Rated PG. Running time: 1 hours 42 min.
Our Content ratings (0-10): Violence 4; Language 0; Sex/Nudity 1.
Our star rating (0-5): 4
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help. Again, if two lie together, they keep warm; but how can one keep warm alone? And though one might prevail against another, two will withstand one. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor.
In this Disney animated film that blends Japanese with American themes, the action takes place in a colorful San Fransokyo where the Hamada brothers, both computer and robot geniuses, live. The younger, 14-year-old Hiro, wastes his talent on creating bots to fight in illegal back alley matches, whereas Tadashi is a student at the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology, working at a lab to develop an inflatable robot that looks after its owner’s health. When Tadashi dies in a mysterious fire at the school, the grief-stricken Hiro retreats into a funk, refusing even the offer to become a student at the university. He had won admission to the super-elite school by submitting an invention that included millions of tiny microrobots that could work wonders—while at the same time rejecting the offer from Alistair Krei, a predatory businessman, to come work for him and become wealthy.
When Hiro learns that the fire had been started by the businessman who has stolen an invention of his thought to be lost in the fire, he goes into action, aided by his brother’s delightful robot called Baymax and four of Tadashi’s friends, the six thus becoming the superhero team known as Big Hero 6. Besides Hiro and Baymax, the team consists of adrenaline junkie GoGo specializing in electromagnets; Wasabi, a specialist in lasers; plastics expert Honey Lemon; and comic lover Fred, costumed in a rubber monster suit, who, during fights with the masked villain, shouts out whatever special move he’s about to perform, “Super jump!”, “Fire breath!”, and more. What they eventually find about the fire and who set it is quite surprising.
Directed by Don Hall, Chris Williams from a script by Daniel Gerson, Robert L. Baird and Jordan Robert, this film is a lot of fun for children and adults. The kids will love the inflatable robot Baymax, frequently getting stuck in tight places due to his pudginess and always concerned for Hiro’s welfare, and who deflates himself and returns to his case when Hiro says, “I am satisfied with my care.” The film also offers opportunity to talk with children about the benefits of teamwork based on love and the search for justice and the dangers of seeking vengeance.
This review with discussion questions is in the Dec. 2014 issue of Visual Parables.