By Zach Johnson
This Friday, Disney and Pixar’s all-new original feature film Turning Red will introduce us to the confident, somewhat dorky Mei Lee (voice of Rosalie Chang). She’s got a close crew, proud parents... and a surprising secret. When Mei’s emotions get the better of her, she “poofs” into a giant red panda! As you’ll soon see, the film has a distinct aesthetic that draws on Academy Award®-winning director Domee Shi’s love of anime and early 2000s teen culture. “Domee is a new director with a new voice and a new style,” animation supervisor Aaron Hartline says. “It was exciting that she wanted to try something completely different in terms of animation style. She called it East meets West—where anime represents the East, and signature Pixar animation is West.”
Mission accomplished. “Since everything is seen through a 13-year-old’s lens,” the director says, “we imagined that Mei’s world would be very vibrant and very colorful.”
Before Turning Red debuts, enjoy some of the concept and visual development art:
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