Disney released a six-episode series of Baymax! shorts this week, giving the fan-favorite Big Hero 6 character his own spotlight.
And frankly, it’s a series I didn’t know I needed.
Rather than focus on the crime-fighting superhero side of Baymax’s origins, this series takes the inflatable robot back to his prime directive: just helping others. Each short sees Baymax venture out into the city of San Fransokyo to assist a new character with their healthcare needs (whether they think they want help or not). In doing so, the series emphasizes the importance of a different kind of superhero: healthcare providers.
Creator Don Hall said the decision to remove Baymax from his superhero origins for this series was very intentional.
“It kinda started with just this idea of returning Baymax to what he was created to do… 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 some fun stories where we just get to meet a patient and get to have the fun of Baymax helping them,” Hall said during a press conference for the series. “By design, it kind of left out the superhero thing and just let him be a more kind of grounded, on the street type of superhero, like our real healthcare workers.”
Scott Adsit, who voices Baymax, added that compassion has always been Baymax’s real superpower.
“Compassion is the word. He is very aware of making people feel good. And he is in no way judgmental, which is the great thing about him. He approaches everything equally and is there only to provide help and support and knowledge,” said Adsit. “And I mean, that’s what we all aspire to be, right? And that’s what makes him so, I mean, beyond huggable, admirable. Because he is the best of all of us. The best elements that we aspire to be, he just is, effortlessly.”
Baymax! does make compassion the core tenant of its episodes. Not only does Baymax help people address their physical health concerns, he helps them address their fears and uncertainties related to their health. It’s a powerful acknowledgement of the nuances of care, and a reminder for us all that a little compassion goes a long way.
“We really hope that the characters are inspiring, that Baymax is inspiring, that people take a moment to think about and care about each other. And to really enjoy the show, but learn and grow from it, too,” said producer Bradford Simonsen.
Adsit adds that while we don’t all have the ability to help others in the same way Baymax does, he can still serve as a role model for how we can lend a hand in our own way.
“If we can be aware enough to find those moments where our specific skills or compassion is needed, we can put them to good use. I think watching Baymax do it constantly gives us a little peek into how we can do it ourselves,” said Adsit. “It’s an example of just being available, and recognizing what is needed when it’s needed.”
You can stream Baymax! now on Disney+.