Red, the metaphor of puberty according to Pixar and director Domee Shi

Director Domee Shi and producer Lindsey Collins presented the new Pixar animated film, Red, in Rome, in the company of part of the Italian vocal cast, including Hell Raton, Baltimore and Federico Russo.

It will be in streaming on Disney + from 11 March Rednew effort of Pixar directed by Domee Shiwho had already won theOscar with the short film Bao in 2019: the director, in the company of the producer Lindsey Collinspresented the film in Rome, but a good number of the Italian talent which lent themselves to amusing vocal cameos in the feature film. Let’s talk about Marco Maccarini, Federico Russo, Shi Yang Shi, Manuelito “Hell Raton” And BALTIMORA (with Versailles, Karakaz and Moonryde in the audience).

Red, the story and themes of the new Pixar effort according to Domee Shi

“After I directed Bao, I was asked to come up with three ideas for a feature film. Pixar doesn’t want you to invest your heart in one idea, and it doesn’t matter if you just won an Oscar,” he told us. Domee Shinew feature film director with Red. Lindsey Collins, her producer, jokes: “You have to be judged, kind of like a X-Factorbut we all wanted to see these characters in action! “
The protagonist of Red is Mei Leeone thirteen year old girl in Toronto in 2002. She is overwhelmed by hormonal storm just when it seems to be the perfect embodiment of all that his mother Ming wants it to be: as if that weren’t enough, when Mei Lee gets excited, yes literally turns into a red panda (there is a link with a tradition of his Chinese family, which will be explained in the story). “He’s a female Bildungsroman with this surreal aspectwhich Pixar always makes inroads “.
Domee admits the autobiography: “I chose the red panda because it is a very cute animal and because it is the perfect metaphor for puberty: at Mei Lee’s age I was always red, with embarrassment, with anger … and then her period is red too! physical transformationalthough I didn’t like boy bands but I was more into Harry Potter and anime. “
In this narrative construction it is important, as Domee explains to us, that Mei Lee will eventually be able to live with his “red panda”, its deepest identity, which perhaps past generations have had to suppress, but which with the changing times can be challenged as a force. The explosive panda must be hugged, “otherwise who knows what can happen if it is contained too much …”

Red, the “boy band” and the Italian voices

In Red, set in 2002, Mei Lee and her friends want to go to a concert of the boy band 4 * Town, which in the Italian version was “organized” with irony by Manuelito “Hell Raton”: joking at the press conference he admits that he has never had a favorite boy band in his life: “I would bet on Spice Girls“. Manuelito decided to go against the tide, involving the five boys for the cameo-dubbing BALTIMORA, Versailles, Karakaz And Moonryde, none of whom have a “boy band” in their hearts. But the comedy of the cartoon lent itself well to this self-mockery.
Federico Russowho lent himself to a few lines from a television announcer, very much appreciated the idea of ​​the “moments that make you great: for these girls it is the concert, for others it can be other things, for example an important meeting with someone “. Shi Yang Shia multifaceted naturalized Italian artist, is proud to have lent his voice to dad of Mei Lee, happy to have taken part in a film that combines two cultures. In this regard, Domee Shi is happy to have portrayed a Chinese dad not often seen in movies: strong but calm, with an amazing skill in cooking.
The Italian version also involves Ambra Angiolini and Sabrina Impacciatore (not present at the conference), in the role of two cousins ​​of Mei.

Red, the style of the film and the philosophy of Pixar

If anyone seeing Red will think of the soulsit will not be a coincidence: Domee Shi really aimed to do meet western and eastern animation: “I love manga and anime, I grew up with Sailor Moon And Ranma 1/2but I also have points of reference in life cinema: the visual dynamism of Edgar Wrightfor example in Scott Pilgrimor Wes Andersonfor his production design, especially in his stop-motion animated feature films. “
Domee is there first woman to direct a Pixar cartoon by herself, but according to Lindsey Collins it’s no surprise: “She’s a swagger!” Among other things, Domee underlines how in her generation (born in 1989), in animation courses, women already represented half of the participants. If previously there could have been strong competition among women, due to the difficulty of finding a voice in the environment, the changing world favors more cooperationincreasingly supported by Pete Doctercreative director of the company.
Shi and Collins have told something about the way Docter is managing Pixar and individual projects: he requires that the director of a film act as executive producer for a work not his (here, for example, it is the turn of Dan Scanlonauthor of the underrated Onward), has clear ideas (“Let’s avoid thedisplay of style for its own sake“) and is very diplomatic and encouraging when it comes to judging the work of the various filmmakers:” He always tells us that we shouldn’t get too attached to what we do. “When Pete sees something he doesn’t like, he usually doesn’t force the cut from the ‘high: “He says: I would do this, think about it, why don’t you try to do this and then tell me what you think? And in the end you discover that he was right! “

Red, the metaphor of puberty according to Pixar and director Domee Shi