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‘Turning Red’ Writer-Director Domee Shi On Dipping Into The Well Of Her Own Childhood For Her Oscar-Nominated Animated Feature

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After bringing home an Oscar in 2019 for her animated short Bao, Domee Shi returned to her well of childhood experiences for Turning Red.

Due to a family blessing/curse, 13-year-old Chinese Canadian Meilin (Rosalie Chang) transforms into a red panda whenever she experiences strong emotions, which is less than ideal for a teenager.

Using Mei as a surrogate character, Shi replicates her childhood experience of struggling to please her mother as she entered adolescence.

The film’s portrayal of the mother-daughter relationship sparked dialogues between teens and parents going through the same experience and gave Shi a chance to become closer with her own mother. DEADLINE: When we spoke on nomination day, you mentioned what this nomination meant to the Asian community.

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