When I first saw Big Hero 6 back in 2014, I was enthralled with the world the film created. I wanted to go to the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology and travel around the streets of the city. As a fan of Japanese culture, Marvel superheroes, and fun animated worlds, it felt like the film was made for me. Like many others, I fell in love with the character of Baymax. His clumsy, yet helpful persona was a true highlight of the film and he quickly rose to be one of my favorite Disney characters. Every time I took a trip to Walt Disney World, I always had to take a picture with Baymax and give the huge inflatable marshmallow a hug. So when Disney announced a fully CGI animated series about the character, I was hooked from the start.
Baymax! follows the titular character around the city helping those in need. Rather than focusing on the super hero antics of the Big Hero 6, Baymax! instead highlights the medical advice he can give. Each 6-7 minute episode has Baymax helping a new person with a different medical problem. The series features the return of director Don Hall as an executive producer as well as Scott Adsit (Baymax), Ryan Potter (Hiro), and Maya Rudolph (Aunt Cass) as their characters from the original movie.
To simply put it, Baymax! is a joy. Each episode is filled with so much life and fun that it is hard to not enjoy any part of the show. Baymax himself is just as, if not funnier than he was in the original film. Every person that he helps has their own set of issues that Baymax tries his very best to fix. From spraying an old lady with a hose to help her get over her “fear” of water, to following an angry cat all around town, Baymax hilariously reacts to each problem he is presented with. Scott Adsit plays Baymax to perfection. Although he plays a monotone robot, he puts so much depth into each line with little changes in tone, elevating his performance.
The animation and presentation of Baymax! is absolutely gorgeous. Eight years after the release of the film, Disney’s animation has been pushed to new boundaries. Characters like Aunt Cass look even better than they did in the original film. Environments are extremely detailed and filled with life and the colors of the city just pop. Now, animation like this is to be expected with a Disney project of this era, however comparing the animation really shows the advancement the studio has made over the past few years.
Even better than the animation or performances is the representation the show provides. An entire episode is dedicated to Baymax helping a young girl with her first period showing the stress and anxiety that can come with a moment like this. Think of an amped up version of Turning Red from earlier this year. The show does a phenomenal job handling this topic and I am sure that it will do wonders in helping children in the future. The show also has Disney Animation’s first transgender character as well as a gay romance. In a time where many oppose the company’s stance on these issues, I am proud to report that Disney really did an amazing job with this series. Let’s hope they continue this streak on the big screen with Strange World later this year.
Although each episode is self contained, the series final episode features all the characters helping Baymax instead. This is the first time the show truly feels like a ‘series’, as the mostly self contained episodes feel more like shorts than a series. This isn’t necessarily a negative though, as the short runtime feels appropriate and I never felt like the episodes needed to be any longer. Baymax’s antics work well in short bursts where his comedy doesn’t get stale and lessons are told in quick succession. This is Disney Animation Studios’s first real series and it does definitely show. Hopefully the Tiana and Moana series have more full fledged episodes.
Baymax! is a fun, heartwarming show that I would wholly recommend to anyone who just wants to smile for an hour. I truly love the world of Big Hero 6 and hope to see more of it in the future. I can’t wait to see what else Disney Animation has cooking for Disney+ and it won’t be long before Zootopia+ premiers this fall.
All 6 episodes of Baymax! are currently streaming on Disney+