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Posted on 27 Jun 2018

Here’s Why Pixar’s Asian-Focused Short “Bao” Has White People Confused

Just... just let Asian people have things too.

If you've watched Incredibles 2, then you've seen Pixar's newest short, Bao, that plays before the film.

Disney Pixar

It's the charming tale of a lonely Chinese-Canadian mother who finds a second chance at being a parent when a dumpling comes to life.

Disney Pixar

While the story sounds sweet, it was the ending that threw viewers off. Basically, SPOILER ALERT, the mother eats the dumpling during an argument when it tries to leave home.

For Asian audiences, the eight-minute short was reflective of their own strained relationships with their parents while growing up.

Disney Pixar

Director Domme Shi explained that the inspiration for Bao came from her own upbringing. "Growing up I was that overprotected little dumpling for my Chinese mom," she told My Statesman. "I was always so frustrated about being so coddled and overprotected and smothered by my mom. I never really understood why she did it."

And well, as for everyone else? They just didn't get it.

THIS 👏🏼 WASN’T 👏🏼 MADE 👏🏼 FOR 👏🏼YOU

Many POC pointed out how confusing it was that white people were struggling with grasping the concept of a metaphor.

with Bao i dont know why people get so weirded out by the dumpling being a child, like this isnt the first time food has been personified. you can still read the character as a human and grasp the plot like dont pretend thats what was confusing y'all watch veggie tales just fine

i guess white ppl didn't understand bao bc a casserole didn't come to life and ungratefully yell at their mom

Me when I hear people say they thought “Bao” was confusing and stupid vs. me when I realize their cultural insensitivity and inability to process basic metaphor makes the the short even more special for those of us that did resonate with it ✨ brb gonna call my mom now https://t.co/R4eLDJ85tz

how are people confused about Bao it’s a 5 minute short about a mom missing her son lmao it’s not inception

Which just worked to highlight the issues with and impacts of underrepresentation of Asian culture on the big screen.

@its_willyu @steven_lebron Another problem with lack of representation: white audiences consume all art as if they are the intended audience because art was made for and by white people and when it finally isn’t, they ridicule it or can’t appreciate it because they can’t relate

@its_willyu @steven_lebron This Pixar short spoke to me and my family. Very touching. Not sorry if it forced folks to recognize that other cultural nuance exists aside from their own.

The Asian viewers who watched the short then went on to explain the significance of having something like Bao out there.

⚠️ WARNING ⚠️ If you are an Asian boy and your momma raised you with all the love and attention she could provide.... DO NOT WATCH INCREDIBLES 2 Disney Pixar’s short film “Bao” will fuck you up fam 😭😭😭😭

when i watched bao i was like...that’s just me, like exactly. well anyway here’s my wonderful mom and me as a little bao https://t.co/ydDxYtlAol

So, just like my Asian brothers and sisters out there, I'd just like to say: thanks, Pixar.

Disney Pixar

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