So we've all heard that it's hard to be a woman in Japan, but being a Japanese geek comes with its own troubles. For some, it's a life lived in front of glowing screens, a dateless existence spent in a six-mat tatami room with posters of idol group AKB48 plastered on the walls. But here's Disney's "Big Hero 6" (released in Japan as "Baymax"), a Christmas animation extravaganza that elevates the Japanese geek to superhero status. And he's cute, too.

This is the first Disney animation feature in which the stars have Japanese names: 14-year-old genius Hiro Hamada (voiced by Ryan Potter) and his older tech-wizard brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney). The boys' parents died, and they are being brought up by their exuberant Aunt Cass (Maya Rudolph). Interestingly, Hiro comes off as a cross between a typical Tokyo chūbō (a slang term for junior high school kids) and a young Lionel Messi, while Tadashi fits the normal Hollywood bill of a polite young Japanese male. Despite their names, the brothers only speak English and there's nothing in their surroundings to suggest a penchant for samurai or idols — they are, however, obsessed with robots. Aunt Cass, who runs a cafe and seems to have at least three different nationalities coursing through her veins, never serves Japanese food to her nephews, just ribs. Ribs every time.

And yet, "Big Hero 6" gets Japan, much more than, say, "Memoirs of a Geisha." For perhaps the first time in Hollywood history, the Japanese depicted here are not wearing glasses, they're not short limbed and they don't have an accent. The story, after all, isn't about Japan but about how humanity can take themselves to the next level and beyond through robotic technology. Tadashi invents and programs "Baymax" — a healthcare robot whose sole function is to help and heal humans. In real life, Japan is one of the forerunners of robotics and prosthetics technology, largely deployed in medicine and nursing. In the movie, Baymax is serene, soft-spoken and polite; an inflatable, XXL softie who resembles a sumo wrestler and is an excellent caretaker.