Whatever your reason for needing a personal healthcare companion, the lovable inflatable robot from Big Hero 6 is back as the star of his own short-form animated series, Baymax! The first episodic series from Walt Disney Animation Studios has warmed its way onto Disney+ with six brand-new shorts, each of which finds Baymax out and about San Fransokyo helping residents in need. But ultimately, the person most in need of Baymax just might be you at home.
The fun begins when Hiro’s aunt Cass (voiced by Maya Rudolph) trips and injures her ankle, alerting Baymax (voiced by Scott Adsit) to her need for assistance. As a single parental figure to Hiro and a small business owner, she’s unwilling to stay off her feet to let her injury heal, which prompts Baymax to show exactly how far he will go to make someone satisfied with his care. Comedy ensues as the huggable bot, who is admittedly not fast, tries to fulfill orders at the cafe. And from there, audiences will meet a variety of new characters with their own unique needs.
The short format Baymax! series may be episodic, but don’t assume that they’re all self-contained episodes. There’s actually a throughline to the series, although it doesn’t become obvious until close to the end. With lots of Easter Eggs and hidden elements, the series also rewards viewers who go back for another round. Each of the shorts has a message or a lesson to be learned, but in the end, there’s also an important theme of self-care.
An elderly woman with hip pain, a food truck owner who develops an allergy to his most popular dish, and a stray cat who ingests something harmful are three of the other stories to be found here. But the episode likely to spark the largest amount of discussion is called “Sofia.” This episode finds Baymax helping a girl through her first period in a way that doesn’t beat around the bush with allegory like Turning Red. It’s by no means a replacement for a sex-ed talk, but it helps further an effort to normalize a natural part of existence for so many people. Watching this, you can only imagine a better adolescent experience for a future generation of kids who will be better prepared for what’s to come.
Like Big Hero 6, Baymax! ultimately targets your heartstrings with an important theme of self-care. It’s guaranteed to make you smile but hopefully will also spark an inward look at what you need. If you had a personal healthcare companion like Baymax in your life, what would you need them to do for you? An inflatable robot may not be your real-world solution, but you can still feel better while searching for one.
I give Baymax! 5 out of 5 red lollipops.
Baymax! is now streaming on Disney+.