Big Hero 6 - BBC1

A teen and his robot play the heroes
(Image credit: © 2014 Disney. All Rights Reser)

A sweet-natured robot and his teen charge get to play heroes in this Disney animation. 4/5 stars

Looking like a walking marshmallow and moving with a dainty waddle, loveable robot Baymax is the best thing about this family-friendly film based on a Marvel Comics series.

The tubby inflatable automaton gives the film its heart and humour as 'a personal health care companion' who gets pushed into a more actively heroic role by teen tech prodigy Hiro Hamada (voiced by Ryan Potter) when a supervillain in a kabuki mask starts running amok in his hometown.

Yet for all the whizzy flying scenes and fisticuffs, the film becomes a lot less engaging when the plot takes this turn, revealing itself as yet another origin story for a band of (this time super-geeky) superheroes.

A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.