One of the highlights of when Pixar releases new films is the short film which precedes it. This summer when you go to see Incredibles 2, you will also get to enjoy Pixar’s new short film: Bao.
Bao is the story of a Chinese- Canadian woman who is feeling the depressing effects of an empty nest. While in the kitchen making homemade dumplings, she soon finds herself given a second chance at motherhood as one of those dumplings comes to life.
Bao will be the first Pixar short to be directed by a woman: Domee Shi. Shi explains she was inspired to tell a story about her upbringing as an only child of Chinese immigrants. The Chinese word “bao” means two things when pronounced differently 1) steamed bun and 2) something precious; a treasure. Shi says her parents were always treating her like a precious treasure and therefore found herself creating this magical, fairytale-like story.
When Shi first presented her storyline with concept art to the Pixar team, she received lots of positive feedback and messages from others who felt they related to the story and were eager to help work on the film. Bao was received with as much positive feedback as Coco was from Pixar’s Latinx community.
As work on the film began, Shi’s mother, Ningsha Zhong, put on two dumpling making demonstrations for the crew. Shi refers to her mother as a “dumpling master”. The crew filmed and closely observed Zhong’s every movement in order to later recreate the hand movements and dumpling making process.
The biggest challenge the team faced? Designing the food. As experienced with 2007’s Ratatouille, the special effects used to create food on screen are very challenging to pull off. The crew found there was a thin line between making the dumpling’s pork filling look delicious and not disgusting. It was a big triumph when the crew was finally able to create an appetizing filling.
Incredibles 2 and Bao are set to arrive in theatres on June 15th.
Source and Photo Credit: Entertainment Weekly
Images copyright Disney
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