Big Hero 6 proves that although it’s a well-trodden genre, superhero films continue to entertain and inspire viewers of all ages. It strikes that difficult balance of appealing to its target audience (kids) while not boring their chauffeurs. The themes of finding your purpose, place, and identity, revenge, and hurt people hurting people aren’t new, but they’re still relevant. The creation of the superheroes is smart and feels fresh.
Hiro is a bright teenager living in the futuristic San Fransokyo. His brother Tadashi is equally brilliant and plying his engineering skills at a technology college. Hiro just wants to fight robots. When Tadashi shows off his school and all the cool stuff he and his peers are up to, Hiro is hooked. He designs microbots, wins a competition, and gains admission to the school. Tragedy strikes: Tadashi dies in a fire and a mysterious masked figure starts terrorizing the city. Tadashi leaves behind Baymax, a robot created for medical purposes. Hiro re-purposes Baymax as a superhero warrior, designs superhero suits and weapons for his friends, and tracks down the villain.
Big Hero 6 is a good story to help kids begin thinking about grief and how to heal when they lose someone or something they love. It’s also a reminder that the people who often hurt us or the world are themselves in deep pain. Baymax is a hilarious nurse and teacher, who helps Hiro realize what’s important and that lost loved ones can still linger in our memories of them.