Must See Bao!
For a limited time, Disney Pixar’s short film “Bao” is on Youtube! The short has been posted onto the video sharing site to celebrate its shortlisting in the Oscars for the “Animated Short Film” category. The short follows the mother-son-like relationship a Chinese woman forms with a dumpling when it magically springs to life on her dining table. The dumpling is a clever metaphor for her real son, and depicts the joy and heartbreak of raising a child within the culture of a Chinese immigrant family.
Bao is the first Disney and Pixar short film to be directed by a woman. Domee Shi is a 1st generation immigrant from China. Through Bao, she accurately portrays motherhood with the nuances of having a child grow up in a different culture. The film blends motherhood and the immigrant culture flawlessly, and even those who are not immigrants can relate to the woman’s experiences with her dumpling child.
The short beautifully uses a culture to create a universal message, especially how it uses food as a medium to showcase love and affection, as the Chinese culture does. Also, (spoiler alert!) in the end where the son elopes with his fiancée, she is not of the same ethnicity. Marriage outside one’s own ethnicity is usually a significant issue that traditional Asian parents tend to have reservations about, so the mother’s initial rejection is true to life. However, once the son returns and the relationship is restored, both sides learn to embrace the other – the daughter-in-law even learns to make dumplings under her mother-in-law, surprising her with her natural talent.
Hopefully, Bao’s exposure and future success will result in more production companies telling our stories in a mindful and authentic manner.
You can watch the video for a limited time here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYaRZ4TNfus&