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Unlock 21 Behind-the-scenes Secrets Of The Latest Pixar’s Movie “Turning Red”

On March 11, 2022, Pixar introduced their new star – Meilin Lee, a sweet and silly thirteen-year-old girl in the movie “Turning Red”.

“Turning Red” was set in Toronto, Canada, in 2002. It revolves around Mei Lee (voiced by Rosalie Chiang), a teen who transforms into a gigantic red panda whenever she becomes too excited or stressed. Mei discovers that she is not the only member of her family cursed with this ability. She also learns of a ceremony that might exorcise the panda spirit from her; a rite that all of her family have gone through to exorcise their pandas. However, Mei embraces herself for who she is and what she desires and she finally keeps her red panda.

The film is a hilarious and touching celebration of adolescence, and the battle to embrace one’s own self. And it quickly received critical acclaim and a devoted following. If you’ve seen (and loved) the movie, do you have any questions concerning the film? For example, why did Mei turn into a red panda and not another animal? Or what does her transformation mean?… Don’t miss this article. Scroll down to explore our breakdown of the magic behind Pixar’s latest masterpiece.

#1 The reasons why the red panda was the “perfect animal” for the movie and its main character, Mei

Source: Disney +

In the Disney+ documentary “Embrace the Panda: Making Turning Red”, director Domee Shi explained “Like, red pandas are very attached to their moms…. So I kind of imagine it’s just like a lazy teenager just eating chips and sleeping all day.” The director chooses the red panda because the panda is a symbol of China and red and white are like the colors of the Canadian flag.

#2 Turning into a panda against your will is a puberty metaphor

Source: Disney +

In an interview with IndieWire, Shi explained that turning a panda is like the period in adolescence when “all of a sudden, we’re covered in body hair, we smell funky, our emotions are all over the place, and we’re hungry like all the time.”

#3 The movie was conceived in 2017

Source: Disney +

Shi released that Pixar asked her to propose three movie concepts following her short “Bao” (in 2017), and one of them was “Turning Red”.

#4 The film has had many other titles

Source: Disney +

This a look at some of the movie’s possible titles, as shown in Embrace the Panda.

#5 Billie Eilish and Finneas are a part of the Turning Red team

Source: Disney +

According to NME, they wrote the songs sung by Mei’s favorite band, 4*Town such as “1 True Love,” “U Know What’s Up,” and “Nobody But U”. Finneas also sang on the recordings and provided the voice of Jesse, one of the band members.

#6 Billie and Finneas are fans of Mei

Source: Disney +

Shi told IndieWire that she persuaded Billie and Finneas to join the project by creating a scrapbook of Mei.

#7 Boy band 4*Town is an important part of the movie

Source: Disney +

In an interview with Slate, Shi said “Boy bands are often kind of ridiculed in media — as a lot of things that teen girls like are — but when you’re that age, boy bands are our gateway into the opposite sex. Into boys, into relationships, into the concepts of love and dating and heartbreak.” So she asked the animators to refine the 4*Town’s members.

#8 The reasons why Aaron Z. is secret 4*Town super-fan Tyler’s favorite member of the band

Source: Disney +

Shi stated in an interview that “Tyler really bonds with him because he’s also — both of them are Blasian. So he really sees himself in Aaron Z.”

#9 Mei’s fandom is inspired by the fandom of the “Harry Potter” franchise

Source: Disney +

Shi is a fan of the Harry Potter series. ” We would line up for the book releases. We’d go to the movies, we’d read fan fiction, we’d draw fan art. That was my 4*Town.” she said.

#10 The reasons why 4*Town has five members

Source: Disney +

The fact that 4*Town has five members served two purposes: it was amusing, and another reason, the number four was narratively important to Mei’s mother to disapprove of 4*Town. ” because four is a very unlucky number in Chinese culture. ”

#11 Aspects of production designer Rona Liu’s appearance were incorporated in Mei’s design

Source: Disney +

In “Embrace the Panda”, Liu said that her dip in lip and her patchy eyebrows both became a part of Mei’s look.

#12 The movie shows the homage to anime.

Source: Disney +

“You can see it in the expressions and the acting, the starry eyes in Mei when she sees a boy that she really, really loves.”Shi said, in “Embrace the Panda”.

#13 One of the inspirations for the look of “Turning Red” was the 2010 live-action film “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”.

Source: Disney +

Shi share in an IndieWire interview, “I always loved how that film utilized a lot of comic book stylization when it came to the fight scenes, when it came to cutting, and the camera movements and snap zooms, even the fast-paced humor.”

#14 The “most rewarding” scene is Mei drawing under the bed

Source: Disney +

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Shi said “It was there from the very first version of the script. I knew that she had to go into a passionate, lusty drawing spiral that gets interrupted by her mom.”

#15 4*Town references 2021’s Luca

Source: Disney +

Shi told Entertainment Weekly that there was a 4*Town reference hidden somewhere in 2021’s Luca.

#16 Domee Shi was encouraged to pursue artistic

Source: Disney +

Domee Shi is an only child, and both of her parents supported her artistic endeavors (with her father focusing on visual art and her mother on creative writing).

#17 Shi’s parents also kept all her sketchbooks

Source: Disney +

Shi’s parents also kept all her sketchbooks.

#18 Danielle Feinberg became a mother to twins while working on “Turning Red”

Source: Disney +

Danielle Feinberg is the “first woman in 20 years at Pixar” to be a visual effects supervisor. In “Embrace the Panda”, Feinberg revealed that she “became a mother for the first time” to twins while working on Turning Red.

#19 Domee Shi established a “coffee time” to “keep in touch with the crew”

Source: Disney +

Visual effects supervisor Danielle Feinberg said, “I’ve been really surprised because we routinely get a hundred and something people coming to it.”

#20 Turning Red is the first feature film that Domee Shi has directed.

Source: Disney +

Domee Shi has directed her debut feature film, “Turning Red.” In “Embrace the Panda”, producer Lindsey Collins noted, “Domee is a force of nature. She’s a first-time feature director. It’s been a while since I worked with a first-time director before, and I’m loving it.”

#21 Shi directing Turning Red was a first not only for her but for Pixar as well.

Source: Disney +

According to the New York Times, Shi is the studio’s first solo female director of a feature-length movie. She was also the first female director of one of the studio’s acclaimed short films “Bao”, for which she received an Academy Award nomination.

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