Pixar’s newest short Bao is playing before Incredibles 2 and some of us were left wondering what was that? Thanks to Disney inviting some of us to California to talk to the Director Domee Shi and Producer Becky Neiman we got the inside scoop on where Bao came from and what it all means. Producer Becky Neiman pointed out….
The word Bao has two meanings, one is steam bun and one is treasure or something precious.
Director Domee Shi has to be one of the youngest animators to be approved to make a short and what an honor to have it run before the newest Incredibles. Her day job is storyboarding, and she even had a small hand in the making of Incredibles 2.
Everyone is going to be going to the theaters, including kids that have been waiting their whole lives for The Incredibles 2 so this is a very exciting moment for Domee. And one key ingredient to Bao is the story The Gingerbread Man.
Another key ingredient to Bao, is this was her story. Well of course the end result was a bit different but it’s difficult in some families for moms to let their children leave the nest. It’s difficult for moms and dads to accept their children’s life choices. Different cultures are very particular about job choices and marriage and you can see that metaphor in Bao.
Obviously, when you see Bao you see that he is a Chinese dumpling He’s adorable, and the mom, well it’s apparent that she is quite depressed. Domee said she pulled a lot from her life as she was an only child and felt that her mom and dad always treated her like a precious little dumpling.
So, I didn’t wander away too far. I want to explore that relationship between this parent and this child and this mom character learning to let go of her little dumpling. always made her feel safe and never let her wonder too far.
She brought her mother with her and I have to say her mother was all smiles. You can really tell that her mother is very proud of her. And when you watch Bao, one thing you will see is the detail and dedication to the food. It’s so impressive to me how real it is and we will be sharing the recipe that Domee’s mom created later today in another blog post. She actually gave the artists at Pixar dumpling making classes, how cool is that?
Domee excitedly told us:
it was really important for us to get all of those little details right and to get the animators and effects artists like in there like studying my mom technique of like how she folds the dumpling exactly and kneads the dough and just like, you know, poking the dough and smelling the pork filling. ‘Cause it was important to get those details right, like just to get them as accurate as possible on the big screen.
Children love it
As adults watching Bao can be painful because it makes us think about our own children leaving the house. We can see so many layers to it, and the beauty of peeling away those layers. Children however, love it. They showed Bao at the Tribeca Film Festival and a little girl came up to Domee and said she loved it.
I loved it so much. I loved the little dumpling. And then she said I turned to my after and I said you better not eat me when I go off to college.
She followed that up with another story from another woman show said her boyfriend cried. Bao is powerful and makes some people cry, it makes some people laugh and it’s just perplexing for others. Once you sit there and marinate in the story of it you’ll get it. As Becky put it, You’ll feel like, Oh yea, I’m the Dumpling, or I’m the mom, or I’m the girlfriend.
All Pixar shorts have the tradition of conveying feeling without speaking. They were asked if that’s actually a challenging thing to do. Here is what each one said:
Domee: It was challenging, but I really loved the challenge, ’cause my background is storyboarding. And I just love visual storytelling so much. And so, it was a conscious decision for us to like early on like take out the dialogue completely from the whole short so that the story could be understood, like more universally. Like, anybody from like any country and like any like age could understand what was happening. And I think animation is such a cool visual medium, too, that I thought it’d be a cool challenge for the team to just push themselves to just like tell the story and emotions through the acting and through the set dressing, through the colors.
Becky: Yeah, there’s a lotta little details in the sets. Like, in the kitchen there’s tinfoil covering the burners, which, you know, in that subtle way you’re seeing Mom’s practicalness. It’s also something that’s common in Asian households and lotta little things like that to help teach you who this character is and tell the story, yeah.
You can see Bao in theaters Friday June 15th.
Fore More Incredibles 2 Coverage:
- Holly Hunter and Craig T. Nelson
- Samuel L. Jackson Interview
- Fashion and Costume Design
- Creating The Art of Incredibles 2
- Incredibles 2 Printable Coloring Sheets
- Incredibles 2 Easter Eggs
- Looking For Incredibles 2 Branded Products
- How To Create Your Own Super Incredibles 2 Character
- An Incredibles 2 Inspired Fruit Plate
- Finally, The Long Awaited Incredibles 2 And We’re Getting the Scoop
- What Is Kept Inside Pixar’s Archives?
- Inside the Walls of Pixar’s Steve Jobs Building
BUY Incredibles 2 Tickets Now
Disney•Pixar’s “Incredibles 2” busts into theaters on June 15, 2018.