12/20/2018 17:52 EST | Updated 02/20/2019 16:57 EST

'Bao,' Animated Short About Dumplings And Family, Makes Oscars Shortlist

Arguably the most adorable film about dumplings tbh. And Toronto makes many cameos!


If you didn't get a chance to savour the adorable short film, 'Bao,' when it premiered this summer alongside "The Incredibles 2," stop everything and take two minutes to watch a clip of this cuteness overload — and possible Oscar contender — in motion.

Pixar released the animated short on YouTube on Monday for one week (in the U.S. only, sorry folks), in celebration of the announcement that "Bao" had made the Academy Awards' shortlist for Best Animated Short, alongside nine other films. The sweet story about a mom and her dumpling son (er, more on that later) has already made history in a few different ways: its director, Domee Shi, is the first woman ever to direct an animated short at Pixar. The Oscar nominations will be announced on Jan. 22.

And, she's Chinese Canadian. From Toronto, to be exact. And her roots are proudly woven through "Bao" in virtually every frame.

A scene from "Bao" that shows Toronto's CN Tower.

"Bao" takes place in Shi's hometown (she grew up in North York area), and tells the story of a Chinese-Canadian mom who's suffering from empty-nest loneliness — until one of her dumplings springs to life one day. But, little dumplings don't stay little for long, and mom and son's relationship suffers some growing pains.

Shi's love letter to family shows viewers an experience of what it can be like to grow up as a Chinese Canadian child of overprotective immigrant parents, which she experienced herself. But alongside the generational struggles, she also paints a mouthwatering portrait of the way many Asian families express their love — through cooking and food.

A scene from "Bao," in which mom and her dumpling son visit a Chinese bakery to pick up some pastries.

Can you relate to "Bao"'s story about food, family and love? Did you call your folks yet today? Do that first, and then let us know in the comments below.

CORRECTION: The original version of this story included an embed of 'Bao' which is not available for viewing in Canada. We've updated with a clip that is viewable.

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