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Big Hero 6

(Disney)

Movie

Big Hero 6

Only in an animated film can an obese, mouthless robot steal the show. His name is Baymax, and he is a huggable friend, a virtual nurse, and a mean fighting machine all puffed up into one giant marshmallow balloon. Kids will want to play with him, while adults will want a real-life Baymax to fix the national healthcare problems. 

A radical spin off a Marvel Comics title, Big Hero 6 takes place in fictional San Fransokyo, a futuristic city blending the iconic elements of both San Francisco and Tokyo: Cable cars chug through a street lined with cherry blossom trees; and neon skyscrapers, hipster lofts, and Asian-themed boutiques on steep rolling hills overlook the Golden Gate Bridge.

On top of a Japanese café lives Hiro Hamada (Ryan Potter), a 14-year-old robotics prodigy who’s too proud and jaded to continue his education after graduating high school at age 13. His older brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney), also a super-genius, encourages Hiro to apply to San Fransokyo’s Institute of Technology, where he’s part of a wonky band of student-inventors: gum-popping, attitude-hissing GoGo Tomago (Jamie Chung); dreadlocked, semi-OCD Wasabi (Daman Wayans Jr.); and bubbly, spider-limbed Honey Lemon (Génesis Rodríguez). Included in the gang is school mascot Fred (T.J. Miller), a super-wealthy trust-fund baby.

During a tour around Tadashi’s school lab, Hiro meets Baymax, a robot “healthcare companion” Tadashi invented that can scan vital stats, diagnose, and treat any ailment with impeccable bedside manners. The student-inventors together form a tech-savvy, crime-fighting team of six with a combined IQ that shoots off the charts.

Big Hero 6 should redeem Disney in the eyes of boys who have long suffered their sisters’ incessant Frozen sing-alongs. But it should appeal to both genders and all ages with its action-packed plot, adorable quirky characters, and simple moral lessons on vengeance, loss, and friendship. The main scene, however, belongs to Baymax with a fist bump you will probably see imitated at least once by Christmas.