Pixar’s ‘Turning Red’ Made Its Writer Obsessed With Boy Bands And K-Pop


This story is part I’m so obsessed (sign up here)our podcast featuring interviews with actors, artists, celebrities and creatives about their work, careers and current obsessions.

turn red, Pixar’s latest film, may seem like your typical coming-of-age flick, but it’s something unique and far more entertaining. the new movie premieres friday on Disney+ and centers on Meilin, a confident and silly eighth grader, as she grapples with puberty, adolescence, and learning who she is. Oh, and she has one more unexpected thing to deal with: whenever her emotions get too strong, she turns into a giant red panda.

Turning Red is directed and co-written by Domee Shi, who directed the brilliant Pixar short film Bao. The other creative force behind the story and screenplay is award-winning playwright Julia Cho. Cho was on CNET’s I’m So Obsessed Podcast to discuss Turning Red and working for Pixar.

“Turning Red is kind of a classic coming-of-age story, but told in a not-so-classic way. It’s about a 13-year-old Asian Canadian girl, or I guess, a North American Asian girl growing up with a strong, larger-than-life mother,” Cho said. “The movie is a combination of classic mother/daughter shenanigans and crazy red panda.

The movie is set in 2002 Canada because that’s where Shi grew up. This not-too-distant setting allows Turning Red to be funny and relatable while viewing the story from a contemporary perspective. A good example of this is how Meilin and his friends become obsessed with the fictional boy band 4 Town. Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas wrote the songs that 4 Town performs in the film.

You can listen to my full interview with Cho in the podcast player at the top of this article. Cho talks about her career as a playwright, overcoming writer’s block, and how working on Turning Red made her obsessed with K-pop.

“I’m maybe a little too obsessed with K-pop boy groups, especially dance videos,” Cho said. “I lived in New York, there was like modern dance everywhere. And I see these guys moving and I’m like, ‘This is art.'”

Subscribe to I’m So Obsessed on your favorite podcast app. In each episode, Connie Guglielmo or I meet an artist, actor, or creator to learn more about their work, career, and current obsessions.


About Author

Comments are closed.