Baymax! the series returns to San Fransokyo with Easter eggs galore, Entertainment News

It’s been seven years since moviegoers were whisked away to the bustling, bustling kingdom of San Fransokyo in Big Hero 6, but the legacy of Baymax, the lovable, inflatable robotic healthcare provider who belongs to protagonist Hiro Hamada, continues. to shine.

Over the years, the character has become a beloved cultural icon, spawning all sorts of merchandise and branded offerings, as well as a small-screen return to Disney Channel’s Big Hero 6 series, which aired from 2017 to 2021.

With the arrival of Baymax! at Disney+, the fan-favorite is thrust back into the limelight once again, in a familiar yet different setting. San Fransokyo looks the same, but it really doesn’t – this new series explores places both new and old, with the environmental design born out of the team’s field trips to San Francisco and Tokyo as part of the design process. research.

“We sent teams to Tokyo to sketch and study the details there,” producer Roy Conli explained in a production brief. “The same teams went to San Francisco to explore. What emerged was a universal city that still amazes me today. The street model is San Francisco, but the design element is Tokyo. This world is vibrant and alive, and it still lives.

So it’s just Baymax! would pay homage to the place that started it all. During a press conference attended by Geek Culture, producer Bradford Simonsen teased the deliberate addition of Easter eggs that Big Hero 6 fans and the healthcare sidekick can look forward to.

“There are so many Easter eggs because the way we did that was actually bring back lots and lots of San Fransokyo, and then we watched other shows, and we even used bits and pieces of those shows and characters, in fact, to bring that world to life,” Bradford said with a laugh. “We had so much fun thinking of all the fun ways to add Easter eggs.”

His comment was surprised by Scott Adsit, the voice of Baymax, who admitted his inability to notice these references despite having watched the series three times. In response to the star’s request for a hint, Bradford cheekily confirmed: “There’s one [Easter egg] in every episode, in fact. You embarrass me!

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He later cited the opening episode Kiko as an example, but continued to keep Scott in the dark, saying only this, “We take different shows and add similar parts and parts. As simple as a chair or a table, we make it. So all kinds of fun stuff in there.

This act of inserting mini references serves as a nod to the team’s efforts to incorporate Easter eggs during their 6 Days of Big Hero. At the time, Bradford shared, little Mickey Mouse were introduced in the film from time to time, to the point that the crew members themselves still aren’t able to locate them all, even after seven years. .

It’s a nice way to tie together the past and present, while preserving Baymax’s status as a pop culture icon. The character, after all, was inspired by Totoro from Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbor Totoro, and had a flight sequence in Big Hero 6 that was reminiscent of Tony Stark’s take-off scene in the first Iron Man movie. He would later become the muse of Orisa, one of the heroes of Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch shooter, but despite Baymax’s superhero roots and influence, the Disney+ series would veer away from lifesaving antics. the world.

Instead, Baymax! is a six-episode, or rather half-dozen, eight-minute short that puts the healthcare companion in everyday situations, where he continues to reach out to normal citizens and individuals. One short, for example, normalizes the growing pains of the puberty process, while another addresses the culture of restlessness and guilt that comes with missing work days. Sprinkle a dash of humor and Baymax’s adorably clueless responses into the mix, and there’s a story waiting to be told.

On the puberty-focused episode, Scott thought it was great that the topic was never treated as “something to be ashamed of or hidden away, but talked about very openly and clearly”. Indeed, the series does not shy away from sensitive or uncomfortable subjects, which is why it must have a good balance between light elements and narrative meaning.

It should be mentioned that Baymax! also features characters from minority groups — a thoughtful consideration that grounds it more in reality, especially with San Francisco’s melting pot of races and ethnicities.

That’s a lot to translate into short episodes, and Roy agrees just as much. “It was new territory for a lot of us,” he said.

“We usually work on 90-minute films, and we iterate and iterate for, you know, four to five years to make a film. And in that, we did the same number of iterations, but because the structure is so small in comparison, we were able to… take each of those gems and polish them to perfection.

“I think every little episode tells a story that is complete. And then you take these episodes together, and there’s a big arc to the whole show, so that was awesome,” the man added.

The new less is more approach doesn’t mean the very essence of Baymax and Big Hero 6 has changed, however. The character’s greatest strength – despite being a robot with a limited understanding of human emotions – has always been compassion, and the show does a conscious job of emphasizing this in each episode, which Roy says , is dedicated to healthcare workers.

“We live in a time when our healthcare providers are, in fact, heroes, so I would say Baymax is, in its current healthcare provider form, a hero. [too]“, he clarified.

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The daily framework helps to better understand that it is possible to be a superhero without powers in different communities, Scott noting that it is simply a matter of being available to lend assistance and recognizing what is needed when it is needed. ‘is necessary.

“Baymax is not quite like us, because he has only one goal: to go around the city, [and] tries to help people. We can’t all do this, but if we can be aware enough to find the times when our specific skills or compassion are needed, we can put them to good use. And I think watching him do it constantly maybe gives us a little insight into how we can do it ourselves.

In fact, it was this exact sense of heart and warmth that prompted series creator Don Hall to choose Big Hero 6 as his project in 2011. “The unique nature of the team itself was this relationship that you could see in the beginning between a young teenage super-genius and this robot that essentially becomes a surrogate big brother,” he said.

“And it was just like, man, that is, you know, the heart beats there, and it was something that we could lean on.”

The team has never looked back since, and the rest is, as they say, history.

Baymax! is now streaming on Disney+.

This article was first published in Geek Culture.

Alicia R. Rucker