HOLLYWOOD—It might not be your first thought of an animated flick on first glance, but “Big Hero 6” is indeed something special. For starters, the movie takes place in the near future, and in a place that screams San Francisco and Tokyo (San Fransokyo).

Our protagonist Hiro Hamada (voice of Ryan Potter) is a 14-year old robotics genius. Hiro, as some may perceive is allowing his talents to go to waste, until his older brother, Tadashi (voice of Daniel Hamada) gives him a bit of a push. It is by visiting his brother at college, he makes life long friends with GoGo Tomago, Wasabi, Fred, Honey Lemon, and Baymax, an inflatable robot that his brother built. I’m sorry every time I look at Baymax I think of a gigantic marshmallow that can do amazing things.

Impressed by what he sees, Hiro applies for the school by designing micro robots that excites Professor Callaghan (voice of James Cromwell). As the narrative moves forward, tragedy strikes which uncovers some secret truths. That could be the surprising element in “Big Hero 6.”

It tackles some very heavy subject matter involving the issue of death and what happens to those who are forced to grapple with. Particularly, how children and teens deal with the issue. It’s something that is sometimes seen in animated flicks, but not to this magnitude in my opinion. The question of vengeance and redemption are important themes in the picture as well.

“Big Hero 6” is a movie that tends to raise the bar on the level of maturity for the spectators, likely youngsters, but delivers its message in a way that is understandable. The mix of human characters and those who are machine makes for an interesting dynamic. Baymax delivers so much human emotion; he’s the most lovable character I’ve witnessed on the screen in years.

Kids get to learn the importance about science, math and other subject matters that are not always shown in a positive light in real life or movies and television. Technology is always advancing, which “Big Hero 6” sheds a bit of light on.

Perhaps the most important lesson from the movie is the importance of family. Family comes in all shapes and sizes, those who are connected to us by blood, those we know from others and those we get to know over a period of time. The bond that grows between Baymax and Hiro is one that proves friendship is a powerful bond. When we’re wrong, a friend will tell us, when you’re doing something right, a friend will tell us.

“Big Hero 6” is not your typical animated flick, but it is one that shines a bright light during some of the most tragic times. It’s fun and full of heart that will leave moviegoers smiling from ear-to-ear.