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'Big Hero 6' should thrill kids and adults alike

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Like many an adolescent, Hiro Hamada (voiced by Ryan Potter) lacks direction. He’s a tech geek who spends way too much time hustling cash in the back alleys of San Fransokyo (an imaginative mashup of the cities its name suggests), betting on a tiny but dangerous robot that consistently throttles the fiercest competition.

Hiro’s big brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney) has more ambitious things on his mind. Through repeated trials and considerable error, he’s finally perfected a robot named Baymax (Scott Adsit) that can detect health issues and dispense accurate advice. The robot’s medical credibility is only slightly undercut by the fact that he looks like an inflatable snowman.

Tadashi is certain that he can persuade Hiro to use his geek skills for the common good. But just when things look promising, tragedy strikes. And it’s up to Hiro to thwart a nefarious scheme involving a mysterious man in a mask.

Assembling a backup team of Tadashi’s friends — Go Go (Jamie Chung), Wasabi (Damon Wayans Jr.), Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez) and Fred (T.J. Miller) — a determined Hiro and a willing but somewhat clueless Baymax embark on a quest to bring down the bad guy.

Inspired by an obscure Marvel Comics property, “Big Hero 6” is the kind of movie that parents dream of — easy for kids to enjoy, but with plenty to engage moviegoers for whom puberty is a distant memory. Working from a screenplay by Robert L. Baird & Daniel Gerson and Jordan Roberts, directors Don Hall (“Winnie the Pooh”) and Chris Williams (“Bolt”) strike a deft balance between emotion and action.

This is the latest film from Walt Disney Animation Studios, which wowed multiplex crowds with “Frozen.” But the Mouse House has clearly learned a lot from Pixar. The storytelling is solid, propelled by characters that you come to care about.

And that should make “Big Hero 6” a big hit.

What “Big Hero 6” • Three and a half stars out of four • Rating PG • Run time 1:48 • Content Action and peril, rude humor, thematic elements


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