Big Hero 6 (2014)

(On Cable TV, July 2015) Disney Animation Studios have been on a roll ever since Bolt, and while Big Hero 6 is closer to Wreck-It Ralph than Frozen (in target demographics and to-the-moment hipness), it’s still a definite success.  Fit to make most kids dream of becoming an engineer, Big Hero 6 is about a teenager who goes on to have fun adventures with a team of genius-level friends and his own huggable robot called Baymax.  A fizzy mixture of science-fiction imagery, superhero theatrics and young-teen movie conventions (down to the hero being an orphan, aw c’mon Disney!), it’s both fun and heartfelt, colorful and grounded in emotional reality.  The connection with Marvel’s original comic book is kept low-key until the final mid-credit cameo, so there’s no need to feel excluded if you’re not familiar with the source material.  One of the best thing about the film is its San Fransokyo setting, the vivid east/west mash-up city in which everything looks possible.  The animation if state-of-the-art, with eye-popping detail and the layering of textures that distinguishes top-notch efforts from cheaper ones.  Big Hero 6 is, in other words, a pretty good time at the movies, with an inspirational message (go and develop robots!) and enough emotional depth to make things interesting.

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