Took the kids to see this at an advanced screening, and had a blast. It is technically a Marvel movie, though the book is not exactly well-known. Consider this in the vein of How to Train Your Dragon, in that a lot of the same parts are there, but plenty was changed to work better in a movie. Some light spoilers from here.
The movie focuses on Hiro Hamada, a 14 year old genius inventor living with his older brother and Aunt after the death of their parents (Disney, I know, right?). He spends his time building fighting robots and hustling in the underground bot-fighting subculture in “San Fransokyo”. That is, until he gets inspired by visiting his brother’s lab at college, where Tadashi and his nerdy friends are building all sorts of cool inventions. He decides to finally stop brooding and go to college, and just needs to prove himself at a high-tech science fair. However, tragedy strikes, and Hiro is again dealing with great loss.
That’s where Baymax (the soft, inflatable robot) comes in. Tadashi built Baymax to be a healthcare bot (based on real-world research into making robots friendlier) and picking up on Hiro’s distress, Baymax does whatever he can to help Hiro. He get’s Hiro and Tadashi’s school friends involved and allows the ‘upgrades’ so Hiro can look for the culprit behind the fire that killed his brother.
The movie is beautiful – the stylized San Francisco/Tokyo hybrid city is super-cool. The bit where Hiro and Baymax fly for the first time takes me right back to the pure joy of Tony Stark’s first outing in the Mark II suit. The movie slows down a bit in the middle but my kids had no problems staying with it. There is one twist in the plot as far as who the villain is – genre savvy parents might figure it out, but the smaller ones will be surprised. The movie definitely plays with the concept of a sympathetic villain.
We had a great time, and I’m looking forward to seeing it again (and if my kids have their way, again and again and again). It won’t capture the world the way Frozen did, but that’s a tough act to follow. Definitely on par with Wreck-It Ralph. See it.