Looking like a walking marshmallow and moving with a dainty waddle, loveable robot Baymax is the best thing about this family-friendly Disney animation based on a Marvel Comics series, Big Hero 6.
The tubby inflatable automaton has been designed as ‘a personal health care companion’ but gets pushed into a more actively heroic role by 14-year-old tech prodigy Hiro Hamada (voiced by Ryan Potter), younger brother of Baymax’s student inventor, when a supervillain in a Kabuki mask starts running amok in his hometown of San Fransokyo, a striking futuristic hybrid of San Francisco and Tokyo.
For all the whizzy flying scenes and fisticuffs, the film becomes a lot less engaging when the plot takes this turn, revealing itself as – would you ever? – yet another origin story for a band of superheroes.
The other members of the eponymous Big Hero 6 bunch – peppy chemistry whiz Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez), feisty spitfire GoGo Tomago (Jamie Chung), bumbling Wasabi (Damon Wayans Jr) and goofy fanboy Fred (TJ Miller) – are even nerdier than their comic-book peers, but they are nowhere near as winning as Baymax (Scott Adsit).
Touchingly endearing, whether exhibiting a tipsy wobble when his battery runs low, patching his punctures with sticky tape or giving the emotionally bruised Hiro a hug, he gives the film its heart and humour.
Certificate PG. Runtime 108 mins. Directors Don Hall, Chris Williams.
To activate the sound in the trailer: hold your cursor over the screen to reveal the control panel and click on the volume control in the bottom right-hand corner.