Director Domee Shi is excited as she discusses one of her favorite scenes from her first feature:
When Meilin Lee, her 13-year-old protagonist, “goes down her lusty drawing spiral under her bed with her sketchbook.”
After regarding a mindless doodle of a boy she had drawn in the corner of her homework, Mei suddenly gets up from her desk,
Rolls under her bed and starts frantically drawing picture after picture of her neighborhood crush. The spell is broken only by a knock on her door by her mother.
It’s just one of the glimpses into the world of nerdy tween girls that Shi was thrilled to bring to life for “Turning Red,”
The 25th feature from Pixar animation and the first directed solely by a woman. It launches Friday on Disney+.
“I haven’t seen that before in a lot of movies, but it is an experience that, if you talk to any female artists, they have had,”
Said Shi, who recalls during a recent video call having secret sketchbooks of her own while she was growing up .
“I just want people to discover that girls can be as weird and pervy and strange as boys can be with this movie.”
“Turning Red” follows Mei (voiced by Rosalie Chiang) as she wakes up one morning to discover that because of a secret family quirk, she has turned into a large red panda.
The transformation is not permanent but is triggered when she feels intense emotions.
That would be an inconvenience for any teenager, but Mei is also blessed with an overprotective mother, Ming (Sandra Oh), who has no problem embarrassing her in front of her peers.
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