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Dumpling (also known as Bao) is the focus character from the 2018 Disney/Pixar animated short, Bao. He is an anthropomorphic bao (hence his name) who spends time with the mother who raised him; however, it turns out that Dumpling is not her real son.


Dumpling at first likes to be treated by the mother who raised him as a baby. She even cared for him throughout time. However, when he grows older, he becomes mature and starts acting independent, much to the mother being overprotective of him.

Role in the short[]

When the wife's husband leaves, the mother tries to eat the last dumpling which suddenly comes to life, shocking her. Comforting him, Dumpling grows body parts as the mother comforts him. Feeding him to bring him to his normal shape, the mother and Dumpling explore China Town around them as Dumpling continues to grow during their lifetime. Over time, Dumpling continues growing taller and becomes older where he sees some boys playing soccer, much to the mother's worry and Dumpling ignoring him. However, one night, Dumpling introduces the mother his fiancée, much to the mother's overprotectiveness. Angry with him for not spending more time than her, she tries to prevent Dumpling from falling in love with his fiancée and eats him, leaving the mother in worry to have no son to take care of. However, after it turns out that this event was an allegorical dream, the mother's real son (who resembles Dumpling) later approaches his sulking mother, just as he happily reunites with his mother just as she and her son reunite with each other.


  • Dumpling's name is confirmed by Domee Shi, the director of the short in the audio commentary of Bao on the Pixar Short Films Collection: Volume 3 home video.[1]
    • The name "Bao" has been used as a joke to identify the dumpling character in the English Audio Description for Bao on home releases as well as its Little Golden Book adaptation, suggesting that "Bao" would have been the titular character of the short of the same name. This name was also used in Disney Emoji Blitz.



  1. "At the start, I really related to Dumpling, like I was that person that brought somebody home." ~ Domee Shi