As far as adorable white round sidekicks go, Olaf is hard to beat. The breakout star of Disney’s Frozen has a big personality and is always ready with a musical number. The robot at the heart of Big Hero 6 couldn’t be more different, but he could still give that snowman a run for his money. Baymax is an inflatable vinyl nurse who befriends Hiro (Ryan Potter), a jaded teenager. Together they track down a thief with supervillain ambitions. Baymax may not be effusive — he’s a machine — yet he manages to deliver some of the film’s most emotional and comedic moments.
Directors Don Hall (Winnie the Pooh) and Chris Williams (Bolt) kept Baymax as robotic as possible, from his design (squishy) to his gait (”baby penguin” meets ”toddler with a full diaper,” Hall says) to his voice (30 Rock’s Scott Adsit channeling a gentle automated phone system). Most important, Baymax doesn’t have aspirations beyond his health care tasks (imagine WALL?E with no goals besides compacting trash). But his simplicity is his secret weapon. ”We boiled things down to their essence,” says Hall. ”If you get rid of all the extraneous stuff, tiny movements and blinks mean so much.”