The short animated film BAO will tug at every parents’ heartstrings when they take their kids to see INCREDIBLES 2. Find out why this is a must-see film for parents and the inspiration behind Pixar’s first female director, Domee Shi.
Bring the tissues for the 8-minute film you’ll see before INCREDIBLES 2. You see, there’s this cute little dumpling you’re going to meet before you see INCREDIBLES 2 and not only will you want your own squishy “Bao” but you may want to leave the theater immediately to find the nearest Chinese restaurant. And you’ll find yourself tearing up over a dumpling. The short animated film that is screened before Pixar’s INCREDIBLES 2 is the labor of love for Directory Domee Shi. Shi, who is just 28-years-old, is the first female director to create an animated short film for Pixar Animation Studios. I had the opportunity to see the film and hear a presentation by Domee Shi when Disney invited me and 24 bloggers to attend Pixar’s early press days for INCREDIBLES 2. The trip was an all expense paid trip by Disney but all of the opinions you see here are my own.
What is BAO about?
I can’t give everything away about the film but let’s just say it’s kind of like “The Gingerbread Man”. The description that Pixar gives for the film is, “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. But Dumpling starts growing up fast, and Mom must come to the bittersweet revelation that nothing stays cute and small forever.”
What inspired Domee Shi to create BAO?
“At the time, my number one obsession in life, apart from film animation: FOOD,” Shi explained to a group of us back in April at Pixar Animation Studios, “A somewhat obvious fact about me after watching BAO, I love food; not just eating it but drawing it as well. I found out that [food] was a very universal pleasure that everyone can relate to all over the world much like stories of family.”
Shi has always loved folklore and she wanted to do a Chinese version of The Gingerbread Man, “In Chinese culture, food and family just go hand in hand. When you want to show you care about someone you ask, ‘Have you eaten yet?'” Shi used what she knew, which was her own personal experience growing up as an Asian-immigrant only child with Chinese parents living in Toronto, Canada. Shi said that while she was growing up her mom always treated her like her precious little dumpling, always watching over her and making sure she was safe, had a good education for college applications. Shi’s father’s job required that he travel a lot so Shi spent much of her childhood spending time with her mother traveling, doing the daily things of life and you can really see this in the relationship between Bao and his mother.
Recipe for you to make your own steamed dumplings
Domee’s mom visited Pixar frequently to demonstrate how to make dumplings so the team could really bring to life the process. I’ve got a recipe that you’re going to want to recreate for dumplings!
You can see BAO when you see INCREDIBLES 2, this Friday, June 15th!
What is INCREDIBLES 2 about?
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. Written and directed by Brad Bird (“Iron Giant,” “The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille”) and produced by John Walker (“The Incredibles,” “Tomorrowland”) and Nicole Grindle (“Sanjay’s Super Team” short, “Toy Story 3” associate producer), Disney•Pixar’s “Incredibles 2” busts into theaters on June 15, 2018.
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INCREDIBLES 2 opens in theatres everywhere on June 15, 2018!
Make your own little dumpling with this pinnable recipe from Domee Shi’s mother.
Bert Anderson is a blogger and social media manager mom of three living outside of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. She’s the author behind the blog First Time Mom, where she honestly chronicles the peaks and valleys of parenting. Even though she has more than one child, Bert maintains that whether you have one child or 19, there’s a first time for everything. She’s a lover of coffee, conversations, pop culture, healthy living and fitness.