Five Things You’ll Love About the New Pixar Short Bao
Shorts have become some of my favorite films when I think about movies that I love. One of my all-time favorite shorts was Paperman, followed by Feast that played in front of Big Hero 6. During our trip to San Francisco, we saw the short that plays in front of Incredibles 2, Bao. After the screening, we sat down and chatted with Director Domee Shi, Producer Becky Neiman and Production Designer Rona Liu.
When we think about short films we might think they are easier to make however that couldn’t be further from the truth. It took Domee Shi four years to create the short, Bao. It’s based on her own life as an only child growing up in Canada.
In Disney•Pixar’s “Bao,” an aging Chinese mom suffering from empty nest syndrome gets another chance at motherhood when one of her dumplings springs to life as a lively, giggly dumpling boy. Mom excitedly welcomes this new bundle of joy into her life, but Dumpling starts growing up fast, and Mom must come to the bittersweet revelation that nothing stays cute and small forever. This short film from Pixar Animation Studios and director Domee Shi explores the ups and downs of the parent-child relationship through the colorful, rich, and tasty lens of the Chinese immigrant community in Canada. “Bao” opens in theaters on June 15, 2018, in front of “Incredibles 2.”
After the screening, I sat in semi-shock because the short was so cute. It was so touching in the end. It started with seeing this woman and the dumpling exploring and slowly you see the love between them grow. It’s a very touching story and I can’t wait for everyone to see it. I’m sure it will be high on your favorites list. There are so many great things to love about Bao and I’m sharing four things you’re going to love about this short film.
Inspired Be Chinese Folk Art
Domee Shi drew from her personal life and growing up with her parents in Canada. She used Chinese Folk Art to inspire the look of the short. They aimed for cute drawings and I have to say they delivered on making these characters super cute. I can’t wait to see the cute Bao inspired merchandise in stores. When you look at all the characters and designs in the background you can see how much Domee’s Chinese culture influenced her work on this film.
The Meaning of Bao
Domee shared with us the meaning of Bao, it’s Chinese origin is ‘treasure’. She felt it was the perfect description for this little steamed dumpling. Seeing the short did remind me of all the treasures in my life.
Focused On the Main Characters
The story remained focused on the main characters, we see a few people in the background and for other scenes but the heart of the story revolves around the woman and the little dumpling boy. You get to follow them through the whole story and learn about them both as the story progress.
Domee shared that she used a lot of inspiration from her own mother’s kitchen and her life as a child in Canada. In the short we see the woman interact and spend time with other Chinese women. Domee said this was to pay homage to the Chinese grandmothers she remembers from her childhood outings with her own mother. Even down to their clothing.
Food Was Important
Of course food played an important role in making the short. According to the ladies it took weeks to get the filling mix for the dumpling just right when creating the short. Domee’s mother even visited Pixar to give a hands-on tutorial in making steamed pork buns. It was a creative way to give the animator a better understanding of the steamed dumpling.
After the screening, we enjoyed a Bao inspired dinner to close out our first night at Pixar. Everything was delicious. My onion allergy meant I had to stay away from the steamed bun, but according to everyone else it was absolutely delicious. If you’re looking to make your own steam buns especially after seeing the film, Domee’s Mom shared hers for us to all enjoy.
About Incredibles 2
In INCREDIBLES 2, Helen (voice of Holly Hunter) is called on to lead a campaign to bring Supers back, while Bob (voice of Craig T. Nelson) navigates the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life at home with Violet (voice of Sarah Vowell), Dash (voice of Huck Milner) and baby Jack-Jack—whose super powers are about to be discovered. Their mission is derailed, however, when a new villain emerges with a brilliant and dangerous plot that threatens everything. But the Parrs don’t shy away from a challenge, especially with Frozone (voice of Samuel L. Jackson) by their side. That’s what makes this family so Incredible.
INCREDIBLES 2 opens in theatres everywhere on June 15th!
PIXAR/INCREDIBLES 2 CONTENT ON NICKI’S RANDOM MUSINGS: