Big Hero 6 was a movie I thought was going to be much more for children than for adults; I was pleasantly surprised, similar to my experience with many Pixar movies, that Disney's adaptation of the comic book characters into this film is a lovely experience for both the young and older filmgoer.
The movie revolves around a pair of brothers, Hiro and Tadashi Hamada, who live in the futuristic "San Fransokyo" (which gives you a feel for the tongue-in-cheek character of much of the movie's humor). Younger brother Hiro - an unparalleled child prodigy when it comes to computers and robotics - wastes his time in designing robots to fight in illegal "bot fighting" arenas, usually employing trickery and his young age to win higher sums from the bets. His older brother Tadashi, however, is equally genius and more than loving toward his younger sibling. Tadashi devotes himself, by contrast, to bettering the world, employed as a graduate student in a university where he works on sophisticated technology projects alongside other brilliant students. His quest is to inspire his younger brother to use his talents for good and not merely waste them away.
Tragedy strikes and Hiro loses his beloved brother, in the turning point of the story. He sinks into a deep depression until he finds one of Tadashi's final projects: a health care robot for the elderly, which goes by the name of "Baymax." As he builds a relationship with the absurdly designed robot - a mix of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and Mr. Rogers - he discovers that his brother's death might not have been accidental. This brings purpose back into his life and sets him (and Baymax, of course) on a journey that leads to discovery of the truly important in his life.
It is a beautiful story, well written and light in tone. Baymax obviously brings comic relief, but without being the ordinary cheap laugh of childrens' humor. It nevertheless ends with a serious message and some very strong scenes that illustrate making moral choices, choosing goals in life, and generally the process of growing out of boyhood. All of which makes this movie very meaningful - not only for kids.
My Rating: 8 out of 10.