Shi credits director Pete Docter, who recently replaced John Lasseter as the studio’s chief creative officer, for supporting her short Bao from the early stages of development, even before it had officially been pitched to the studio.
“[Docter] was one of the initial people that I pitched it to because I was really excited about the idea, and I just wanted advice on it,” Shi says. “And he was just really excited about it…I’m really glad I did pitch it to him because his excitement about it, and his shock and reactions, really gave me the confidence to continue developing it, and to eventually pitch it to the studio.”
Shi, who also boarded on Incredibles 2 and the upcoming Toy Story 4, also expressed her hope that Pixar and other animation studios will broaden their sources for stories. “Hopefully, there will be more different stories down the road from these big studios because I think they’ve just all realized now that they can’t keep drawing from the same creative well over and over again,” she says. “If Pixar wants to stay at the forefront of animation and storytelling, they’ll have to look for different sources.”