Committee-think rules in Disney’s bald-faced, award-winning shot at kick-starting an All-Nerd Super Hero franchise, an enormous, even shocking disappointment. At heart, a New Age (fan)boy-and-his-dog saga, it swaps out the canine for a pillowy robot always getting into endearing troubles. The first half of the film manages to orphan our already orphaned lad, offing a sibling & a mentor when a wicked master-of-the-universe corporate type steals his latest creation. (Ironic plot point coming from Disney, no?) But if the first half feels merely frantic and overly test-marketed; the second half, which re-introduces some smarty-pants nerds in IRON-MAN combat mode, lowers the characterization bar to SCOOBY-DOO levels.
WATCH THIS, NOT THAT: Three of the four films HERO topped for last year’s Best Animated Feature Oscar® (BOXTROLLS; SONG OF THE SEA; TALE OF PRINCESS KAGUYA) easily best this proto-franchise. But try and check out FEAST/’14, the Oscar-winning short included on the DVD. Sentimental as a wet kiss from a puppy, and downright irresistible.