TORONTO - The latest Pixar short is packed with firsts.

It's the first directed by a Chinese-Canadian, the first directed by a woman, the first helmed by an all-female writer-director-producer team and the first to be set in Toronto.

Canadian animator Domee Shi, also believed to be among the youngest to helm a Pixar production, says it's all "amazing, very humbling, (and) awesome," to be the one to break so many barriers with her eight-minute film, "Bao."

Shi says it's about time and she's excited to be the first of hopefully many female directors.

She says it just feels like Pixar is really embracing and celebrating diverse storytellers and they really want to create a safe and awesome place for us to thrive.

In crafting "Bao," Shi mined her own experiences growing up as the only child of Chinese immigrants in Toronto.

The story revolves around an older Chinese woman who is astonished when one of her steamed dumplings springs to life as a plump and perky dumpling-shaped boy, but she quickly embraces the adorable creature as her baby.

Their escapades include trips downtown where the CN Tower looms overhead, shopping in Toronto's bustling Chinatown and riding the city's distinctive streetcars.

"Bao" opens in theatres on Friday in front of "Incredibles 2."