Pixar’s Turning Red is coming exclusively to Disney+ on March 11th, and if you don’t have your calendar already marked, do it now. Last month, the creators of the new film held an advanced press day to discuss the making of the film, the inspiration behind the red panda, and more behind-the-scenes fun facts. Check out these Turning Red advanced press day fun facts and the inspiration behind the red panda.
Disney and Pixar’s “Turning Red” introduces Mei Lee (voice of Rosalie Chiang), a confident, dorky 13-year-old torn between staying her mother’s dutiful daughter and the chaos of adolescence. Her protective, if not slightly overbearing mother, Ming (voice of Sandra Oh), is never far from her daughter—an unfortunate reality for the teenager.
Pixar’s TURNING RED Advanced Press Day – Red Pandas
Just from the look of the Turning Red poster, fans can easily figure out that the film is hugely inspired by red pandas. During the advanced press day for the film, red pandas were more of an inspiration than just the fact that Mei transforms into one. In fact, if viewers were to pay very close attention, they would see pandas play a huge role, from the panda-ear-shaped rooftops to even statues. Even the rooftops are shaped like panda ears. Production Designer Rona Liu explains, “To make the panda even more specific to our film, everything in it centers around the red panda. So, like the statues, the altar, the signs, and even the rooftop detail. Everything is panda-inspired. “
Audiences may ask themselves, “Why red pandas?” Were they always going to be part of the film? Director Domee Shi says yes. Shi goes on to explain, “I just think they’re so cute, and they are the less popular pandas that I wanted to bring into the spotlight. They’re super cool in that they stay cute for the entire span of their lives. Even if they’re old, they’re really cute and they’re native to China. And actually from an area where my family is from in China, the Sichuan province, so there’s like a little homage to my background too. “
More Turning Red Fun Facts
- Supervising Animator Aaron Hartline shares that when red pandas are scared, they put their hands up. In the film, every time Mei is scared, she puts her hands up.
- Turning Red marks the first time the fourth wall is broken in a PIXAR film.
- Mei was made fire red and Ming emerald green, so they sit on the exact opposite sides of the color wheel.
- Mei Panda needed to feel visually trapped in this body that she’s not comfortable in, and we needed to make her look like she doesn’t actually belong in the house.
- Director Domee Shi took a lot of moments from her real life and put them into Turning Red.
- Miriam always shows off her dorky braces.
- Abby always has angry brows.
- Priya never, ever raises that top lid.
- Domee Shi explains that one of her real life friends inspired the character of Abby Park and voices her in the film.
- Turing Red marks the first time that Pixar has had a woman-led team behind a movie.