Bao is a Pixar short film that was released on June 15, 2018 alongside Incredibles 2. It was directed by Domee Shi and produced by Becky Neiman-Cobb, with John Lasseter and Pete Docter acting as executive producers.
The short begins with a Chinese couple who have immigrated to Toronto, Canada. As the Husband leaves for work, the Wife cooks bao dumplings. One of the dumplings comes alive and she decides to raise it as her own child. However, since the Bao Kid is so soft and frail, the Mom becomes overprotective. The Mom raises him well and joins him in Tai Chi routines. Yet the Bao Kid becomes more rebellious as he grows up obsessed with soccer. The Mom thinks soccer is too dangerous, despite Bao Kid enjoying it. The Mom becomes concerned as Bao Kid becomes emotionally detached and independent from her, preferring to be alone or with his rowdy friends. One day, Bao Kid reveals that he is engaged to a woman the Mom never met and Bao Kid intends to move out of his parent's house with her. The Mom tries to stop him and the two struggle. Finally losing her temper, the Mom eats the Bao Kid, only to end up falling in shock from her actions.
It is revealed that the Bao Kid was an imaginary representation of the Mom's real biological son, who happens to resemble a bao, and the whole premise was a metaphor for the Mom's suffering of empty nest syndrome. The son returns home to apologize for the break up and eventually the Mom forgives him. The parents are also personally introduced to their daughter-in-law, who quickly becomes loved by her in-laws and a new member of the family.
- Bao is the first Pixar short film to be directed by a woman.
- 2019 Academy Award® Winner for Best Animated Short Film
- Bao Press Kit, 2018
- Pixar’s new short ahead of ‘Incredibles 2’ will be about a Chinese mom’s baby dumpling, The Washington Post, Michael Cavna, March 28, 2018.