So it’s 2014 and that means John Lassiter of Pixar leads Walt Disney Animation to make movies based on Marvel comic book series. You know, just like Walt did.
I’ll get to the movie in a minute, but it’s worth spending a moment reflecting on the synergistic juggernaut Bob Iger has wrought. They can dredge up second and third tier franchises from the Marvel story vat and convert them into money printing machines. See Guardians of the Galaxy and, of course, Big Hero 6 (not to take anything away from the $1.3 billion-generating Frozen — which is to say, Walt’s descendants can still tell a profitable story of their own). So we live in a world where Stan Less gets a sweet post-credit cameo in a Disney cartoon (and, you know, there’s a post-credit scene).
Anyway, the movie’s great. A real Marvel story for the younger set but funny enough and with ample action to entertain anyone who loved any of the previous Marvel movies (or comics or comic book movies in general). There are moments derived (sometimes, too obviously) from previous Marvel juggernauts, though. Sometimes it seems like they’ve snapped together elements from other winners into a new and slightly different shape like some kind of Lego construction, but in the end, there’s enough new and novel here to make for a swell time. It was fun, harmless, has some genuinely beautifully rendered moments, and, like any good Disney/Pixar endeavor, makes you laugh and then forces you to shed a tear at the end.
Verdict: Go see it.