Pixar’s Short Film ‘Bao’ is Confusing The Heck Out of White People


Many Pixar fans are going out to see “Incredibles 2,” and like pretty much every Pixar film that comes out, there is a short film that plays before the main feature.

This year, we are treated to the short film “Bao,” a lovely tale of a Chinese-Canadian mother who lives in an empty home with her husband and gets another chance at motherhood when one of her dumplings comes to life.

Without giving the entire short away, it’s an incredibly touching story based off Chinese cultural experiences that had many adults weeping and missing their mothers by the end of it. Asians and Asian Americans everywhere will recognize their own relationship struggles with their parents growing up in “Bao.”

But some in the audience, specifically those who weren’t Asian or Asian American, were utterly confused by the short:

Many on Twitter were quick to chime in on seeing people in theaters who laughed at the short and others who expressed their confusion online.

Some pointed out that they were perplexed how some could be so dense as to not understand the touching moments of the story, regardless that it was written from the perspective of another culture.

For the rest of us, we can’t help but thank Pixar and director Domee Shi, the first woman ever to direct a Pixar movie. The story is inspired by Shi’s own childhood as the daughter of Chinese immigrants in Canada. 

Shi told told My Statesman:

“Growing up I was that overprotected little dumpling for my Chinese mom. I was always so frustrated about being so coddled and overprotected and smothered by my mom. I never really understood why she did it.”

If you are heading out to see “Incredibles 2,” bring some tissues. You’ve been warned.

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