This short caught me by surprise mainly because I’m not a huge fan of CGI-animated features though as a medium it has advanced exponentially since Tron in 1982 (in which only portions of the movie–like the light cycle races and the MCP–were actually computer generated).
But it not only has it’s place, but as movies like Coco, The Incredibles and Zootopia have shown, it can be pretty powerful in it’s own right.
Which brings me to Bao, a short Pixar is releasing to be considered for an Academy Award.
It’s a beautiful work, particularly the care that goes into the rendering of food and the motion of the Bao’s hands as (s)he chops food.
Which leads to my confusion. Bao isn’t designed in a typically female fashion and if you don’t recognize the character as such it doesn’t make the story told any less poignant though the reasons for it being so change drastically.
In fact, it’s only from the synopsis on IMDB that says Bao is female (the name ’Bao’ may be a traditionally female one in Chinese culture. I have no idea) which is the only reason I assume that to be the case.