Turning Red’s Big Alternate Title Better Explains Its Biggest Pixar Difference
Turning Red is different from other Pixar movies primarily because of its animation style, and one of its potential titles explained that difference better.
turn red was divisive because of how different it was from other Pixar movies, especially visually, and one of its discontinued titles explains that big difference beautifully. Pixar continues to be a powerhouse in the animation world, and by now everyone knows what a Pixar movie looks like, but the studio has changed things up quite a bit in recent years. His latest project, turn redwas a critical hit, but it was also quite controversial, as it tackles topics not usually seen in Pixar movies, and its animation style is also different.
Although there have been Pixar movies with female leads before, such as Brave and Upside downnone had broached the subject of puberty and all the wild changes that come with it like turn red did. Established in 2002 in Toronto, Canada, turn red features Meilin “Mei” Lee (Rosalie Chiang), a 13-year-old Chinese-Canadian college student who one day discovers that whenever she gets too excited or stressed, she turns into a giant red panda, but she can do half- turn if she becomes calm and manages to control her emotions. Fortunately, this family curse can be contained by performing a special ritual on a specific night – but not so fortunately, that night coincides with the concert of Mei’s favorite boy band, and to further complicate everything, Mei also has to deal with her mother. bossy, Ming (Sandra Oh).
Besides the topics of puberty, menstruation, and generational trauma, what viewers constantly point out about turn red that’s how different it is from other Pixar movies. turn red is heavily influenced by anime, and while still somewhat faithful to the studio’s visual style, director Domee Shi and her team have incorporated many anime elements into it, such as the character’s eyes that glow when happy or excited, their facial expressions changing quickly, and even the backgrounds are more colorful and detailed. A clear influence in turn redThe animation style of is that of the Studio Ghibli films, and one of the film‘s potential titles referenced them perfectly: My Neighbor Toronto.
As briefly shown in the documentary Kiss the panda: spin Redone of turn redThe alternate titles of were inspired by Studio Ghibli and referenced the studio classic My Neighbor Totoro, which tells the story of Satsuki and Mei, the daughters of Professor Tatsuo Kusakabe, who befriend wood spirits in rural post-war Japan. Among these spirits is a large, gray, fluffy one that Mei names “Totoro”, who eventually becomes a protector of the sisters. Ghibli’s films are visually notable for their intricate use of watercolors and brightly colored acrylics, a style that impacted that of turn redespecially its colorful and whimsical backgrounds, which made a huge difference from previous Pixar films. turn red also bears other similarities to My Neighbor Totoro, with both a giant creature that protects (either the woods, the sisters, or Mei and Mei’s family itself) and their protagonists being called “Mei”, so it’s no surprise that the team production team toyed with the idea of naming the film “My Neighbor Toronto”. In addition to that, turn red has been described as a love letter to Canada, so “My Neighbor Toronto” would have brought together the best of two worlds: its Canadian influence and its Studio Ghibli visual influences.
Always, My Neighbor Toronto would have limited turn red because the story is so much more than a Canadian girl in an anime-inspired/Ghibli-influenced setting, and ultimately, the main theme of the movie is puberty, and “Turning Red” is a great reference to that. turn red stands out from the rest of Pixar’s films for the right reasons, and knowing that at some point a title referencing one of Studio Ghibli’s most beloved films was considered makes those differences even more special and exciting .
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