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"Big Hero 6": A Robot Adventure Starring a Futuristic San Francisco 

Tuesday, Nov 4 2014
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Ugh, T.J. Miller. Can we pretend we're in some future time when he isn't in every dude-bro role? Let's also pretend that architects in this blissful, Miller-free World of Tomorrow saw Don Hall and Chris Williams' animated Big Hero 6 and have converted our fair city into the film's utterly gorgeous setting of San Fransokyo, an alternate-universe version of San Francisco with strong Japanese overtones. It works thematically, too, as the movie is a manga-influenced origin story: Teenaged robotics genius Hiro Hamada (Ryan Potter) forms a team of science-equipped superheroes (including T.J. Miller, ugh) to foil a mysterious supervillain, and they're aided by Baymax (30 Rock MVP Scott Adsit), a sweet-natured health care robot whom Hiro turns into a sweet-natured fighting machine. That's all fine and good, and after the girliness of last year's Frozen many boys will no doubt welcome a Disney cartoon that caters to adolescent male power fantasies, but the important thing is that San Fransokyo is everything San Francisco should be. We can start slow — say, swirly purple lights on One Rincon Hill, or LED animations on Salesforce Tower, and there's really no good reason for the Bay Lights to be taken down — but we should get started now, and Big Hero 6 is showing the way.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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