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Disney/Pixar's Turning Red (2022, S: Shi) V: Chiang, Oh

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Disney/Pixar's Turning Red (2022, S: Shi) V: Chiang, Oh

Old 07-13-21, 10:06 AM
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Disney/Pixar's Turning Red (2022, S: Shi) V: Chiang, Oh



Growing up is a beast. Check out the new trailer for the upcoming all-new original feature film “Turning Red” from Pixar Animation Studios’ director Domee Shi, who won an Oscar® for her 2018 short film, “Bao.” Young actress Rosalie Chiang lends her voice to Mei Lee, a 13-year-old who suddenly “poofs” into a giant red panda when she gets too excited (which is practically ALWAYS). Sandra Oh voices Mei Lee’s protective, if not slightly overbearing mother, Ming, who is never far from her daughter—an unfortunate reality for the teenager. Directed by Shi and produced by Lindsey Collins, Disney and Pixar’s “Turning Red” releases March 11, 2022.
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Old 07-13-21, 10:35 AM
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Re: Disney/Pixar's Turning Red (2022, S: Shi) V: Chiang, Oh

OK, I chuckled a bit. The horror movie music when she realizes it's her mom outside is pretty funny.
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Old 07-13-21, 10:40 AM
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Re: Disney/Pixar's Turning Red (2022, S: Shi) V: Chiang, Oh

Okay, my kids screamed at the trailer. Safe to say they're interested. Looks cute.
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Old 07-13-21, 11:12 AM
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Re: Disney/Pixar's Turning Red (2022, S: Shi) V: Chiang, Oh

Looks cute but there were a few Asian stereotypes in just that short trailer that caught my attention.
Old 07-13-21, 11:32 AM
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Re: Disney/Pixar's Turning Red (2022, S: Shi) V: Chiang, Oh

Originally Posted by GoldenJCJ
Looks cute but there were a few Asian stereotypes in just that short trailer that caught my attention.
It gets away with it by having a Chinese director. And basically being every Asian mom I know (namely mine.)

This reminds of me Ranma 1/2, more for the dad that turns into a panda to avoid his wife than the boy that gets cold water on him and turns into a girl.
Old 07-13-21, 11:46 AM
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Re: Disney/Pixar's Turning Red (2022, S: Shi) V: Chiang, Oh

Originally Posted by RichC2
It gets away with it by having a Chinese director. And basically being every Asian mom I know (namely mine.)
Yeah, I caught that’s it’s a Chinese director so it can get away with those things and I assume the overbearing “Tiger mom” plays a large part in the movie, so we’ll see how that plays out. The implication of the math whiz Asian kid seemed unnecessary. The movie’s title itself also seems like it could be problematic.

Old 07-13-21, 11:58 AM
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Re: Disney/Pixar's Turning Red (2022, S: Shi) V: Chiang, Oh

Yeah I'm not wild about the title, it can be taken too many different ways.

The "Asians are good at math" being offensive or dehumanizing has always seemed sillier to me than the stereotype itself (that many Asian parents also bought into when I was growing up). But I'm sure we'll see some Twitter comment with 50 likes being promoted into a clickbait blog article about how offensive Pixar's new movie is.
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Old 07-13-21, 12:09 PM
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Re: Disney/Pixar's Turning Red (2022, S: Shi) V: Chiang, Oh

Writer-director Domee Shi is just 31 years old. Great to see PIxar making way for exciting young talent with diverse cultural perspectives. Enough with the Cars' projects, already!
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Old 07-13-21, 12:18 PM
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Re: Disney/Pixar's Turning Red (2022, S: Shi) V: Chiang, Oh

Originally Posted by RichC2
Yeah I'm not wild about the title, it can be taken too many different ways.

The "Asians are good at math" being offensive or dehumanizing has always seemed sillier to me than the stereotype itself (that many Asian parents also bought into when I was growing up). But I'm sure we'll see some Twitter comment with 50 likes being promoted into a clickbait blog article about how offensive Pixar's new movie is.
Is it leaning into the Asians are good at math stereotype, or going against the girls are bad at math stereotype?

Right now, I'm wondering about why the girl dresses like Mike Nesmith.
Old 07-13-21, 12:30 PM
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Re: Disney/Pixar's Turning Red (2022, S: Shi) V: Chiang, Oh

Originally Posted by Count Dooku
Is it leaning into the Asians are good at math stereotype, or going against the girls are bad at math stereotype?

Right now, I'm wondering about why the girl dresses like Mike Nesmith.
I like that take. No clue on the attire though, Canadian fashion?
Old 07-13-21, 12:42 PM
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Re: Disney/Pixar's Turning Red (2022, S: Shi) V: Chiang, Oh

Originally Posted by Count Dooku
Is it leaning into the Asians are good at math stereotype, or going against the girls are bad at math stereotype
Could be. Although, I think the “Asians are good at math” stereotype is more prominent than “girls are bad at math” stereotype. Which, honestly, I didn’t realize was a stereotype until you mentioned it.

It also could have been avoided by changing it to a vocabulary quiz or a history exam. It seemed rather purposeful to me.

Again, I’m judging all of this off of a minute and a half teaser trailer so who knows how it will play out. And it’s ultimately not that big of a deal, it was just something that caught my attention while watching it.
Old 07-13-21, 01:27 PM
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Re: Disney/Pixar's Turning Red (2022, S: Shi) V: Chiang, Oh

I just saw a kid in school taking a math test. who is embarrass by their mom being outside of school and turning into a red panda. I didnt even notice how she was dress. /smh
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Old 07-13-21, 02:04 PM
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Re: Disney/Pixar's Turning Red (2022, S: Shi) V: Chiang, Oh

Why make her a red panda? So she can look like Aggretsuko?


Old 07-13-21, 02:17 PM
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Re: Disney/Pixar's Turning Red (2022, S: Shi) V: Chiang, Oh

Really interesting that it takes place in 2002/3 Toronto. I'd assume it's partly autobiographical?
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Old 07-13-21, 02:30 PM
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Re: Disney/Pixar's Turning Red (2022, S: Shi) V: Chiang, Oh

Originally Posted by csant
I just saw a kid in school taking a math test. who is embarrass by their mom being outside of school and turning into a red panda. I didnt even notice how she was dress. /smh
That they included the motion of her spinning her pencil like a weapon, indicating that she is prepared to "attack" the test, it is a purposeful effort to create some characterization in the teaser. Alternately, they could have had her dramatically express her anguish at the thought of taking the test, which would have told us something very different about her character.
Old 07-13-21, 02:38 PM
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Re: Disney/Pixar's Turning Red (2022, S: Shi) V: Chiang, Oh

Originally Posted by GoldenJCJ
Could be. Although, I think the “Asians are good at math” stereotype is more prominent than “girls are bad at math” stereotype. Which, honestly, I didn’t realize was a stereotype until you mentioned it.

It also could have been avoided by changing it to a vocabulary quiz or a history exam. It seemed rather purposeful to me.

Again, I’m judging all of this off of a minute and a half teaser trailer so who knows how it will play out. And it’s ultimately not that big of a deal, it was just something that caught my attention while watching it.
Well, if as observed, the movie is set when Shi was herself around that age, and she was good at math, maybe she is not concerned with playing into a stereotype about Asians, but rather wants to proudly portray aspects of her reality. And if so, I say good for her. But you are correct that having it be an algebra test is totally on purpose, especially since the character might just be in the 8th grade.
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Old 07-13-21, 04:26 PM
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Re: Disney/Pixar's Turning Red (2022, S: Shi) V: Chiang, Oh

Will wait and see but did pick up on what could be construed as an Asian stereotype or two. Pixar has been pretty good expect there's a message there but thought nowadays it's call the cops when someone is lurking outside a classroom and kicks school personnel.
Old 07-13-21, 04:41 PM
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Re: Disney/Pixar's Turning Red (2022, S: Shi) V: Chiang, Oh

Originally Posted by csant
I just saw a kid in school taking a math test. who is embarrass by their mom being outside of school and turning into a red panda. I didnt even notice how she was dress. /smh
Similar to what Inside Out did with childhood depression, I can see this movie doing with anxiety. I can’t find any plot synopses online but I wonder if this movie deals with the pressure parents place on their children and the amount of anxiety children have placed on them these days.
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Old 07-13-21, 06:10 PM
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Re: Disney/Pixar's Turning Red (2022, S: Shi) V: Chiang, Oh

Originally Posted by IBJoel
Really interesting that it takes place in 2002/3 Toronto. I'd assume it's partly autobiographical?
Yep, director Shi grew up in Toronto, and studied animation at nearby Sheridan College (the school for animation in Canada).
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Old 07-13-21, 06:11 PM
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Re: Disney/Pixar's Turning Red (2022, S: Shi) V: Chiang, Oh

Originally Posted by devilshalo
Why make her a red panda? So she can look like Aggretsuko?

That was my first thought. I'd love to see an Aggretsuko movie.

Originally Posted by rexinnih
Will wait and see but did pick up on what could be construed as an Asian stereotype or two. Pixar has been pretty good expect there's a message there but thought nowadays it's call the cops when someone is lurking outside a classroom and kicks school personnel.
It's apparently set in 2002 or so, and in Canada, so not quite into the current madness of having schools look like prisons.
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Old 07-13-21, 06:27 PM
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Re: Disney/Pixar's Turning Red (2022, S: Shi) V: Chiang, Oh

So, in some ways, Bao is the sequel to this.
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Old 07-13-21, 08:02 PM
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Re: Disney/Pixar's Turning Red (2022, S: Shi) V: Chiang, Oh

Originally Posted by Count Dooku
That they included the motion of her spinning her pencil like a weapon, indicating that she is prepared to "attack" the test, it is a purposeful effort to create some characterization in the teaser. Alternately, they could have had her dramatically express her anguish at the thought of taking the test, which would have told us something very different about her character.
Honestly when I saw the scene, I thought she was relieved they would be talking about math and not something that would excite her. I also took that as the reason she didn't want to read the note....if it were something that made her laugh she'd turn. I could be totally wrong though.
Old 07-14-21, 01:05 PM
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Re: Disney/Pixar's Turning Red (2022, S: Shi) V: Chiang, Oh

Originally Posted by GoldenJCJ
I can’t find any plot synopses online but I wonder if this movie deals with the pressure parents place on their children and the amount of anxiety children have placed on them these days.
I wouldn't be surprised if this is a theme within the film, especially in the Chinese/Asian context. It also seems to fuel a lot of indie Asian-American and Asian-Canadian movies (the strict immigrant parents vs westernized kids trope). I think there's some truth behind the "stereotypes" being pointed out in this trailer; they weren't just made up by non-Asians as put-downs and I think Domee Shi knows this. I won't speak for our Asian contributors here, but I've known several Asian friends and colleagues over the years who've commented – sometimes even complained with an eye-roll – about the emphasis on education (including being "good at math") and discipline that was simply a part of their lives growing up. Some weren't even aware of it until they realized that non-Asian friends and classmates weren't held to the same standards. My girlfriend once told me that when she brought home a 95% grade in some high school math or science class or other, her dad 'jokingly' said "That's great. Now where's the other 5%?" Apparently she didn't think much of it because it was said to her in a lighthearted manner, and she had cousins and friends whose parents were much more explicit in their disapproval of such grades (meaning she was aware of the expectations), but it had the effect of making her feel like she needed to work harder at her studies. It paid off in the long run, but not without side-effects like continual bad dreams (decades later) about being late for classes, failing test, etc, and associated sleep problems. Years later, we both found out that a 95% grade is jokingly (or not-so-jokingly?) referred to as an "Asian Fail" – by Asians!

I'm sure this kind of pressure on kids today – especially today – is not limited to Chinese and Asian communities in North America or elsewhere, which will make the film resonate with young viewers from many cultural backgrounds (and their over-protective parents). Wherever immigrants go for a better life, their children almost inevitably face expectations that don't befall kids of families that have "been there" for generations.

Interesting to note that the film is set in the early 2000's. My guess was late 90's to early 00's based on the song, the cars and the conspicuous lack of smartphones and tablets. The setting is clearly Toronto's downtown Chinatown (with the CN Tower off in the distance), which is one of about five or six, and which in that era still had a majority Chinese population. It would be harder to set this "Chinese" story there in the present day as it's become a lot more mixed, with Vietnamese folks seemingly making up a majority of the residents and business owners (mind you, a lot of them came here via Hong Kong after the exodus at the end of the Vietnam war, so Cantonese seems to mix freely with Vietnamese all over the place).

Not sure about other cities – feel free to weigh in! – but Toronto and the surrounding districts are also home to a high number of private Chinese schools that provide lessons beyond what the public and catholic schools here provide, usually in the evenings, always on Saturdays, and throughout the summer. Initially, I assumed these schools were Chinese-language schools – perhaps for parents who didn't want their 1.5-gen or 2nd-gen kids to lose touch traditional languages, or for westerners who wanted to learn them – but it turns out they also provide classes in English and French (spoken/written), art, computer science, physics, chemistry, biology and, seemingly most important of all, math! The not-so-hidden goal of a lot of these institutions is to cater to immigrant parents' high expectations for their kids to succeed and get into the best universities at all costs, thus keeping them in school six days a week, nearly year-round, becomes a very preferable option to letting them just be kids on the weekends and in the summers. Here's one that's a stone's throw from me. Whenever I hear people repeating the stereotype that "Asians are good at math" – which I know isn't entirely true – part of me can't help but think of these schools (this one in particular has some nasty google reviews that are worth looking up, mostly from Asian-Canadian students, that plainly illustrate the parent/child divide hinted at in the TURNING RED trailer, even though the main character appears to be in a regular Canadian public school).
Old 07-14-21, 01:18 PM
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Re: Disney/Pixar's Turning Red (2022, S: Shi) V: Chiang, Oh

Originally Posted by milo bloom
That was my first thought. I'd love to see an Aggretsuko movie.


It's apparently set in 2002 or so, and in Canada, so not quite into the current madness of having schools look like prisons.
Even in 2021 Canada, schools do not look like prisons.
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Old 07-14-21, 01:36 PM
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Re: Disney/Pixar's Turning Red (2022, S: Shi) V: Chiang, Oh

Originally Posted by Count Dooku
Is it leaning into the Asians are good at math stereotype, or going against the girls are bad at math stereotype?

Right now, I'm wondering about why the girl dresses like Mike Nesmith.
I think the Asians are good at math trumps the girls are bad at math, because I think there's an "Asian girls (with glasses) are great at math" trope in a ton of places.

That said, I don't find that particularly offensive, and I think it's entirely possible that the mom was checking up on her daughter because she's worried about the transformation (she doesn't seem shocked by the transformation and really even if she was a Tiger mom, why would she be sneaking around the school to make sure her daughter does well in a math test?). Personally I think it's awesome that we have a ton of Asian-led movies even if the major ones still feature Kung Fu or being a ninja.
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