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Disney’s latest animation is a fun, action-packed adaptation of a Marvel comics series centered on Japanese characters. Fourteen-year-old Hiro is a scientific genius who finished school at 13. Since then he’s been spending his time hustling scary-looking dudes at illegal robot fights. Hiro’s older brother, Tadashi, is also a talented scientist and is using his talents at a local “nerd school” to develop a robotic personal medical assistant.

When disaster strikes, Hiro finds his inner hero. He and some friends use his brother’s cuddly, marshmallow-looking robot, Baymax, to try to save the world, or at least prevent technology from falling into the wrong hands.

Japanese anime and manga are finding a growing audience in North America, and Big Hero 6 is a fantastic mashup of those forms with comic, movie, and video game influences. The setting is also a mashup—the futuristic city of San Francokyo. It’s a lovely tribute to the architecture and beauty of both San Francisco and Tokyo.

The film tells a warm story full of heart, a story that encourages viewers to consider whether they are using their talents and abilities in the best ways. It explores the idea that great talent can be used for good or evil without any heavy-handed speechifying.

The plot may be a bit over the heads of the youngest viewers and possibly a bit scary for the very youngest. But Baymax is a lovable character, and there is plenty of charm for all ages. Most children will find an engaging, lovable cast and an exciting story with some kernels of truth disbursed in a most satisfying way. (Walt Disney)

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