Pixar, which once had a perfect reputation, has traded hits and slight misses in recent years, but the studio got back to form with last fall's Coco. Now in 2018, Pixar is returning to one of its most beloved properties with the long-awaited Incredibles 2. Like most Pixar releases, Incredibles 2 will also include a Pixar short film. The short film accompanying Incredibles 2 is titled Bao, and on the heels of the new trailer for the sequel film, the studio has seen fit to give us our first look at Bao. Check it out below:
That is every bit as cute as you would expect from a Pixar film that sees a dumpling come to life. The baby dumpling is even more adorable than I imagined a baby dumpling could be, and it is clear that this short will probably lean into the more emotional side of the Pixar spectrum. What isn't entirely obvious from this Instagram video is the context in which this short takes place. Bao has a fun premise that is both cute and will assuredly pull on your heartstrings, as Pixar is so wont to do. Bao tells the story of a Chinese-Canadian woman who is an empty nester and gets another chance at motherhood when one of her dumplings comes to life. The dumpling will grow up fast, as dumplings do, and the mother has to learn to accept that even the cutest baby dumpling will eventually grow up into... a slightly larger dumpling(?).
The Pixar short films allow the studio to flex its creative chops and try something different, while also giving us a clue to the ideas the studio is playing with. This look at Bao shows that Pixar is continuing to do what the studio does best and tackling the concept of family in a way that you don't often see. Telling a short story of an empty nester and an older parent could easily be super depressing, but because this is Pixar, it will balance the bitter with the sweet. That the studio is able to create something like that that is also cute, fun and entertaining for kids speaks to Pixar's storytelling talents when it is firing on all cylinders.
Bao was directed by Domee Shi, who has previously worked for Pixar as a story artist on Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur. She also becomes the first female Asian director for the studio and draws on her own experiences as the daughter of a Chinese-Canadian immigrant for the film. Pixar has an award-winning track record with its short films, and as long as Bao isn't 20 minutes, it should find a receptive audience when it hits theaters alongside the Parr family.
You can see Bao in front of Incredibles 2 when it blasts into theaters on June 15. Check out our guide to keep up with everything in the Pixar pipeline, and for all the latest in anthropomorphic cuisine, keep it locked to CinemaBlend.