You’ll be inspired by what this director has to say.

By Real Simple
Updated July 12, 2018

If you’re a fan of Pixar’s adorable, innovative, and often tear-jerking films (tell me you didn’t cry while watching Up), we have big news. Today, Domee Shi, Pixar’s first female director of an animated short, premieres her short film Bao with the Incredibles 2 movie. Bao tells the story of a Chinese mom who’s experiencing empty nest syndrome. When one of the steamed buns intended for her breakfast magically comes to life, she decides to adopt it and falls back into her familiar role as a mother.

When creating the mother figure in the short, Shi drew inspiration from her own mom, her grandmother, and her aunts—or as Shi puts it, “all of these strong, feisty Chinese women in my life.” In our interview with Shi, she describes how when she was young, her mother was studying for her PhD (and her father was working towards a masters), while the family lived in a one-bedroom apartment in Toronto. Seeing her parents work hard inspired her to do the same in her own career.

Watch the full interview, above, to learn more about how Shi became the first female director of a Pixar animated short, as well as her advice for entering into a leadership role. Then, book your weekend movie date now, you won’t want to miss Bao before Incredibles 2, in theaters today.