BIG HERO 6 (2014)
BIG HERO 6. Don Hall, Chris Williams, dir. Jordon Roberts, Daniel Gerson, Robert A. Baird, script; based on the Man of Action characters created by Duncan Rouleau and Steven T. Seagle. Paul Briggs and Joseph ("Joe") Mateo, "head of story." USA: Walt Disney Animation Studios, Walt Disney Pictures (prod.) / Walt Disney Studies Motion Pictures (US dist.), 2014. MPAA rating PG (i.e., generally suitable for children and family viewing).
Omitting the egregiously promotional opening, the DisneyCorp "Storyline" on IMDb has BIG HERO 6 a "comedy-adventure about the special bond that develops between Baymax, a plus-sized" — i.e., fat "inflatable robot," — who looks like The Michelin Man and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from GHOSTBUSTERS  (1984) — "and prodigy Hiro Hamada. When a devastating event befalls the city of San Fransokyo and catapults Hiro into the midst of danger, he turns to Baymax and his close friends adrenaline junkie Go Go Tomago, neatnik Wasabi, chemistry whiz Honey Lemon and fanboy Fred. Determined to uncover the mystery, Hiro transforms his friends into a band of high-tech heroes called 'Big Hero 6.'" The film is a sophisticated, self-aware, and highly instructive mashup of such already thoroughly mixed modes as anime and superhero comics, with elements of Scooby-Doo, THE IRON GIANT (q.v.), MAD MAX BEYOND THUNDERDOME — the Thunderdome with fighting miniature robots — and Iron Man in various media. See for Baymax as a friendly, downright cuddly, Asimovian robot designed for healing — but capable of having its programming changed and becoming a weapon. A didactic film in a good sense, BIG HERO 6 presents techno-nerds positively, stresses the joy and hard work of invention, investigates technology's promises and threats, gives a nuanced presentation of human motivation to good and evil, villainy and heroism — and images swarms of "microbots" in a way that should enjoyably scare children while introducing them to a (cyberpunk) trope of some importance. Note that the microbots can build on a monstrous scale and are controlled by a "'neurocranial' transmitter" that is a technologized and rationalized form of ESP/telekinesis and for much of the film is hidden in a Kabuki mask.
5. DRAMA, RDE, 18/XI/14