Disclosure: This is part of a sponsored collaboration with Disney and the Walt Disney Animation Studios. I received an all-expense paid trip from Disney so that I could gather and share this information. However, all experiences and opinions are always 100% my own as this post is written by me in its entirety.
Recently the world was introduced to Baymax, star robot in the Disney animated film Big Hero 6. He was also voted the worlds most huggable character for 2015. But who is Baymax and what makes him so unbelievably awesome? Will the world ever know who the real Baymax is???
Is it really Baymax?
Scott Adsit is the voice of Baymax, but just to be sure I asked him to let us really hear it. He was a bit concerned at first…
Alright. It’s funny too because I meet kids who are fascinated by the character and I’m always afraid that they will be disappointed that Baymax is just this kind of dangly, bald, bearded adult. So I’m always ready for them to go talk like [Baymax], or “this is Baymax”, their parents will say. And I expect them to go “what?” But they understand the concept, and I start talking to them and their eyes go wide and they get real excited and they totally accept it, so it’s the best job in the world. Um, let me see, what can I say?
OMG it really is Baymax. I can’t believe I really found him!!!
Scott’s been tasked with leaving messages for his friends children, “[IN BAYMAX VOICE] Thank you for visiting Hero and me in San Fransokyo. We hope to come visit you in Schenectady soon. But we have to stay here and I must protect my friends from danger. Currently, I am saving Fred from a jalapeno and peanut butter pizza.” The kids really like it and Scott loves doing it.
On finding Baymax’s voice and making it unique
It had to be soft and sympathetic, the script dictated that upon the first reading of it during Scott’s audition.
I didn’t know if it would be a robotic voice and they brought me in for the audition and the script was the first indication that it wouldn’t be a typical robotic voice. And then when I saw the picture, because they already had the character design, I saw soft, huggable [character], so I found a very benign bedside manner voice. So I mixed that with a state of the art of robotic interaction vocally, which is pretty much [an] automated phone system. So he will talk with the flow, but then there are elements within a sentence that are variables, they’ll sound a little separate from the rest of it.
Real life inspirations come in the form of being soft and huggable
Inspiration for Baymax’s voice came from “family members who are very soft and huggable and benign.” Scott was able to find and channel the voice early on in the audition process. However, half way through the film Baymax loses power and so his voice needed to reflect that “for lack of a better word, drunk.” So with a little help of a filter and some over the top drunk acting, Baymax got a second voice from Scott. Processing filters are generally used to help create the sound/voice that is required for animated films once the voice actor dubs his lines. In the case of Baymax’s regular voice, John Lassiter – the man in charge of Disney Studios – kept requesting the filter to be dialed back, ultimately resulting in no filter and just Scott’s natural voice towards the end of the film!
In the last scene [of the film], in the void, there is no filter on my voice at. It’s just me. And so he [Baymax] kind of finds his humanity with a subtle kind of a sub-textual, subliminal, that you guys may not notice.
In order to really become a character like Baymax you have to live and breathe that character. Becoming one with it makes it hard to just turn it off when you go home. Scott would leave work and find catch himself talking as Baymax, which although isn’t much different from his own voice, he knew when he was using it full blast.
There is a lot to Baymax, especially since he doesn’t portray any physical emotion. Getting the audience to feel those emotions was all about the reflection coming from Baymax. Scott is very humble about the part in played in the creation of Baymax. It wasn’t just about him, it was about everyone that worked to create Baymax from the way he blinks to the way he walks.
With a background in improv, Scott was able to incorporate bits of himself into Baymax. He was able to play around during the “drunk – low battery” scenes and even created the fist bump noise – Fa la, la, la, la – which is being mimicked by people everywhere, young and old. Scott gets fist bump requests at least several times a week.
Scott Adsit rocked his role as the voice of Baymax, but his success doesn’t stop there. He starred on NBC’s “30 Rock”, and will be starring in the upcoming fall film, “St. Vincent” with Bill Murray.
Grab a copy of BIG HERO 6 available NOW on Blu-ray DVD and enjoy a fun-filled family movie night! Don’t miss the really adorable short available on the Blu-ray called Feast! It’s available with your purchase of BIG HERO 6 on Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere in addition to the Blu-Ray.
Get social online with the official movie hashtag #BigHero6 to learn more and interact with other fans on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Check out my journey to LA and all the fun I had learning about Big Hero 6 with the hashtag #BigHero6Bloggers on Twitter.