“Baymax Returns” is a new original show by Disney XD that aired on Nov. 20, 2017. The story takes place right after the movie “Big Hero 6” where Hiro Hamada starts his first day of college at San Fransokyo Institute of Technology with his four friends, Wasabi, Gogo, Honey-Lemon, and Fred. On the first day, he finds an old memory chip of his brother’s robot, Baymax, who sacrificed himself to save Hiro and the antagonist’s daughter in the movie, “Big Hero 6”.
The main conflict of the story presented in the hour special is that Yama, a robot-fighter that was introduced in the movie as a side character, is hired by the main antagonist to acquire some artifact that the Headmaster of Hiro’s school, Professor Grandville, coincidentally has in her possession. He does this by making copies of Baymax’s ecto-skeleton after it got loose from Hiro. Using Yama as a reoccurring antagonist not only is a smart move on the writers, but can already set a foundation on motives for Yama’s character. They also put a little dialogue in the show about how Hiro got Yama arrested in the movie. That scene alone already makes Yama’s character fit in the role he is placed in. So Hiro and his friends have to stop Yama from getting the artifact before it’s too late.
In addition to the main conflict, the writers add in a character conflict for Hiro. Attending the college of his deceased brother, Hiro already has pressure on him. The Headmaster has multiple scenes with Hiro, most being to emphasize that being Tadashi’s brother, he must follow in Tadashi’s footsteps if Hiro has a chance of surviving in this new school. This character conflict had an additional obstacle, The Headmaster wouldn’t allow Hiro to use his brother’s old work lab because Hiro’s only a freshmen in the college. But this conflict is completely thrown to the birds because at the end of the special, the Headmaster gives it to him anyways. It was solved very quickly to the point that the whole thing seemed irrelevant to the main story.
The animation contrasts the movie, trading 3D animation used in the movie to new 2D animation for the new show. Yet the animation itself seems very stiff, where the character’s eyes and mouth animation seems linear and unemotional. The body language tries to be fluid but ends up being awkward and a bit distracting, and models seem rigid when they move as well. The colors are nicely contrasting and easy on the eyes, where some black outlines on the environment and characters are thin and not too sharp and thick. Their movements seem too quick or too slow at some points.
Overall, the show has an interesting story that follows a fan-service formula, but the animation seems a tad flawed and awkward at some points. The show is still very enjoyable and will sure to bring many fans glee when watching.
Julia Peralta // Graphics Dept.