Rating: PG, for action and peril, some rude humor and thematic elements.
The latest from Walt Disney Animation Studios is a lively and lovely adventure full of clever, small details and a cuddly, large robot. But it also features some heavy themes of life and death, betrayal and revenge. Brilliant, 13-year-old Hiro (voiced by Ryan Potter) and his older brother, Tadashi (Daniel Henney), are obsessed with robots and everything high-tech. But when Tadashi dies in an explosion early in the film, Hiro unexpectedly finds himself taking over — and befriending — his pet project: a giant, inflatable robot named Baymax (voiced by Scott Adsit) who provides top-notch medical care (and squishy hugs). Along with Tadashi’s college friends — a merry, multi-ethnic band of nerds — they form a team to battle a bad guy who steals Hiro’s latest invention with dastardly intent. The film is high-energy and colorful but it also has some dark undertones which may be disturbing for some kids. Prior to Tadashi’s death, the two brothers already were living with their aunt (Maya Rudolph) because their parents died. And the villain is a cloaked figure in a frightening mask with infinite power at his fingertips. My 5-year-old son wasn’t frightened, though, and this should be OK for nearly all ages.