[Article] Why Bring Back BAYMAX! for a New Series Now?
Courtesy Disney+
No one can deny that when Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Big Hero 6 came out in 2014, Baymax stole everyone’s hearts. Part of that was due to the adorable character design. With a wholesome neutral expression, a tall squishy build, and the calm soothing voice work of Scott Adsit, the character was a recipe for success. And that’s not even taking into account the merchandise explosion that happened after the movie dropped. Now, the adorably helpful character returns in the new six episodes series aptly titled BAYMAX! Why is the character being brought back to audiences? Read further to learn more!

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ BAYMAX! returns to the fantastical city of San Fransokyo where the affable, inflatable, inimitable healthcare companion, Baymax sets out to do what he was programmed to do: help others. The six-episode series of healthcare capers introduces extraordinary characters who need Baymax’s signature approach to heal in more ways than they realize.

Recently, Nightmarish Conjurings took part in the global press conference for the series launch of BAYMAX! Moderating the conference was Jenny Lorenzo of What’s Up Disney+, We Are Mitú and BuzzFeed’s Pero Like. Attending the conference was Scott Adsit aka the Voice of Baymax, creator Don Hall, and producers Roy Conli and Bradford Simonsen, who discussed why the team decided to explore the world of Big Hero 6 further, how the character represents everything good, and the general exploration of new formats to tell stories.

The question that has been on the minds of many, as has been the case with most of the recently extended franchises that Disney has going on, is why explore the world of Big Hero 6? What more can be done in this realm of the IP universe? The obvious answer, at least for me, is that Baymax is adorable. Since the character is already designed to be a helper, that leaves room for the possibility to play around there. Creator Don Hall thought similarly:

“It started with just this idea of returning Baymax to what he was created to do. I felt like the television show at Disney TV had explored so many great avenues and they kinda furthered the story of Big Hero 6, with all the characters in Big Hero 6.  What I thought we could do with the series is actually just focus on Baymax and one patient at a time.  

I thought it would lend itself to just some fun stories where we get to meet a patient and get to have the fun of Baymax helping them.  And then, through Cirocco’s writing and Scott’s performance and all the directors that worked on the show, [it became] something much more than what I’d envisioned at the beginning. The beating heart of the show is something that is…it’s real and it elevated it beyond what I ever imagined.”

Courtesy Walt Disney Animations Studios

Baymax’s general likable was also an easy sell. Even though it’s been eight years since Big Hero 6 debuted in theaters, one thing is certain. The looks, personality, and overwhelming stubbornness of the helpful robot caretaker is a perfect package that we’d all love to take home. When asked why the character resonated with so many people, again, Hall echoed similar thoughts:

“There’s an innate compassion that is built into him and a relentless desire to help, which we [use] for comedy purposes in the series.  Because he is relentlessly focused on that and you can’t bump him off of that. That is his protocol and he will do it.  And so, that was part of the fun of the series, taking that and looking at that from the perspective of a patient who may not want to be helped.

And therefore, there’s the comedy. You’ve got somebody that doesn’t wanna be helped and somebody that is relentlessly focused on helping no matter what.  And so, I think that’s part of it and, from a design perspective, he’s just so huggable. [laughs] It goes back to those original early days on Big Hero 6 when we discovered this inflatable robot technology and kinda extrapolated that and built it into this character.  And there’s sort of a simplicity as well. It was by design to not give him features, to not give him a face.  To see what we could do with less in terms of blinks.  And then it all falls upon or a lot of it falls upon Scott’s performance as well. I think that’s a huge factor in bringing Baymax to life.  So, I guess all those things.”

Regardless of the whys and hows, Baymax is a mainstay at this point in the Walt Disney Animation Studios lexicon. If only because we all love him. And, if you don’t, there’s probably something wrong with you. Seriously. BAYMAX! is now streaming exclusively on Disney+. And barring any ridiculous projections made by online trolls, the character’s helpfulness will instill important lessons and continue winning the hearts of both young and old alike.

Sarah Musnicky
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