Rated: PG for action and peril, some rude humor, and thematic elements. Reviewed by: Jim Release date: November 7, 2014 Released by: Walt Disney Pictures
Arguably not as clever and creative as Frozen or Wreck-It Ralph an animated action-adventure from the same studio still has enough thrills, wit and emotions to overcome its predictability to hopefully suggest that this is really cinema and not an advertising gimmick.
Big Hero 6 is "loosely based on" a Marvel comic-bookseries with humorous, whizzing results thanks to Ryan Potter's voicing of young teen engineering prodigy Hiro Hamada (who neglects his studies in favor of hustling competitors in underground robotic fights — think of the live action Real Steel) and especially Scott Adsit's delightful voicing of Baymax, an inflatable health-minded robot with naïveté and eagerness to please (think of the Michelin Man and the Pillsbury Doughboy amalgamated in counterpoint to Robin Williams's ebullience as a genie in the adored Aladdin). Their interaction is the main attraction of a tale which involves a titular sextet as improved programming leads to karate and high-flying superhero flourishes which may prove nonsensical to some as gadgets and armor to counteract the malevolence of a
Hiro's growing union with the childishly literal, balloon-like legged nanny who serves the reluctant boy and
becomes his companion is reminiscent of the winning How To Train Your Dragon and its sequel as the latter sections try to recreate some of that same type of excitement working from the colorful, somewhat futuristic setting of San Fransisco.
Arguably the earlier sections is more affable as Hiro (whose parents aren't alive and lives with Aunt Cass, Maya Rudolph) works his way onto the right path thanks to university science student older brother Tadashi (Dennis Harvey), introducing him to fellow students like Wasabi (Damon Wayans,Jr.), slacker Fred(T.J. Miller), Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriquez) and GoGo (Jamie Chung). Before a horrible, presumably accidental conflagration puts his 'microbot' inventiveness into the hands of an enigmatic,avarice-minded schemer who has his own ideas for the precocious 14-year-old.
The 3D format works well here (similar in some respects to the better Dragon and Dragon 2) to enhance the background and characters as the rendering of the buoyant Baymax and the running gag with like a recharged fist-pump offers much amusement and hilarity. Yes, older folks may not see much beyond the spectacle of it, especially the unnamed (for a while) baddie's appearance and his machinations regarding those microbots which takes away from some of the film's luster and vim. Others, however, may feel a winning Guardians of the Galaxy vibe going for it.
Still, Big Hero 6 goes through its paces in a rather encouraging passionate way, while hardly artistic or an instant classic. As a likely launch of a new franchise the warmth of a boys' adventure makes the delivery like Baymax's singsong one to enjoy the ride atop the big fellow's shoulders.
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