With the release of the long-anticipated Incredibles 2 on June 15 comes the arrival of another sumptuously original Pixar short. Titled Bao, this short from director Domee Shee and producer Becky Neiman-Cobb follows a Chinese-Canadian woman suffering from empty nest syndrome, getting a second chance at motherhood when one of her handmade dumplings comes alive.
“Bao is loosely inspired by my own life growing up as an only child to my two Chinese parents, that feeling of being their precious little dumpling that they wanted to protect and keep safe,” Shi told Deadline yesterday in Tribeca, sitting down with her producer. “I wanted to just capture that relationship between this parent and child, and explore this story about this mom that learns to let go of her baby.”
Developing the idea for Bao on her own over four years ago, Shi ultimately found ample support for her passion project within the Pixar community—including from Inside Out director Pete Docter, whose project she worked on for years as a story artist.
Interestingly, while Neiman-Cobb delivered all the typical supports of a producer during production on Bao, the producer also turned out to have her own “baby Bao” in the midst of this project, quickly becoming the resident expert on all things ‘baby.’
To hear more from Shi and Neiman-Cobb about the making of Bao, click above.
The Deadline Studio at Tribeca is presented by Nespresso.