With the long-awaited Incredibles 2 on it’s way, a new short comes alongside it. The seven-and-a-half minute film, Bao, is being showcased and the storyline is enough to warm your heart. According to Entertainment Weekly, the “culinary fable” is about a “Chinese-Canadian woman suffering from the depression of an empty nest, who gets a second shot at motherhood when one of her handmade dumplings comes alive.” I already can’t handle the cuteness.
— Lee Unkrich (@leeunkrich) March 30, 2018
The one behind the epic story? Domee Shi, who will be the first female in the studio’s history to be a short director. The Torontonian states her inspiration behind the film was how her mother treated her when she was younger. “Often times it felt like my mom would treat me like a precious little dumpling, wanting to make sure I was safe, that I didn’t go out late, all that stuff,” she explained, which relates to one of the meanings the word ‘bao’ has other than being a delicious, steamed bun.
Shi has pitched several short ideas over her years at Pixar, but once she got the green light to direct and write Bao, the story was told to Pixar employees and it truly struck a chord with everyone. “We got a ton of e-mails from people identifying with the mom character, or the dumpling character, saying, ‘Wait, that’s me,’ or ‘That’s my parents,’ or ‘I’m dealing with this right now.’” Safe to say, you and your family are going to enjoy this identifiable short.
Speaking of family, Shi’s mother helped on set as a cultural consultant and providing the team with dumpling-making demos. ““Our technical directors and special effects team put the camera super close to her hands and recorded every single little detail of how she folded the dough, how she cut each piece, how she rolled each wrapper into that perfect little bun shape,” Shi recalls. “We recreated those shots with her hands and used them as the reference for animation.”
This film is going to have you feeling every emotion possible whether it’s hunger, amusement, tears, or joy. So make sure you stocked up with tissues and snacks, because you’ll probably need all of it.
Feature photo from Entertainment Weekly.