Viewed – 17 September 2016 Blu-ray
You can’t accuse Disney of not trying new things these days…after the rather inspired idea of a video games homage in Wreck It Ralph we come to this somewhat Japanese anime inspired story following a young kid who yearns to follow in his elder brother’s footsteps and go to science school. He also so happens to be a genius at robotics. However following a disastrous turn of events said kid, Hiro finds himself befriending his brother’s invention instead and seeking out the answers to a mysterious accident at the local university.
At first I wasn’t really sure where this one was going, it felt like a weird mix of things and it’s tone was uneven. Not helped by a cast of supporting characters that either ticked all the clichés or were otherwise forgettable. Yes, we have the cool outsider girl, the bookworm, the stoner (!) and the token black guy. Yet it’s the friendship between Hiro and Baymax, his brother’s robotic inflatable nurse (not as sleazy as that sounds…) that makes for the heart of the movie, and even plot developments that turn the whole show into The Avengers meets Power Rangers don’t detract from what turns out to be rather emotional and feel good. Despite a quasi-future setting (in San Francisco – you know, where ALL movies are now set), the inventions by these kids seems so amazing and powerful that they defy logic. But this is a Disney movie so I’m guessing believability goes out of the window? This can’t excuse however a villainous plot that’s rather thrown together with a twist that just felt like it had been sneaked in by the writing room cleaning lady last minute.
Which is all a shame as aesthetically and script-wise this often shines. There’s some stand-out action scenes in the final act, and the in-jokes and banter between the characters got pretty funny. Baymax is a brilliant creation, part tech-demo for the animation gurus and also a really likeable presence. So another Disney to check out, if not quite as essential as some of their other movies.
Verdict: 3 /5