Voices of: Ryan Potter Scott Adsit James Cromwell Damon Wayans, Jr. Maya Rudolph
BIG HERO 6
Walt Disney Animation Studios pulled this group of heroes from some Marvel comics that had been set aside and transformed them from nerds into heroes. Hiro (Potter) loves “bot” fighting and is not much interested in academics, but he is super bright and builds tiny robots that can fight with big brutes, which earns him a fair amount of money. He and his brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney) have lost their parents, and live with Aunt Cass (Rudolph). On the way to a fight one evening, Tadashi takes Hiro to his “nerd lab” where all kinds of wondrous inventions are taking place, including his own, a “health care” robot named Baymax (Adsit) that is completely devoted to his patients’ physical and mental health. He is a white inflated balloon-type of figure that doesn’t look the part, but he performs all kinds of helpful health tests and recommendations. Hiro is immediately entranced with the lab and vows to create an invention that will get him enrolled, which will end his bot fighting activities. This is decided without a second thought of the money he will be missing (good influence for kids).
Hiro is indeed successful in getting approved; however, soon after, misfortune and intrigue enter the picture, and Hiro recruits several of the lab inventors to become super-heroes and help him and Baymax recover a stolen invention. Hiro is constantly “upgrading” Baymax to add to his powers, and the group together becomes more and more impressive. Their sleuthing reveals where the villains are, which takes them through the air, under water, and racing through the streets of San Fransokyo.
Disney’s special effects are impressive, which keep the older kids entertained, and there are some genuinely funny sections that brings belly laughs from the younger ones. There are also sequences that deal with the issue of what to do with the bad guys if/when they’re captured. Baymax has been programmed for health care, so he’s more of a peacenik, as are the nerds, and the discussions in working this out are good for children to hear. I especially liked the nods to intelligence and education as ways to solve problems, vindicating and giving more respect—I hope— to the nerds in American classrooms.