Bao, Pixar's latest animated short screening before The Incredibles 2, is unique for two reasons.
Firstly, it's the first to be directed by a woman. Given how long Pixar has been producing movies, this is mind-boggling – it's not the first by a woman of colour, or a woman with unique challenging circumstances, it's just 'a woman' 🤯Progress is better than none, but it is f*cking 2018.
The second is that the narrative of Asian immigrant parents dealing with empty nests is largely lost on the Western audience. With the comment of 'I don't get it' sparking the debate and echoed through the insincerity of laughing audiences and cultural confusion of Chinese vs Japanese, it highlights a deep rift between the often emotional experiences of migrant families and those with different family values.
Having grown up on a Hollywood diet, I've come to appreciate the gamut of family dynamics ranging from sibling rivalry pains, socio-economic challenges, coming-of-age stories and rebellious journeys of self-discovery. Yet somehow, this particular script that resonates with an entire demographic generation being so unfamiliar to so many blows my mind.
The bubble that some live within must be quite limited indeed.