SPOILER ALERT: This article contains information about the Pixar short that is featured before Incredibles 2.
What's cuter than a dumpling? Nothing! After all, it's a popular nickname for a reason. Now, up-and-coming animator Domee Shi has gifted us the best thing possible. A short that's centered on a dumpling that turns into a little baby boy.
28-year-old Shi came up with the concept after drawing on her own childhood as an only child to two Chinese parents. According to her, her parents treated her as though she was a special dumpling, always making a point of protecting her and encouraging her. However, when it came time for Shi to make her own way in the world, Shi says it was difficult for her parents to understand that it was time for them to let go. By coming up with Bao, she hoped to tell her story in a way that would be both informative and entertaining.
The sweet baby dumpling is the perfect gift to a mother who has raised her children and watched as they've left the house for pastures new. Mixing humor with emotional scenes, the eight-minute short has been hailed as a miniature masterpiece that many viewers will be able to relate to.
Shi is making waves, becoming the first woman to direct a Pixar short in the company's 32-year history. The Chinese-born talent started from the bottom and worked her way up, after first making her way into the studio as an intern. It wasn't long before her ability was recognized and she began working as a storyboard artist for Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur. When Shi started to work on Bao by drawing out the storyboards, she was elated when it received the go-ahead from the woman in charge, Becky Neiman-Cobb.
As feature films come first, it was often difficult for Shi to find time to work on the short, with the overall production taking around a year and a half. Neiman-Cobb said it would've most likely taken around nine months if it had been worked on continuously without interruption.
You can catch the adorable Bao in theatres now, alongside Incredibles 2.