A trailer for the animated film "Big Hero 6" features a 14-year-old boy, Hiro, excitedly telling a cop about a sinister figure whose Kabuki mask can control an army of microbots. The cop is one of those droll, seen-it-all types who says things like, "Let me get this straight, kid." The crazier the story, the funnier his straight-faced reaction becomes.
If you're an adult, you might feel a little like that cop while watching "Big Hero 6." If you're Hiro's age or younger, however, superhero myths and origin stories are probably in your DNA -- along with a meta-awareness that allows you to deftly juggle cultural tropes -- and "Big Hero 6" was made for you.
A splashy, colorful jumble directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams, "Big Hero 6" is what happens when superpowers converge -- by which I mean Marvel and Disney's John Lasseter, the executive producer. Based on a little-known comic series, "Big Hero 6" tells the story of Hiro (the voice of Ryan Potter), a robotics whiz who comes into possession of Baymax, an inflatable home health care aide. Baymax is clearly not built for action (Scott Adsit provides his endearing voice), but when that Kabuki guy enters the picture, Hiro decides it's time for some upgrades. Like jet engines! And a rocket-powered fist!
That covers perhaps a fraction of the story. The title of "Big Hero 6" refers to Hiro's assembled team, which includes science nerds with colorful names like Go Go (Jamie Chung), Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez) and Wasabi (Damon Wayans Jr.). Along with their sidekick, plain old Fred (T.J. Miller), they'll battle those microbots, track down the wealthy tech guru Alistair Krei (Alan Tudyk), discover a teleportation device and -- well, you get the picture.
The real star of "Big Hero 6" may be its backdrop, a fanciful city named San Fransokyo, rendered in rich, vivid colors and filled with clever details (the masts of the Golden Gate Bridge now resemble Japanese torii gates). It's a delightful grab bag of notions, much like the movie itself.