For this edition of Things You Might Not Have Seen, I will talk about the Pixar animated short, Bao (2018).
I will confess, I had a hard time writing this blog (Not because of the animation; Bao is wonderful. Everyone should watch it!) The reason for my distraction is that my mind has been consumed lately with my upcoming novel, Sleeping Beauty No More, set to release July 17th. I am editing the final two chapters, and it is all I can think about 😍 Anyways, I will try to focus on today’s blog 😆
Bao is such a raw and heartfelt animation. You have to watch it to understand the emotional impact it has on the viewer. The story is set in my city, Toronto (so it is extra close to my heart).
A Chinese-Canadian woman lovingly cooks baozi for herself and her husband. We see the husband rush off to his work, stuffing the dumplings in his mouth as he goes. The woman is left by herself, but as she bites into her food, one of the dumplings comes alive. She instantly gains a cute companion, and is not so lonely anymore.
The lovely lady raises the adorable dumpling as her son. She feeds him and cares for the bun, who seem to enjoy the love and attention his mother gives him. They do everything together at first, like Tai chi at the park and sharing sweets, but when the dumpling sees other children playing, he wishes to join them. The mother becomes scared and overprotective, and doesn’t allow him to.
The dumpling son grows into a teenager and wants more independence. There is tension between overprotective mother and independence seeking son, until the rift alienates them from each other.
The dumpling son grows up some more (now has glasses and a goatee). His mother hardly knows him anymore. She is shocked when the dumpling son introduces his new fiancée, and wants to move out from home. The mother protests and tries to stop the dumpling from leaving, but he doesn’t listen. In desperation, the mother eats the dumpling. We see her burst into tears, crying over what she did.
At this point, the story was surreal. She ate her dumpling son?! 😮
It was confusing, but it all got cleared up in the next few minutes. Turns out it was all an allegorical dream (Similar to how the book, Life of pi, was written).
Later, the mother is in her bedroom, and her real-life son (similar looking to the dumpling though 😅) enters the room. Dad urges son to talk to mom, as she is still angry at him. They sit on the edge of her bed and the son offers her the same treat she use to give him growing up. It is an emotional scene 😭
In the end, the son and his fiancée join his mother and father in making dumplings together as a family.
Bao is a great story about mother-son relationships, and about family. The animation is a touching tribute to parenthood.
Thank you for reading today’s blog post. I hope that you discovered something new today 😊