Pixar’s new upcoming feature “Turning Red” is getting a lot of visibility for a variety of reasons. One of which is that all the creative leaders and top-bill cast are female, and have a lot to say about females and their contributions to life and society.
“First of all, I think that female relationship tropes are very wrong,” said Hyein Park, who voices Abby, one of main character Meilin Lee’s best friends in the movie. Park also happens to be one of director Domee Shi’s best friends, too.
“Female friendships are actually more about being fun and goofy with each other,” added Ava Morse, who voices another one of Meilin’s friends named Miriam.
Breakout actress Rosalie Chiang who voices main character Mei added, “I’m very glad that our on-screen girl friendships show the authentic ways females are friends with each other.”
Another angle that “Turning Red” offers a view on female connections are between a mother and a daughter.
Sandra Oh, who plays Mei’s mom named Ming in the film, shared that while the relationship with her mom is good, it wasn’t always easy. “She’s a tiny, but fierce person. I’ll always live in the tension of feeling like I can always satisfy her.”
That sentiment built the core of the story that Shi wrote for the film. “It’s a very autobiographical film that takes a part of my life with my mom, and puts a lens over it,” she said. “It was a way for me to go back in time and excavate what happened there.”
As for what exactly happened seems to only be looked at through the eyes of the other creative leaders on the film.
“What made Ming (the mom) and her conflict real to us is because we are moms ourselves now,” said writer Julia Cho. Producer Lindsey Collins also shared a lot of that sentiment and hoped it would hit home for many young girls who aren’t having it easy with their own moms.
Collins said, “We all were there, and it might not come easy or as early as we want it to be, but I hope our film reminds young girls that their mothers [and mother-figures] will always be there for them.”