Today at SDCC, [Big Hero 6](movie:425271) held a panel titled "The Art Of...". We were expecting to see lots of new images and stills from the film, but what was slightly unexpected was the reveal of two new clips! From reports of the clips, it looks like there is at least one major change in the story of Baymax, and I wonder if the underlying moral of the story may have been hinted at.
First up, the clip showing Baymax and Hiro meeting for the first time. In the comic books, Hiro creates Baymax as a science-fair project (and chauffeur, butler, etc), but when his father dies, Hiro programmed Baymax with elements of his father's personality and makes him much more than just a helpful bot.
According to SuperheroHype, the clip showing the meeting of Hiro and Baymax makes it clear that the original backstory is not going to be part of the movie.
He drops something on his foot and his ‘Ouch!’ activates Baymax, who is a personal health care robot and emerges from a case in an adjacent room, which you can see through an open doorway.
Baymax inflates and is trapped behind a bed and stack of boxes. The robot squeezes through the obstacles and comes into the room with Hiro. He introduces himself as Baymax, a personal health care assistant. He tells Hiro he was activated by hearing distress.
So rather than building Baymax, Hiro encounters him. We have seen in the trailers that Hiro builds his armor, so there may still be elements of the original story in the film, but the backstory is definitely changing.
Next up, we have a clip called "First Flight", where Hiro (unsurprisingly) flies with Baymax for the first time.
The clip starts with Baymax and Hiro in full superhero armor flying erratically over the cityscape of San Fransokyo. Hiro tries to get Baymax to steady and speed up a bit when the robot punches it. Hiro exclaims: “Too much thrust! Too much thrust!” as the duo go racing across the Golden Gate Bridge. A near collision is averted by Hiro’s commands of ‘Up! Up!’ and the pair wind up perched atop one of the bridge’s massive supports. Baymax tells Hiro: “Your neurotransmitter levels are rising.” Hiro asks: “Which means what?” Baymax: “The treatment is working.”
There is a very telling line in this "The treatment is working", and between the two clips, I have a theory about the message of the movie. We know that Disney always includes after-school-special style themes, and they have been getting more complex with recent films.
It's been obvious from the start that the film will center around the relationship between Baymax and Hiro, but we didn't know exactly how that was going to play out. Now that I have read the descriptions of these two clips, I'm willing to bet that Disney is actually going a little dark, and doing a movie about teenage depression.
When Hiro first meets Baymax, there are stacks of boxes around, suggesting that Hiro has just moved. We also know that Hiro is under the protection of his guardian, Aunt Cass, not his parents. Given that his father dies in the books, it makes sense to assume that Hiro is orphaned in the movie.
New city, major loss, and then we bring a "personal care robot" into the mix. It makes perfect sense to me to have Disney bring in one of their typical rebellious/mixed-up teens in as the main character, and see Baymax enter to treat him for depression/grief. He will do this by being his best friend, but also giving him purpose, and getting him out with new friends (the rest of the gang).
Obviously, this is still a superhero movie, and there will be the entire plot around the crime-fighting group and an inevitable big bad, but I really think that the choice of clips was very pointed. Revealing Baymax's underlying purpose and that Hiro's happiness means a successful treatment makes me immediately think that Disney is addressing a very serious issue for teens.
What do you think? Is this theory grasping at straws, or do you like it? What are your theories on the changes that Disney will make to Big Hero 6?