It hasn't even been two weeks since Disney's Big Hero 6 was released and already Baymax has become a household name. The armored but huggable robot has earned his place among the rose gallery of memorable Disney characters. During the film's lengthy development, however, Baymax almost looked quite different than he did in the final product (seen below).
It is clear from the smooth character designs that [Big Hero 6](movie:425271)'s look was heavily inspired by anime. Well believe it or not, Baymax's armor was at one point directly inspired by an anime series.
In the recently released book: The Art of Big Hero 6, a cornucopia of concept art can be seen for the fans' viewing pleasure. One specific picture that was surprisingly left out of the book (but later displayed on artist Ryan Lang's Tumblr page) displays Baymax rocking an almost entirely different suit of armor.
As seen in the image above, Baymax's armor seems to be directly inspired by the Japanese Gundam franchise (specifically, the 1979 anime series: Mobile Suit Gundam). The show centered around giant robots controlled by humans to fight wars. It is often cited as the series that revolutionized giant robots. Without it, Transformers, Pacific Rim and Big Hero 6 itself may not have existed. It is likely that Baymax was inspired by the RX-78 Gundam robot.
Artist Ryan Lang said about the design on Tumblr:
This was when Baymax’s design wasn’t settled on, so I gave him some Gundam influence. None of this is in the film, and didn't fit into the art book, so…… here it is.
It seems very likely that Lang was paying tribute to the very series that revolutionized the idea of giant robots in the media. It is not known why the design was scrapped, but it's still nice to see a glimpse of what almost was.