Orphaned brothers Hiro and Tadashi are both inventors, but while Tadashi is enrolled on an elite robotics course, young Hiro is wasting his prodigious talents. When Tadashi dies, a devastated Hiro inherits his last project, an inflatable medical robot called Baymax.
Then Hiro discovers that one of his own inventions has been stolen, and enlists Tadashi’s fellow students to investigate.
Producer Roy Conli, presenting the preview, took pains to emphasise Disney animation’s “director-driven” process. Hence the rich visuals of the “San Fransokyo” setting, but it may also explain why this lacks the emotions of Pixar’s best work. And the tight plotting (why doesn’t Hiro just re-create his stolen invention?).
Baymax, however, is worth the price of admission, as rounded as the other characters are two-dimensional. He’s a brilliant creation, soft in body, voice and attitude, endearingly innocent yet logical. And there’s enough humour here for kids and adults alike. 8/10
Released December 26, 2014