Dear Gossips,

Incredibles 2 will win the box office this weekend, no question. The only question is how big? They’re saying it’s challenging Finding Dory for the best North American open for an animated film. And the reviews won’t hurt, the movie is getting strong reviews so far. Here’s my secret: I never saw The Incredibles. Like, I have no memory of it even coming out. And this blog was around back then! Do I need to be ashamed? 

What's exciting about the anticipated Incredibles 2 box office, and this much I know, is that millions of people will be watching Elastigirl balance career and family as a working mom AND those same people will, before that, watch a short film called Bao, directed by Domee Shi. Domee is Chinese-Canadian, raised in Toronto, a graduate of Sheridan College. Bao is Pixar’s first female-directed short film. So Domee is an F.O.D.: First Only Different. 

I asked her about being an F.O.D. during our interview earlier this week for etalk when she came home to screen the film at the Toronto Animation Arts Festival International. That term comes from Shonda Rhimes’s book Year of Yes. Here’s the passage: 

I am what I have come to call an F.O.D.— a First. Only. Different. We are a very select club, but there are more of us out there than you’d think. We know one another on sight. We all have that same weary look in our eyes. The one that wishes people would stop thinking it remarkable that we can be great at what we do while black, while Asian, while a woman, while Latino, while gay, while a paraplegic, while deaf. But when you are an F.O.D., you are saddled with that burden of extra responsibility— whether you want it or not…I was not about to make a mistake now. You don’t get second chances. Not when you’re an F.O.D. Second chances are for future generations. That is what you are building when you are an F.O.D. Second chances for the ones who come behind you.

Domee wasn’t familiar with the expression, F.O.D., but she 100% is doing the work of an F.O.D., with intention. Bao is about a Chinese woman and her relationship to a dumpling. It’s about the relationship between parents and children, it’s about the relationship between food and love, it’s about family, it’s about identity, and it takes place in Toronto. Domee Shi is representing. And she’s representing on a massive platform. I watched Bao in a theatre full of animation students and fans who were seeing the work of a young female Asian artist from the world’s most renowned animation studio. “If you see it, you can be it.”

So have fun at Incredibles 2 AFTER you enjoy Bao. It’s sweet and bittersweet at the same time, the animation is GORGEOUS (if you’ve ever made a Chinese dumpling before, you will be f-cking amazed at how real the pork filling looks), and pay attention going forward to Domee Shi, F.O.D. She told me she’s starting work on a feature film later this summer and while she couldn’t give me any details, remember, she only graduated from Sheridan in 2011 and joined at Pixar the year after. In the seven years she’s been there, she’s worked on Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur, Toy Story 4, Incredibles 2, and now Bao. Can you imagine what’s coming next?! First, Only, Different. 

Have a great weekend!

Yours in gossip,