Disney shared these fun facts about the latest Pixar hit, “Turning Red”. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, you can find it on Disney+!
OH CANADA – Set in Toronto in 2002, “Turning Red” includes a host of details specific
to the time and place, including street furniture, signs written in Canadian English and
even milk sold in bags versus cartons.
• When Mei is in the school music room, the music notes are the actual notes for the
national anthem “Oh Canada.”
• The closeup shot of a bobble head moose on Ming’s car’s dashboard is not just a
Canada reference, but also for director Domee Shi’s dad who has a similar trinket on
FRIENDS 4*EVER – Mei and her friends have matching bracelets that were designed to
look like they’re handmade by the young teens.
POWER OF THE PALETTE – Each of the main characters has a distinct color palette:
Mei is red, Miriam is yellow and green, Abby is lavender and Priya is ochre.
• The background characters at school don grayish blue–green clothing so that the
main characters pop against the crowd.
SIGNATURE LOOKS – Artists gave each of Mei’s best friends a distinguishing
characteristic that—in addition to their specific color palettes—helps audiences quickly
differentiate the teens.
• Animators showed off Miriam’s braces as much as possible.
• Abby has “angry eyebrows” even when she’s happy, underscoring her quirky yet
• Artists never raised Priya’s eyelids all the way, giving her a calm and cool look.
WINDBLOWN – When Mei goes from red panda back to 13–year–old girl, a small gust of
wind accompanies the transformation. Filmmakers scaled Mei’s hair up to twice its
actual length for just a few frames before it settles into its established length.
BACK TO SCHOOL – Filmmakers had to build a middle school for the film, showcasing
Mei’s friendships and new interests away from her mother’s watchful eye. Designed with
the film’s city setting in mind, artists actually found blueprints for the school director
Domee Shi attended to use as inspiration for the layout of an urban school in Toronto.
TIMELY – As filmmakers created the environments for the film, they looked for
opportunities to reinforce the film’s early 2000s setting. There are wall–mounted
telephones, old–school computers, CD players and handheld video games at Mei’s
school. VHS tapes line the shelves in the Lee household.
BACKWARDS THINKING – In order to make the hand–drawn posters that hang in the
middle school look as if they were drawn by middle schoolers, artists on the graphics
team wrote each letter inversely or changed their grip on the pen.