Bao is an uncontested favorite. Directed and written by Domee Shi, this short was played before Incredibles 2. A bao dim sum dumpling jumps into his mother’s arms and becomes her beloved child. The dumpling child becomes distant and assimilates into what is presumably American culture. The short is a homage to Asian, specifically Chinese culture, and about a mother’s incomparable love for her child.
Weekends is a fantastically unforgettable short that has surreal elements but paints a realistic picture of what a child often experiences after his or her parents’ divorce- disembodiment, fear, and confusion. The tumult the parents also go through is not understated.
Bilby is the fetching tale of an Australian bilby who makes it his mission to protect an albatross chick. One day, he meets a chick who is defenseless and clueless. His morals drive him to shelter the chick instead of turning the other cheek and brave predator after predator in the Australian Outback for it. This short portrays true friendship and loyalty.
Age of Sail is a tense story about where determination and passion can get you. An old sailor, haunted by his glory days long gone, sails aimlessly until he rescues a girl who falls off a steamship. Together, they unite to return to Manchester, where the girl first sailed off from. They find solace in each other.
Lost & Found is a love story at its finest. The lengths people will go for love are expressed in this short in the form of clumsy knit animals that dote on each other. And the visual effects, characters, and setting are captivatingly different. The animals’ movements are fluid and their surroundings look very much real.