Everything We Know About Baymax So Far

Few studios know how to exploit their movies' popular supporting characters like Disney, as shown by the sheer number of Olaf spin-offs the House of Mouse has churned out since the original "Frozen" brought the enchanted, heat-loving snowman to the screen. Disney Animation soon after introduced the world to another marshmallow-white sidekick in the form of Baymax, the gentle, robotic healthcare companion featured in 2014's "Big Hero 6." And once audiences quickly fell in love with the endearing, inflatable robot turned superhero, it was only a matter of time before he, too, returned for more adventures.

Despite rumors of a film sequel, Disney chose to continue its Marvel comic book adaptation with "Big Hero 6: The Series." A 2D-style animated show that partly retconned the movie's ending, it aired for three seasons on Disney XD and the Disney Channel, and followed teenaged tech prodigy Hiro Hamada, Baymax (who, lest we forget, Hiro's late brother Tadashi invented), and the rest of their friends as they defended San Fransokyo from various supervillains while dealing with the challenges that come with being students at the city's prestigious Institute of Technology. Now, it's Baymax's turn to get the spotlight more to himself.

When and Where to Watch Baymax

"Baymax" will stream exclusively on Disney+ beginning summer 2022. It's the first TV series produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios, as opposed to Disney Television Animation and the divisions that worked on earlier sequel or spin-off shows to Disney's animated films, "Big Hero 6: The Series" included. This means it should have the same quality of computer animation as "Big Hero 6," as well as the many other CGI movies the company has developed since it stopped making theatrical 2D-animated films after the box office failure of 2011's critically acclaimed "Winnie the Pooh."

Along with "Baymax," Disney announced Disney+ sequel series to "The Princess and the Frog," "Zootopia," and "Moana" at its Investors Day event in December 2020, all of which will also boast visuals crafted by Walt Disney Animation Studios. It's part of the House of Mouse's larger strategy to keep up with its streaming competitors; just as Netflix and HBO Max are emptying their wallets to make original live-action series and films with production values to match today's theatrical releases, Disney knows it can no longer get by with cheaply-animated continuations of its most beloved animated movies the way it did with its profitable yet creatively bankrupt direct-to-video era. (Okay, they weren't all bad; there were even a few diamonds in the rough.)

What We Think Baymax Will Be About

"Big Hero 6" co-director Don Hall has described "Baymax" as "a continuation of the movie [that] really focuses on Baymax's original protocol, which is to be a nurse robot." Each episode will introduce a new person for Baymax to treat courtesy of his newest feature, allowing the adorably slow robot "to quickly travel around the streets [of San Fransokyo] looking for patients." The series' trailer offers a glimpse at just a handful of Baymax's patients on the show, ranging from an older woman (whose hearing has diminished over time) with a bad back, to elementary school kids, and even Hiro's ebullient, loving Aunt Cass.

As exhilarating as the action was in "Big Hero 6," many of its best moments involved Baymax caring for Hiro and the film's other heroes. More than that, the movie packed a real emotional punch in the scenes where Baymax helped Hiro process his grief over Tadashi's death and use his anger to bring about positive change instead of seeking revenge. That's to say: the "Baymax" series seems like a fun way to allow the character to stay true to his purpose while teaching kids (and, for that matter, adults) lessons about the value of self-care and being sensitive to others' physical and emotional needs.

What We Know About the Baymax Cast and Crew

Scott Adsit and Maya Rudolph are reprising their "Big Hero 6" voice roles as Baymax and Aunt Cass for "Baymax" after previously lending their vocals to the characters for "Big Hero 6: The Series." Hall, who also co-directed "Moana" and "Raya and the Last Dragon," created the spin-off show and, one presumes, played an extensive role in its creative direction. For now, though, it's unclear whether Hall is serving as a writer on most of its episodes, in addition to possibly directing one or more of them.

Beyond that, it will be interesting to see how branching out into television affects Walt Disney Animation Studios. The shift from making live-action films only to developing both live-action streaming series and theatrical movies has served Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm well both artistically and commercially, to the point where Lucasfilm's continued problems getting new "Star Wars" films made doesn't seem like such a pressing issue anymore. If things go equally well for Disney's animated division, shows like "Baymax" could offer the type of deeper world-building and bolder storytelling that the studio's big, splashy animated tentpoles don't quite provide.