One of the down sides to the film is that the orphaned animated protagonist has been done to death by Disney, pardon the pun; additionally, at times I felt the movie was "Disney Meets Scooby-Doo." On the plus side, there are some nice moments along with a really interesting setting.
Orphaned Hiro (Ryan Potter) and his older brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney) live with their Aunt Cass (Maya Rudolph) in San Fransokyo, an ersatz fantasy blend of, you guessed it, San Francisco and Tokyo.
Soon tragedy strikes, but the depressed Hiro then discovers Baymax (Scott Adsit), a healthcare robot created by Tadashi. Baymax is large and cumbersome but caring, sort of a kindly Stay Puft Marshallow Man. In the second half of the film, Hiro and Baymax join a group of Hadashi's university friends to go after the villain who caused the tragedy.
Baymax is cute, although I thought he bumps up (sorry, another pun!) uncomfortably with the constant presence of healthcare in the news; so this is where we're all headed, a cumbersome and insistent robot to look after our medical needs? I'm not sure I find that idea as comforting as the filmmakers intended.
The group of Tadashi's friends is where my "Scooby Doo" comparison comes from; they're a group of nice guys and gals who mix smarts and silliness, with Baymax filling the role of mascot Scooby.
The lower-intellect surfer-type dude (T.J. Miller) turns out to have a couple of unexpected secrets in his background, and I especially liked Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez), who is cheerfully normal and polite along with being supersmart. She reminded me of someone, but I'm not sure who; maybe she has a touch of Bailey from WKRP?
Indeed, the film's biggest asset might be its production design, as the San Fransokyo setting is endlessly interesting. I'd love to see Disney put out one of its ART OF... books on this film so I could take a closer look at the city's design.
Along with feeling the film was a bit too derivative and overfamiliar, I had some trouble from the standpoint of logic. Granted, the film is a fantasy, but no teenager would be able to single-handedly manufacture so many "minibots"!
Don Hall and Chris Williams. It was loosely based on a Marvel comic. The film runs 102 minutes.
Parental advisory: BIG HERO 6 is rated PG for "action and peril and some rude humor." There are a couple of disturbing moments but they are fairly typical of the kinds of tragedies which strike in other Disney movies.
While more of a strong double than a home run, BIG HERO 6 provides an enjoyable time at the movies.