This summer, when Incredibles 2 flew into theaters, the Pixar short that played ahead of the film quickly won over the hearts of fans everywhere. That film is called Bao, and it's now streaming for free on YouTube.
Bao tells the story of an empty-nest mother who makes a child out of a dumpling and attempts to raise him as her own. It's a beautiful short that packs an emotional punch, but that's par for the course when it comes to Disney and Pixar.
The movie was posted online after The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released the shortlist for several Oscar categories on Monday, and Bao was unsurprisingly included as a potential nominee for Best Animated Short Film.
Bao was directed by Domee Shi, who based the main character on her own mother. When screening Bao at Pixar Animation Studios earlier this year, Shi revealed that, while her mother influenced the story, some popular anime series influenced the animation style.
"Animation is especially critical in Bao because it's really where these characters come to life," Shi said. "And before starting animation, I would start gathering examples of styles I wanted to go for, and I'd show them to my animation supervisor, Juan Carlos Navarro. I was heavily influenced by Japanese animation, like the visual styles of My Neighbors the Yamadas and One Piece, this really popular cartoon in Japan. And I love how squishy their characters looked and how pushed their expressions are. We drew our inspiration mostly from 2D animation, which was going to be a challenge in 3D because of how big the character's heads are and how exaggerated their limbs are. So we knew early on that we had to do a lot of planning and preparation and exploration to really nail down the animation style that would suit the short."
What did you think of Bao? Where does it rank amongst your favorite Pixar shorts of all time? Let us know in the comments!