Big Hero 6

If it weren’t for the fantastical cityscapes of San Fransokyo and the loveable, nurturing robot Baymax, you might feel like you are watching tech-nerd version of Scooby-Doo.

Genre(s): Animation, Family, Adventure

Director: Don Hall, Chris Williams

Actors: Scott Adsit, Ryan Potter, Daniel Henney, T.J. Miller, Jamie Chung, Damon Wayans Jr.

Year: 2014

MPAA Rating: PG

Country: USA

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Our scrappy hero Hiro is a smart but unfocused teen. He gambles with his creations on the robot-fighting circuit, while his idolized elder brother Tadashi excels in college. Just when Tadashi finally lures Hiro to give college, and especially the renowned robotics program, a chance, disaster strikes and Hiro’s happy world is thrown for a loop.

Luckily for Hiro, his brother’s legacy was his robotic project, a healthcare robot named Baymax, who comes to life whenever human distress is sensed. Baymax is a fabulous creation. Big, white, and squishy, like a melty marshmallow, this robot has a sweetness and earnestness that makes you want to give him a big squeeze. He is fully inflated to be bulbous and bendy, which allows for plenty of physical humor. My personal favorite aspect of Baymax was his ability to be a giant, comforting heating pad, so that you can drape yourself across his pillowy body for warmth and comfort. I’m sure Baymax products will be popular in the toy aisle this year.

Anyway, the disaster that took Hiro’s brother from him unleashed a super-nemesis, a menacing character in a kabuki mask with plenty of morphing micro-bots (won’t bother to explain) at his disposal. Needless to say, the bad guy is up to no good, and the only ones that can stop him are those meddling kids–Hiro and his friends Wasabi, Honey, Fred, and Go Go from the robot lab (an impressively racially diverse lot for animation).

When all is said and done, you realize that you have just watched, yes, another superhero origin story (Fantastic Four? Meet Big Hero 6!). Luckily, though, the ride is fun and the animation looks fantastic. I found myself often being distracted by the blended Tokyo meets San Francisco cityscapes in the background rather than the action in the forefront. The motley crew of characters are appealing, and yes, diverse, but are not particularly memorable one way or another. But Baymax? Baymax is the true breakout character. When can I order my own healthcare robot?

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