Big Hero 6 would be a distinctly average Disney animation, albeit with fun superhero and manga mash-ups, without Baymax. But when you add Baymax, the central marshmallow man-styled healthcare companion who takes things far too literally and is not fast, it gets a magic touch.
Baymax is invented by Tadashi, an extremely smart and nice college student, who pushes his younger brother Hiro to use his huge brain and get into college early. When Tadashi tragically dies in a huge fire, sadly leaving the film far too early, Hiro and Baymax are thrust together and the healthcare companion sees it as his duty to improve his 14-year-old charge’s emotional health and get him through the grieving process.
When they accidentally discover a mysterious masked man replicating Hiro’s clever invention microbot invention they band together with Tadashi’s college friends – including a memorable voice turn from Damon Wayons Jr aka Coach from New Girl or Brad in Happy Endings – to stop them being used for evil.
They become a superhero group which is part awesome, with laser blades and a super-speed bike with electromagnetic wheels, but also part underwhelming, with Fred in a weird dinosaur suit and chemical balls that are undoubtedly scientifically impressive but a bit lame in the battlefield.
Of course, all of this is fairly inconsequential when Baymax carries the film. When his battery is low he acts drunk and accosts Hiro’s family cat. He adds a whole new dimension (sound) to the classic fist bump. He is not fast and bumbles around. His face is incredibly emotive in its simplicity and he is the most determined, sympathetic and big-hearted robot around.
This big white marshmallow man, who is even still cute and hilarious with his plump stomach kitted out in armour, is the best animated robot since Wall-E and even more lovable. The film is a delight but you’ll surely miss Baymax when he’s not on screen.