Canadian Women Film Directors Database
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Bao

Directed by Domee Shi
United States, 2018 (animation, 8 minutes, colour)

Film Description:
"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 [...] explores the ups and downs of the parent-child relationship through the colorful, rich, and tasty lens of the Chinese immigrant community in Canada."
-- Pixar Animation Studios (source)

Film Credits (partial):
Written by: Domee Shi
Produced by: Becky Neiman-Cobb, Pete Docter, John Lasseter
Principal Cast: Sindy Lau, Sharmaine Yeoh, Tim Zhang
Cinematography: Patrick Lin, Ian Megibben
Film Editing: Katherine Ringgold
Music: Toby Chu
Production Company: Pixar Animation Studios
(sources)

Award won by Bao

Quotes by the Director

"I always wanted to tell the story of this lonely empty-nester mom going through this crazy dumpling fantasy. I was inspired by my own life growing up as an only child, and I wanted to use a dumpling as a kind of metaphor to tell that story of a parent learning to let go of her child. [...] "
-- Domee Shi (source)

"I like to say that the mom character [in Bao] is a combination of [my mother], my grandma, my aunt—all the strong Chinese women in my life."
-- Domee Shi (source)

"We could have set [Bao] anywhere but giving it a real-life location adds a layer of believability and grounds it since the style of the characters are so cartoony. It was a cool homage to my hometown and I've never really seen Toronto animated on screen before so it was a good excuse to do that."
-- Domee Shi (source)

Quote about Bao

"Two years into the job [as a story artist on Inside Out], [Domee] Shi started developing Bao as a possible hand-drawn, Miyazaki-style short she intended to made on the side. At one point, Shi approached Inside Out director Pete Docter for advice, and he encouraged her to pitch Bao as an official Pixar short, insisting that she fight to keep the twist. [...] Even after the project was greenlit, Shi spent her days doing storyboards for Toy Story 4, devoting nights and weekends to working on Bao."
-- Variety (source)

Bibliography for Bao

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