Pixar’s “Bao” is very much a reflection of Chinese culture as much as it is a memorable Pixar animated short. That reflection is even in the only sound you hear while watching the short.
The score covers the entire nearly seven-minute film and perfectly accompanies the moods and actions that we see in the journey of a Chinese family going through life. That life was something that composer Toby Chu felt a connection to.
“When I heard the pitch from Domee [Shi] (writer/director), I immediately thought: ‘this was my life with my mom!’,” Chu said to us while at his studio in Venice, CA. “The music I wrote just flowed because it was my culture and childhood in musical notes.”
The “Bao” score is basically a “East meets West” composition, with Chu using his combined knowledge of Western (classical) music with a full orchestra and Chinese music that include unique instruments like the Erhu, Guzheng, Yangqin, Sanxian, Pipa, and Dizi.
We wanted to learn more about how Chu successfully and memorably put these very different musical styles and sounds together, so we visited him at the studio to let him break it all down for us. Take a look at our exclusive video above.
Our thanks to Toby Chu and Pixar Animation Studios for allowing us to do this video feature!