Turning Red director wants the film to help 13-year-olds talk about periods and puberty
14 March 2022, 15:07 | Updated: 14 March 2022, 17:31
Turning Red has a PG age rating and Domee Shi made it to help normalise conversations about menstruation.
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Turning Red director Domee Shi says she wants the film to help 13-year-olds start conversations about periods and puberty.
If you haven't watched Turning Red yet, what are you doing? The new Pixar movie debuted on Disney+ last week (Mar 11) to widespread critical acclaim. Turning Red tells the story of an intelligent, funny and boyband-obsessed girl called Mei. Mei is your average 13-year-old but she suddenly starts turning into a red panda whenever she experiences strong emotions.
The whole film acts as a beautiful extended metaphor for puberty and now its director has revealed why she had to make it.
Chatting to Chatelaine, Domee Shi said: "I just wanted to give this movie to that 13-year-old me who was very confused and never got “the talk” from her mom and who was in the bathroom freaking out like Mei is in the movie when she first turns into a red panda." When Mei first turns into the red panda, her mum actually assumes that she's started her period.
Domee continued: "My hope is that this starts those conversations and that we can eventually just normalize talking about puberty and menstruation and not feel so weird about it. But until then, please watch this entertaining movie about a red panda running through Toronto."
Discussing the inspiration behind the film, Domee also said: "The main inspiration was my own life growing up. Like, I was Meilin Lee. I was that nerdy, excitable, tween girl that was just struggling with being her mom’s perfect daughter and the raging hormonal beast inside me that got into fights with her every day."
She then ended by adding: "Making this movie was my attempt to unpack what was going on during that time—not just from my point of view, but from my mom’s as well."