. This dude is saying, “Hey man, you knew this would go down if you brought me in, but you did it anyway. I’ve reconciled my nature, but you haven’t come to terms with it.” This is brilliant. I want this man as my lawyer.
- Legos (n): A logical appeal. This is pretty cut and dry. You don’t put a bull in a china shop. (I don’t care what Mythbusters has to say about it, it’s a stupid idea.) You don’t laugh at the word “duties” in a job interview. You don’t invite our Hero to a party. You knew it, but you invited him anyway. That’s on you.
- Pathos (n): An emotional appeal. Here’s where he gets me. Our Hero is trying to save these people. He doesn’t want to ruin the party. He doesn’t want to get (literally) carried away. He’s trying to help you help him help everyone. He’s trying to make these people wise, to think for once in their life. Your actions have consequences and this guy was a consequence to this party.
Think of it this way. Let’s say you’re in a unisex bathroom, and that Chipotle from an hour ago is not sitting well. You do what is inevitable after eating a carnitas bowl:
- tear. it. up.
- Your bowels are empty, you wash your hands and you open the door to see… a line of ballerinas.
- Little ballerinas.
- As the door swings shut, it wafts up the air of what you did. When the Eye of Sauron collapsed, this is what it smelled like. You lock eyes with the first ballerina in line (obviously the alpha) and you see tears. She’ll have to suffer the worst of it. There’s nothing you can do. You leave before the moms find out what you did. You cannot be a part of that Yelp review.
- Now, you don’t feel bad for what you did. You shouldn’t.
- You feel bad for what the ballerinas have to go through.
- Because this is life, and life is hard. The ballerinas will learn this through you. You’ve really done them a service. You just feel bad for having to be the one to teach them the lesson.
Our Hero ate the carnitas bowl. He emptied the bowels. The people at the party just had to use the bathroom after him. They’ll be better people for this. They will grow. He’s just the one that had to teach them the lesson. He’s paying the price for their lesson.
Don’t think the Christ-like imagery is lost here. It’s absolutely there for a reason. This video is a masterpiece.
I don’t even have to know what he did to know what he did. We all know what went down. It doesn’t need to be shown.
So, I know these things about our hero:
- He does this all the time.
- He doesn’t want to do this all the time.
- He is surrounded by people who enable him.
- He might have late-stage liver damage given that he’s wearing a hoodie and everyone else is in short sleeves and his body is unable to properly regulate itself. (I’m not a doctor but this sounds correct.)
- He’s lost control of his life choices but not his beer. He passes out in the last second but he’s still holding onto that thing. He needs it.
In five seconds I’ve gone from knowing nothing about this guy to—this guy is my uncle. I know him like I’ve known him for years.
Now let me ask you a question.
What can you tell me about Hiro of Big Hero Six?
Don’t tell me about how he lost his brother or how he’s good at computers or whatever.
What can you tell me about Hiro as a person? His wants? His needs?
Do you even remember their names without looking them up? No, you can’t. Because they are two-dimensional and goofy and Disney spent zero time developing any of those characters besides slapping archetypes on them on making their only desire to “help Hiro.”
That’s not a real desire. Even if I knew I was in a Tolkein-esque epic novel, (like I was self-aware of the omnipotent hand that was shaping my destiny and making me suck at Overwatch) if Hiro came up to me like “Dude we gotta stop this predictable bad guy!”
I’d tell him to cool it.
I’d tell him I’m gonna go check out that new shawarma place that just opened up because San Frokyo (or whatever) has skyrocketing property taxes and it’s getting gentrified into oblivion. It’s about time a shawarma place opened up and dammit, I’m gonna support it, so step off with your problems Hiro. It’s always about you, isn’t it?
See that? I just created more motivation to support a local fictional shawarma place than Hiro’s friends would have to risk their lives for this kid they barely know. Isn’t the bad guy a professor at the school they go to? They could lose their scholarships. This is a disaster.
I’m trying to decide who is going to direct the feature-length version of this YouTube video.
I’m leaning toward Alfonso Cuarón because he’s proven to be a master of reveals and suspense like in Gravity, as well as outright despair in Children of Men. Children of Men also has that incredible six-minute long continuous shot and I can already see that being applied to dragging our hero out of the party and into that truck. This film would win an Oscar.
As for who would play our Hero, at first I was thinking, and you’ll need to follow me again on this, George Lopez.
Yes, he’s too old. Yes, he’s a polarizing figure in the Mexican-American scene. Yes, he might be passed his prime.
But that’s the point. You know who else had a washed-up career?
And the boy came back. He is the human version of ripping off the hinges and putting them “in that f**kboys hands.”
He came back so hard that his Wikipedia page has a section titled: “The McConaissance.”
I want this to be George Lopez’s comeback. I want this to be his turning point. Picture him here. He’s perfect. He was made for this.
If not him, then just give it to J Balvin and call it a day.
I can’t spell this out any other way, so here it is mathematically:
Big Hero Six < This video ≤ Charles Dickens.
For those of you who skipped algebra, that second symbol is less than or equal to. The jury is still out. Charles Dickens has had centuries to ruminate in the Western zeitgeist. This video is three years old.
So time will tell.
(Disclaimer: Big Hero Six is a great and fun movie and I think I cried during it. You should watch it.)
René DeLeón is an amateur writer and a professional charlatan. Yell at him on Twitter: Rene4591.