Imagine if nerdy Clark Kent didn't have to remove his glasses and pocket protector to save the world. Then imagine him as fat and sweet as a marshmallow. Meet Big Hero 6's Baymax, Disney's new cuddly champion: a waddling, inflatable health care companion who can sense your pulse, diagnose disease, and, if reprogrammed, kill.
Our setting is San Fransokyo, a hybrid of California and Japan where everyone loves tech gadgets and sushi. (Whether the city is fictitious or simply the near future is up for debate.) Boy wonder Hiro (Ryan Potter), a 14-year-old orphan, joins his college-age older brother, Tadashi (Daniel Henney), in a state-of-the-art laboratory inventing marvels with other young geniuses: Go Go (Jamie Chung), a hellion with a magnetic bike; Wasabi, a geek who loves lasers; and Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez), a girlie girl who knows her way around chemicals.
To make engineers more awesome, the movie upgrades the gang into superheroes, which scrambles the message. An arsonist destroys Hiro's (admittedly not very long) life's work and accidentally offs Tadashi. Hiro asks his geek friends to set things right -- and trains Baymax, his brother's kindly robot, with punches and kicks scanned from kung fu movies.
Big Hero 6 veers from chipper to noisy to dark stretches where it grapples with adult-sized grief. Hiro isn't just a sweet moppet: He's full of rage and despair and ego. He needs Baymax to be his family, which means training him to fist-bump, and groaning when the robot runs out of battery and acts like a stumbling, slurring drunk — a moment that could have kids later suspiciously checking their own parents for a plug.