Xinhua News Agency, the official state-run press agency of the People’s Republic of China, recently ran a review/feature on the Pixar short, “Bao.”
The outlet called the work, “A tasty morsel,” adding, “Bao explores the life of a Chinese immigrant mom living in Toronto with her inattentive husband who is struggling to cope with loneliness after her beloved son flies the nest.”
It’s a fascinating read, centered on China-born, Canadian director Domee Shi and the beautiful short story, which precedes Incredibles 2.
“I love food. I love drawing food in a beautiful way,” Shi told Xinhua.
Dumplings are symbols of the Chinese family and I wanted my film, Bao, to be a celebration of family.”
“Bao” is compelling on its own, but to read about its many hidden cultural cues, takes the beautiful short film to a whole new level:
When asked why she wanted to tell this particular story, Shi said, “Traditionally, Chinese parents don’t say ‘I love you’ to their kids. They say it with food or by fussing over them. I didn’t use dialogue in the movie because I wanted it to be a universal story that spoke to everyone.”
Until this moment, I hadn’t realized the short was without dialog; that speaks volumes as to the merits of the emotionally charged short (and this positive piece from China).