6:45pm PT by Carolyn Giardina
Oscars: 'Bao,' Whose Director Shi is First Woman to Helm a Pixar Short, Collects Academy Award
Director Domee Shi — the first woman to helm a Pixar short — and producer Becky Neiman-Cobb won the Oscar for best animated short for Pixar's computer-animated Bao, the story of an aging Chinese mom suffering from empty nest syndrome who gets another chance at motherhood when one of her dumplings springs to life.
Bao is the fifth Pixar production to win the animated short category. The others were Piper (in 2016), For the Birds (2001), Geri's Game (1997) and Tin Toy (1988). The honor was presented by Awkwafina and John Mulaney.
Backstage, Shi, who is currently developing a feature for Pixar slated for 2022, said, “We’re just so happy that Bao was embraced by the world, and by the Academy. I’m happy to say I’m not the only female director at Pixar anymore,” she says mentioning that there are two others now.
She continued, “I think one of the great things about being able to make Boa is I got to do a lot more research and dive into my heritage. I kind of took it for granted—my mom making dumplings when I was growing up. I went and visited Chinatown a lot more. And I also got to understand what it was like for my mom… Through making this short, I think I understand her a little bit better.”
The women recognized Pixar's Pete Docter, who Shi described as the "main" executive producer.