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BIG HERO 6 (2014) ****

Not since Bambi has a scene in a Disney movie tugged at our heartstrings with such intensity. I’m not going to spoil it for you. In fact, I don’t want to spoil much of anything about Big Hero 6 for you. It’s better if you go in cold and let it work its charms on you. Just prepare to walk away misty-eyed from this one.

The story is taken from a Marvel manga comic book I had never heard of. (I’m not into the whole manga thing.) The Disney animators take what could’ve been just your basic superhero movie and infuse it with their own particular brand of magic and in the process; they’ve made one of the best comic book movies in recent memory.

The flick follows the confines of an origin story very closely. There is the tragic loss of a loved one that sets the hero on his path, there is the formation of a superhero team, and the confrontation of the villain who is closely linked to our hero’s past. What is amazing about Big Hero 6 is that it takes all of these genre touchstones and embraces them. It does not set out to reinvent the wheel, but to create a wheel that wheel-lovers will be positively giddy about.

At its core, it’s a story about a boy and his robot. Baymax, if you’ve seen the previews, looks like a giant airbag. Despite his basic programming he still manages to say the right thing at the right time, which makes him loveable. He also gets a couple of Chaplin-esque comedic moments that revolve around getting his cumbersome figure around tight corners. He’s easily the best Disney character since Wall-E.

I’m sure Big Hero 6 will win you over. The ending really packs an emotional wallop, something 99% of most comic book movies (or kids’ movies for that matter) can’t boast. Even if you are suffering from superhero burnout, you’ll definitely want to check it out. It’s one of the best movies of the year.

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