The short film, which played before “Incredibles 2” during its theatrical run last year, was the directorial debut of Chinese-Canadian director Domee Shi for Disney and Pixar.
“For all of the nerdy girls who hide behind their sketchbooks, don’t be afraid to tell your stories to the world,” Shi said during her emotional acceptance speech.
Inspired by Shi’s relationship with her own mother, “Bao” tells the story of a Chinese-Canadian woman suffering from empty nest syndrome who finds another chance at motherhood when one of her dumplings comes to life.
“Mom excitedly welcomes this new bundle of joy into her life, but Dumpling starts growing up fast, and Mom must come to the bittersweet revelation that nothing stays cute and small forever.”
According to Pixar, “Bao” explores the “ups and downs of the parent-child relationship through the colorful, rich, and tasty lens of the Chinese immigrant community in Canada.”
Shi, the first woman to direct a short at Pixar, has previously said she felt tremendous pride in representing her heritage and culture through the film.
Bao was up against four others in the animated short category, including “Animal Behaviour” by directors David Fine and Alison Snowden, as well as “Weekends” by Trevor Jimenez.
Despite confusing a lot of non-Asian viewers, the deeper meaning behind the short firm was well-received among those of Asian heritage.
Following Bao’s Oscar win, Shi received congratulatory posts from Asian communities on social media.
I guess it depends where you grew up. I’m from San Francisco where going out for Chinese food was a treat. Im also a mother and “Bao” spoke to me loud and clear, through my tears. ❤️
— firstname.lastname@example.org (@ohreally7) February 25, 2019
— APIAVote (@APIAVote) February 25, 2019
Domee, u go girl!!!
Bao was such an amazing short film and i hope many other fellow asians will prosper in mainstream media♡♡#Oscars2019
— ひおさん@ハムエッグ (@mitsubachi213) February 25, 2019
— CAPE—Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (@CAPEUSA) February 25, 2019