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‘Turning Red’ Producer Defends Mei’s Mom

If you’ve seen the new Pixar movie Turning Red, then you probably already know that protagonist Meilin Lee’s biggest challenge in the film is her mom, Ming (who is voiced by Sandra Oh). Many viewers noticed that Ming was villainized at certain points in the movie — but according to a recent D23 interview, producer Lindsey Collins made it her mission to watch out for Ming!

lindsey collins

Producer Lindsey Collins Credit: Pixar/Variety

“Those of us who are parents shared our bad parenting moments [during Turning Red‘s development]”, Collins told D23. “We really had to be real with one another about our daily failures and our daily successes.”

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Newcomer Rosalie Chiang (left), who is the voice of Mei Lee, the lead character in Disney PIxar’s new animated feature “Turning Red,” works with director Domee Shi during a recording session at Pixar in Emeryville. Credit: datebook.sfchronicle.com

As a mother of three children (with two being teenagers) Collins felt that she could relate to Ming’s perspective.  “As I would talk with Domee, our writer, and our story team, it was always coming from a place of: ‘Let’s not be too harsh on the mom!’” Collins explained. “Moms don’t necessarily always know what they’re doing.”

Ming, "Turning Red"

Ming (voiced by Sandra Oh) and Meilin Lee (voiced by newcomer Rosalie Chiang) Credit: Disney/Pixar

Director Domee Shi added during the interview that not only was Mei directly inspired by her own childhood struggles, but that the team also specifically “wanted to explore the nuances of Asian parent-child relationships, from dealing with change to all of the intergenerational conflict and how it shapes who we become”.

Domee-Shi

Domee Shi, the director of ‘Turning Red’. Credit: Disney

Turning Red is quirky and surreal,” she continued, “but at its core, it’s a mother and daughter finally embracing change in all of its messy and furry forms—even if it means saying goodbye to the relationship they once had.”

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“Mei Mei” as a giant red panda in ‘Turning Red’ Credit: Disney

Have you seen Turning Red on Disney+?

About Sharon

Sharon is a writer and animal lover from New England. Sharon's two main focuses in her work are Disney's correlations with pop culture and the significance of Disney princesses (which was the basis for her college thesis). When she's not writing about Disney, Sharon spends her time singing, dancing, and cavorting with woodland creatures!