So it turns out the episode up on Disney’s YouTube channel isn’t “Baymax Returns”, the hour-long episode that shows how the end credit to Big Hero Six the movie took place. You know, where Baymax was brought back (hence the episode name) and the team became the city’s crimefighters, while also taking on the name Big Hero 6. It’s a good story and I recommend it. However, I can show you the first actual episode as the team takes on their first supervillains.
For those you who missed the movie, or my Finally Watched review, Big Hero 6 takes the name and not much else from the Marvel comics Japanese superhero team. Instead we find ourselves in the future city of San Fransokyo, a strange but visually interesting merging of San Francisco and Tokyo. In the episode “Issue 188” the team deals with a mother/daughter villain team who treats crime as a rock performance while Hiro has to deal with being forced to make friends with the only other gifted teenager on campus. And yes, the dean is introduced in “Baymax Returns”.
One thing I like about the show is that it doesn’t ignore certain elements of the movie for the series like a lot of other series-to-movie cartoons do. Unless you want to pretend Men In Black: The Series takes place after the second movie, but that means acknowledging the second movie and I’d rather not. Wasabi’s (for lack of a better word) cowardice is still there and explained as adrenaline when their battling killer robots or supervillains. Callahan is still in prison. Takashi is still dead but serves as an inspiration to Hiro (who in the special had to learn to do his thing and not be a mirror of Takashi). They have to be talked into remaining heroes. And we learn what goes into restoring Baymax. Even Takama, the jerk who gave Hiro trouble at the beginning of the movie, turns out to be a potential threat but that did mean expanding his role to also being a flunky of the threat you saw at the end of this episode, possibly a continuing looming threat until the season finale. I hope they don’t undo the movie and make the villain be the guy we thought was the villain in the movie. They also brought back most of the voice cast from the movie which is always good to see. The animation isn’t the same as the movie’s CG but it serves the story well on a TV budget. Trying to do the CG on TV funds wouldn’t have looked as good and it would be noticeable and distracting. I think they made the right decision.
It’s odd that in an episode where the subplot includes the secret identity issue that Fred so easily opens the porthole and helmet of his suit (although now we get to see how he fits in there) where I’m sure High Voltage could see it. I guess the visor does obscure his face just enough that Karmi, who probably hasn’t taken a real good look at Hiro out of superhero identity wouldn’t recognize him. There’s also a further fleshing of the character’s lives outside of the team and even their own mutual friendship. They have their own interests, which leads them to dealing with people like Fred’s nemesis there or Karmi in Hiro’s case. It makes them feel a bit more real and unique apart from the group which brings more balance to them as a group of friends and teammates.
Big Hero Six: The Series airs on Disney Channel. If you liked this episode check it out, and also see the movie and “Baymax Returns” special.