Pixar's New Short Film Is Making Dumplings — & History

Photo: Dixie D. Vereen/Getty Images.
Pixar’s latest short has been announced and not only does it sound heartwarming and adorable, but it's also history-making.
Bao was written and directed by Domee Shi, and is the longest Pixar short to date. Slated to play before Incredibles 2, it is also the first Pixar short to be directed by a woman. Shi took inspiration from her own childhood as the only child of Chinese immigrants in Canada when writing the story. The nearly eight-minute long short is about a Chinese-Canadian woman experiencing an empty nest when she gets a second shot at motherhood after one of her handmade dumplings magically comes to life.
Advertisement
“Oftentimes 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 to Entertainment Weekly. “I just wanted to create this magical, modern-day fairy tale, kind of like a Chinese Gingerbread Man story.”
The word “bao” actually has a perfectly fitting double meaning in Chinese. Depending on how it is said, it can mean either a steamed bun or something precious.
Shi began as an intern at Pixar, and was hired shortly after as a story artist. Her first film with Pixar was Inside Out. Since then, she has worked on The Good Dinosaur, Incredibles 2, and Toy Story 4.

The Goddess of Snacks blesses you this holiday season ✨🍗🍟🍔🌮🍙✨

A post shared by domeeshi (@domeeshi) on

Domee Shi / Instagram.
Bao tells the story of just how far a mother will go to protect her child — or in this case, precious steamed bun. Shi’s mother not only was inspiration for the short film, but also came on as a cultural consultant during the filmmaking process. A “dumpling master” according to Shi, her mother did multiple dumpling making tutorials for the animators to study and base their animation off of.
The heartwarming short makes its debut at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 21 before hitting theaters everywhere with Incredibles 2 on June 15.
Read These Stories Next:

More from Movies

Watch

R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Documentary
Five love stories behind diverse, multicultural marriages.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Life experiments, 5 days at a time.
Watch Now
Fashion
The style of subculture.
Watch Now
Beauty
Viral trends, tried and tested.
Watch Now
Documentary
From vibrators to lipstick, learn how your favorite products are made.
Watch Now
Documentary
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
Documentary
The latest stories to watch.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Inside the homes of millennial women — & what they paid for them
Watch Now
Comedy
Let's talk about sex, baby.
Watch Now
Documentary
Female artisans around the world
Watch Now
Politics
Made by and for smart, opinionated women.
Watch Now
Film
We helped 12 female directors claim their power.