I’m fascinated by Disney’s formula for reaching audiences.
I “people watch” vicariously through their blockbuster films by pondering why they include what they do.
Only what tugs at the heartstrings of those who can tug at the purse strings will make it onto the screen.
Often the first people I “watch” are those in the same room as me.
My 16-year-old has an inner child that surfaces every time we see a feel-good movie.
Since she was a preschooler, she’s had this “happy clap” that spontaneously erupts when good triumphs, relationships are restored, and those hurting are helped.
This movie was no exception.
Programmed to heal
She and I both instantly adored Baymax, who was outfitted with all the best personification: compassion, comedic timing, and a slapstick physical presence.
But it was Baymax’s “heart” and moral compass that drew us both in.2
Yes, we knew he was only a robot, but at this point we had already suspended reality – and admit it: You did / do / would too.
The therapeutic friendship between Baymax and Hiro touched something in both of us that should be off limits to a cartoon.
We watched Baymax respond to Hiro with empathy and compassion and quickly forgot he was “programmed.” 3
Ultimately, Baymax helped Hiro heal and the desire for vengeance that had overtaken the youth was reprogrammed thanks to him.
“Your health is my only concern”
And so, with us both sold on Baymax as Hiro’s saving grace and true friend, and rooting for them as they tried to save the villain’s daughter, we were perfectly primed for what Disney did to us next.
With all hope lost as they dangled inside a portal on the edge of disappearing forever, Baymax realized that he could sacrifice himself so that Hiro and the girl could live. (Full dialogue below) 4
If you’ve seen the movie, you can likely recall how watching the climactic sequence where Baymax asked Hiro if he was “satisfied with his care” made you feel.
I certainly can. Baymax demonstrated sacrificial love that caught me with a small lump in my throat and although it was dark, I think I saw my teen wipe away a tear.
Sacrificial love is not a fairy tale
As the credits rolled, my writer brain began to spin.
I was first reminded of how this theme of sacrificial love continues to surface in Disney films.
A year ago I wrote about Olaf’s declaration, “Some people are worth melting for” (Frozen) and it continues to be my number one post.
I don’t know why but I think that at least some people who make their way to my corner of the blogosphere can’t imagine being worth melting for.
I don’t need Disney to tell me that all of creation is yearning for something more, but I am fascinated when I see secular evidence of this truth.
The idea of someone willing to lay down his life for a friend is compelling … and makes a really great story.
But it’s not just a fairy tale. It’s actually the greatest story of all. Jesus Christ gave up his life to save us from eternal death. If you don’t know Jesus as Savior, read more.
Am I Satisfied With My Care?
The majority of my readers DO know Jesus as Savior, however.
For you – and for me – I ask, “Are you satisfied with your care?”
By the time Baymax was about to sacrifice his life for Hiro, I had already recognized the allegory.
And so, when the animation zooms in on his face as he asks that question of the child he has been totally consumed with helping, I couldn’t help but connect the dots further.
It’s a question I need to ask myself.
But not in the sense it was asked in the movie, however.
Baymax asks in order to get affirmation that he has done his job to the patient’s satisfaction.
If we are making the leap to talk about our relationship with Jesus, He certainly does not need affirmation or anything from me giving Him permission.
The question digs into MY heart.
Am I satisfied?
Not, “Has He done a good job?” but am I SATISFIED?
Am I content that whatever He has prescribed is what I need?
Whether it be discipline or pruning or refining trials or waiting or the valley of darkness, can I say with confidence:
It is WELL with my soul.
Watching that movie, you realize that the child couldn’t possibly answer with anything but, “Yes. I. Am. Satisfied.”
As we watch the story unfold, we know how the care and keeping of that boy is the one program the hero has executed above all else.
The same is true for my story and for yours.
Whether we fully comprehend it or not.
Whether it feels good or not.
Whether we can see how it ends or not.
God is working all things for our eventual good and for His glory. He did not spare even His only Son as a sacrifice so that we could one day spend eternity in His presence. (Romans 8:28,32)
He is for me, not against me.
He is faithful, even when I am faithless.
He is the keeper of all creation and the author of my peace.
And so, with each morning as the opening credits fade in, I choose to say:
I. Am. Satisfied. With my care.
Cue my daughter’s happy clap.
Encouraging You as You inspire others,
Notes for anyone not familiar with this movie:
1 Movie synopsis:
Hiro and Tadashi are a pair of robotic-genius siblings whose parents have died.
Tadashi is the perfect big brother to 14-year-old Hiro, but soon dies trying to save his beloved professor.
Tadashi’s four nerdy friends band together to help Hiro through the grief.
Hiro inherits Tadashi’s pet robotics project, “Baymax,” a “personal healthcare assistant.”
Baymax is a 10-foot tall inflatable robot equipped with high tech scanning and medical technology who responds to sounds of distress by asking, “rate your pain on a scale of one to ten” and who cannot deactivate until the patient says, “I am satisfied with my care.”
Hiro, Baymax, and the four friends form a superhero team to find a villain, solve a mystery, and save a life.
2 Baymax becomes a conscience and voice of wisdom:
Baymax tells Hiro, “My programming prevents me from injuring a human being,” and thus protests when Hiro upgrades him to superhero status with armor and karate skills. He later asks Hiro if killing the villain will improve Hiro’s emotional state, reminding Hiro that Tadashi programmed him to heal, not hurt.
3 Selected Baymax quotes to illustrate:
“You will be alright. There There.”
“Does it hurt when I touch it?”
“It’s alright to cry … Crying is a natural response to pain.”
“Would you like a hug?”
“Those who suffer a loss require support from friends and loved ones.”
4 Climactic ending sequence – full dialogue:
Baymax: There is still a way I can get you both to safety.
I cannot deactivate until you say you are satisfied with your care.
Hiro: No, no, no, no, no, wait. What about you?
Baymax: You are my patient.
Hiro: [Trying to stop him] B-B-Baymax, no–
Baymax: Your health is my only concern.
Hiro: Stop! No, I-I-I’m– I’m gonna figure out–
Baymax: Are you satisfied with your care?
Hiro: No! There’s gotta be another way! I’m not gonna leave you here! I’ll think of something!
Baymax: There is no time. Are you satisfied with your care?
Hiro: [On the brink of tears] Please! No! I can’t lose you, too.
Baymax: Hiro, I will always be with you.
[Hiro tearfully hugs Baymax and starts crying. Baymax hugs him back.]
Hiro: [Heartbroken] I’m satisfied with my care.