Review | Baymax, a remedy for the wounded soul

Big Hero 6 (2014) turned out to be a sweeping commercial success and won an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

Published: 10th July 2022 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th July 2022 12:07 PM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

Big Hero 6 (2014) turned out to be a sweeping commercial success and won an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Hiro and Tadashi Hamada, along with Fred, Go-Go, Wasabi, and Honey Lemon, went on to become memorable characters, and now, Baymax!, the spinoff, takes off from its predecessors Big Hero 6 and Big Hero 6: The Series (2017-2021). This time, the focus is solely on the healthcare robot that helps everyone, just as Tadashi wanted. Spanning a maximum of 10 minutes per episode, the six-episode series is about familiar people dealing with unfamiliar situations.

This idea of a robot that emotes as humans do reminds us of similar films like I, Robot (2004), Wall-E (2008), Her (2013), and Chappie (2015)... Much like some of those robots, this one too knows when and how to offer reassurance to humans. Where Baymax! wins is in its implementation of Gen-Z lingo and sophisticated humour. Despite the limited duration of each episode, creator Don Hall manages to
squeeze in plenty of laughs. The first episode, in particular, is cracking—even if conspicuous by the lack of humour. It is marked by weighty silence instead that speaks volumes.

Remember that emotional scene in Big Hero 6 when Baymax kept saying, “Tadashi is here”? In this spinoff, Baymax continues offering one-liners as solutions, and it continues to work. It’s also a gentle reminder that the biggest problems often have the simplest solutions. Significant moments include topics
like a unisex bathroom in one episode, and a candid conversation about menstruation in another.

Perhaps the fourth episode is a bit of a misfit, but given the efficiency of the other episodes, this is easily forgiven. The big question raised here—one that has real-world implications—is about whether robots will evolve to forge deeper relationships with humans. In this series, the citizens of San Fransokyo initially don’t consent to Baymax scanning them as it does. Perhaps in the future, it would be kinder to these citizens to seek their consent before performing a diagnosis on them.

As a whole, Baymax! is comforting content that doesn’t flinch from wearing its emotions on its sleeve. The series speaks of many ideas, including how we can shed our prejudices at any time. As Baymax says, “It is never too late.”            

Directors: Dan Abraham, Mark Kennedy, Lissa Treiman, Dean Wellins
Genre: Animation
Platform: Disney+ Hotstar
Language: English


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