'Turning Red' director Domee Shi on the many meanings of the panda

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Domee Shi. Photo credit: Deborah Coleman/Pixar

Director Domee Shi is already an Oscar winner for her animated short “Bao,” and this year, her Pixar film “Turning Red” is nominated for Best Animated Feature. The movie follows 13-year-old Meilin as she navigates early teenhood and discovers her tendency to turn into a giant red panda when she feels strong emotions. 

Shi tells The Treatment about how her influences — from anime to ‘90s tween sitcoms like “Clarissa Explains it All” and “Blossom” — found their way into “Turning Red.” She explains how the metaphor of the panda changed over the course of making “Red,” and discusses the fun and complexity of creating a fictional boy band in the film.



Rebecca Mooney