If you saw Incredibles 2 when it was in theatres this past summer, you most likely saw the adorable animated short film Bao that played before the feature started. You also most likely had to take a trip to the bathroom to wipe the tears from your eyes, considering the short was just as heartbreaking as it was heartwarming.
Bao follows the story of a mother who is suffering from a serious case of empty-nest syndrome. Viewers got to follow the woman become a mother all over again when a dumpling she makes comes to life. Of course, considering this is a Pixar film, the dumpling was adorable.
Though the short wasn't just notable because of its adorable characters, incredible animation and storyline, but also because it featured a female director, a first for Pixar when it comes to short films. To make matters even more exciting, that first female director was also a Canadian artist named Domee Shi!
Shi was born in China but was raised in Toronto and graduated from Sheridan College. Eventually, she got an internship at Pixar which turned into a full-time gig as a storyboard artist, working on projects such as Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur and even Toy Story 4.
Shi made sure to let viewers know of her roots, considering there were numerous tributes to her life in Canada throughout the film. Such as the CN Tower appearing several times in the background of some scenes, a Toronto streetcar also being featured and the father in the story wearing a sweater vest with the Canadian maple leaf embroidered on it in the final scene.
Shi has also made Toronto very proud because the short film has actually landed on the Oscars shortlist for the 'Animated Short Film' category. In celebration, Pixar has released the short-film in its entirety for anyone to watch on YouTube, something they've never done before.
While the short technically is an American production, Shi definitely made sure to let it be known that Canada played a big role in the creation of this adorable short too! We can only hope that Bao eventually goes on to win an Oscar come February!