A kind of Disney Frozen for boys, this is the engaging tale of a young robotics prodigy trying to get into a prestigious tech school. When his older brother dies in a fire that looks a lot like arson, he takes over the operation of the Miyazaki-ish title hero named Baymax, an inflatable caregiver robot, and he and his amusing gang of geeks go about identifying the villain that set the fire.
The film gets points for presenting the death of a loved one to kids in a non-threatening way, and it’s original and clever enough to put in the “both parents and kids” category. As a San Francisco native and long-time Tokyo resident, I absolutely loved the East-West hybrid city of San Fransokyo.
The Baymax creature fairly screams “marketability,” of course. If you want to know just how loud, step into Harajuku’s Kiddyland when you get a chance. ‘Nuff said.
On the plus side, there’s no singing or dancing. But I could have done without Baymax getting weaponized in the third act with a suit of armor and a rocket pack, after which the film sort of devolves into second-rate flying-around 3-D nonsense. Japanese title: Baymax. (98 min)