“Big Hero 6” (2014), Disney’s newest animated feature, “doesn’t have some of the familiar Disney markers.”
But what it also doesn’t have is the kind of robots we’re familiar with. Baymax is a chubby, white robot, who “toddles, waddles, squeaks.”
He’s also something of a Proustian Marshmallow, who triggers an irresistible chain of elemental pleasures: he’s a stuffed animal, a warm blanket, a cozy chair, a warm embrace.
The robot has been created as a “health care companion” … a futuristic Florence Nightingale that looks like a cuddlier, more streamlined Michelin Man.
But the Disney edition of Baymax is starkly different from his comic book version.
Dreamed up by the boy genius Hiro Takachiho as a science project, Baymax was designed to serve as his robot bodyguard, butler, and chauffeur. But before he could complete him, his father passed away. The young inventor then reprogrammed him with some of his old man’s memories, after which he became a buddy and a father figure.