The Cliffs of Insanity: Kindness

Cliffs of Insanity GeekMom
It’s not the armor that makes Baymax a superhero. It’s the kindness. Image via Disney Entertainment

Welcome to this week’s adventures in climbing the cliffs of insanity. Some scientists climbed extremely high, landing a spaceship on a moving comet. In the entertainment area, there was some hopeful news about the possible director for the Wonder Woman movie, and I ponder the worth of kindness as a superpower after loving Big Hero 6.

But first, let me state this again: a team of scientists built and landed a spaceship on a comet.

A true scientific victory that hopefully was not too overshadowed by the horrific and sexist shirt worn by the lead European Space Agency scientist during an interview. I could point out that, in a world that still disparages female scientists, having one of the lead scientist wear such a shirt completely sends the wrong message, but I’m just a little distracted about how ugly it was. The eyes, they burn.

However, the Mary Sue reported on a fix that’s a little bit less busy and a lot less sexist.

In other news…

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. copyright DC/Warner Brothers.
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. copyright DC/Warner Brothers.

Breaking Bad Wonder Woman?

The Huffington Post is reporting that the woman who directed perhaps the most brilliant episode of one of the most brilliant television shows ever (Breaking Bad), Michelle MacLaren, is in final talks to direct the upcoming Wonder Woman movie starring Gal Gadot.

If true, this is the most hopeful piece of news about the movie I could receive. Though, given MacLaren’s resume, she should be producing her own series or should be a director sought after for many projects, not just one with a female audience.

Best case scenario: the movie is great, creates a cultural phenomenon, and McLaren can write her own ticket.

Worse case scenario: Warner Brothers dictates exactly what the movie should be, it turns out to be as uninspiring as Man of Steel and MacLaren and Wonder Woman receive the bulk of the backlash.

Let’s all pray to Athena for the best case.

And speaking of compassionate and inspiring superheroes…

Baymax’s Real Power Is Kindness

We all need a big brother like Tadashi. Image via Disney Entertainment.

I don’t love Big Hero 6 just because it could be subtitled “The STEM Superteam,” or that it features a diverse cast in an ethnically mixed future, though these are great elements to the story.

It’s because it imagines that being kind is the best superpower of all. Once upon a time, the DC superheroes I read about would be kind to the people around them. That seems to have been replaced lately with them being angsty and broody—though Marvel’s cinematic superheroes absolutely show kindness on a regular basis, such as Tony Stark with the young boy in Iron Man 3 or Black Widow’s concern for the civilians caught in the crossfire in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. 

We learned much more about how picked on Clark Kent was in Man of Steel than about how kind he was. Sure, he saved people but he didn’t seem to like them very much.

But Baymax is full of  kindness as a result of his programming by Tadashi, who wanted an artificial intelligence that could heal people and make them feel better. At first, Hiro fails to see how incredible this idea is. Instead, Hiro wants to use Baymax as a weapon to get revenge.

But, in the end, it’s Baymax’s kindness, as imbued by Tadashi, that truly saves Hiro not just physically but emotionally.

Tadashi is an incredibly kind and nice person. So is his creation. And that kindness saves everyone, in the end.

I hope the writers of the upcoming Wonder Woman movie notice that. Because, so far, Warner Brothers seemed focused on the warrior aspect of Princess Diana. But her overriding trait isn’t violence. It’s compassion.

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