In case you — or your kids — haven’t had enough of superheroes, Disney’s got you covered in “Big Hero 6.”
And instead of these heroes getting their powers from radiation, alien planets, magical relics or experimental serum, this team is full of super-charged robotics.
Hiro (voiced by Ryan Potter) is a 14-year-old prodigy who is squandering his considerable robotics talent in illegal robot fighting, until his brother, Tadashi (voiced by Daniel Henney), shows him the robotics lab at his college.
There, Hiro meets Fred (voiced by T.J. Miller), Go Go (voiced by Jamie Chung), Wasabi (voiced by Damon Wayans Jr.) and Honey Lemon (voiced by Genesis Rodriguez), and the program’s legendary director, Robert Callaghan (voiced by James Cromwell).
Excited and inspired by the work he sees, Hiro gets to work on a project that will get him into the program. Hiro crafts a fudge ton of miniature robots. He wows Callaghan, and catches the eye of tech tycoon Alistair Krei (voiced by Alan Tudyk). But the success of the night is turned to tragedy when the building catches on fire, and Tadashi runs back in to rescue a trapped Callaghan — moments before the building explodes.
Heartbroken, Hiro loses interest in robots, school and just about everything else, until he stumbles on Baymax, a medical robot Tadashi had been developing before he was killed. Through a random series of events, Hiro and Baymax find a warehouse full of Hiro’s miniature robots, which were supposed to have been all destroyed in the fire. A shadowy figure in a scary mask controlling the robots attacks Hiro and Baymax. This prompts Hiro to trick out Baymax with armor and kung-fu moves, and recruit the other robotics students and their projects to try to get to the bottom of the mystery of the masked figure and the fatal fire.
The science discussed in the movie, at least in the first half or so, is pretty cool. A lot of it is relatively plausible, and I’ve heard of similar projects being worked on in real life. As the movie progresses, the science gets more and more fictional, but the fundamentals are cool and would probably be exciting for any kids interested in science and technology.
I have to say, though, I wasn’t as excited about the rest of the story. There was nothing wrong with it, it was just . . . OK. I think it has some good qualities, like the focus on science and technology, and the attention it gives to the grieving process. But the jokes tend to be corny, and there are too many one-liners to make it clever.
Overall, it didn’t hit me as one that I’ll want to watch again and again. The smaller kids in the audience were significantly more in awe of it. Being a kid’s movie, I guess, that’s to be expected.
And then, of course, it ends unexpectedly. Again, there wasn’t anything wrong with it, but it did make me stop and say, “Wait, what?”
The short film before the movie, “Feast,” though, is cute. I’m biased, though, because it’s about an adorable puppy, and I have an adorable puppy.
“Big Hero 6” is loosely based on a Marvel comic and comes from Disney Animation Studios, which most recently has been responsible for “Wreck-It Ralph” and “Frozen,” and this, for me, was much more on the “Frozen” side of the scale, because I also wasn’t crazy about that one. Judging by that film’s popularity, though, I am in the minority.
If you have the stamina to stick around through the credits, there’s a short scene afterwards, too, that just happens to feature animated Stan Lee.
Time: 108 minutes