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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Big Hero 6 continues the story of Hiro, Baymax, and their friends as they become the city's protectors from various villains. Fans of the movie will notice a number of differences in this TV series, including a new animation style and a decreased role for Baymax as the focus changes to the team as a whole. Still, there are themes of courage and perseverance as Hiro moves on from his brother's death (a plot point in the movie) and finds his own way in college. There are some tense and suspenseful moments as the heroes combat villains, and others are shown lurking in shadowy rooms plotting Big Hero 6's demise. But what stands out in this series are strong characters, smart problem-solving, and the emotional awareness that Baymax helps foster in his human friends.
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What's the story?
BIG HERO 6 picks up shortly after the events that concluded the movie. Tech genius Hiro (voiced by Ryan Potter) is preparing to attend the college where his older brother, Tadashi, was a legend before his death. Then he discovers the computer chip that activated Tadashi's healthcare robot, Baymax (Scott Adsit), whom Hiro feared was gone forever, and sets about re-creating his brother's work. But for all his know-how, Hiro is impulsive and impatient, which causes some problems that require the help of the other Big Hero 6 members -- Wasabi (Khary Payton), Go Go (Jamie Chung), Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez), and Fred (Brooks Wheelan). Together they must complete Baymax to round out their group, and decide to go forward with their pledge to keep their city safe from villains.
Is it any good?
Some, but not all, of the magic that made the movie so resonant with fans of all ages returns in this sequel series. All of the crucial characters are back, and it takes little time to get Baymax up and running again as well. But the story's focus shifts away from the Hiro-Baymax relationship and the memory of Tadashi that so inspired, and toward the dynamic among the six self-proclaimed heroes. This makes it more lighthearted and less introspective; in other words, more like a typical superhero story with Hiro as the young ringleader still learning the ropes. The animation style also feels like a bit of a loss, compared to the movie's CGI.
Even so, families that used the Big Hero 6 story to talk about issues dealing with loss and grief can continue to follow those themes as Hiro's experiences change and as he moves on from Tadashi's death. As time passes, he and his friends are increasingly inspired by Tadashi rather than in mourning for him, though Baymax can still be counted on to call out emotions when they run high. But there's more laughter and fewer moments of reflection as their story evolves into one of Hiro's future rather than his past.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Hiro continues to deal with his grief in Big Hero 6. What helps him move past his sadness and persevere? Why do you think perseverance is an important character strength? How is he still inspired by Tadashi's memory?
What other challenges does Hiro face now that he's in college? Do his social experiences seem realistic? How would you cope with situations similar to those he faces?
Do Hiro and his friends always fight the good fight? Why is it important to not cut corners in the things we do? How does trying to take the easy way out sometimes wind up making our job harder?
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