"I wanted to kind of do a modern version of those types of stories"
Domee Shi, the director behind Disney Pixar’s Bao, has said she was inspired by Asian folk tales.
In an interview with the New York Times, Disney Pixar’s Bao director Domee Shee revealed that Asian folk tales inspired her short.
Bao, which is currently screening in cinemas before Incredibles 2, is a short story about a woman who raises a dumpling as her own child.
Shee revealed that her relationship with her mother inspired the initial idea.
“My mom would always hold me and hug me and say, “I wish I could put you back in my stomach so I knew exactly where you were at all times.” And I would say, “Aw, Mom, that’s sweet … but creepy.” That was the spark for that particular moment.”
Bao has been praised for its emotional appeal as well as its reliability for the Asian community. However, Shee also revealed that the first version was much darker. “I had an early version that was way more disturbing, where she chews on her son for a while, crying.” Shee explained. “When I would show it to people, they would be really, really upset by it. I changed it so it would be a quick crime of passion where she just swallows him in one gulp, no chewing.”
Shee went on to say that the animation was also inspired by traditional Asian tales. ” I was inspired by classic fairy tales, like “The Gingerbread Man,” but also there’s a bunch of Asian folk tales that involve an old Asian widowed parent who finds a baby in a bamboo shoot or a baby in a peach or something,” she said. “I wanted to kind of do a modern version of those types of stories. I’ve always loved how they play with light and dark elements. These little characters are so cute, but the world wants to eat them.”