The new Disney Pixar movie, Turning Red is now available to stream on Disney+. Here are some of the Easter eggs or hidden gems you may have missed, along with some of our favorite quotes.
There is always an Easter egg for the upcoming Pixar movie, and the next one up is Lightyear. You can see the Star Command logo on a sticker on Mirium’s skateboard.
One of the signs in Chinatown has the Bao logo on it. Bao is director Domee Shi Pixar Short, and also features a story close to her heart like Turning Red.
The red panda statutes are named Bart and Lisa, a nod to The Simpsons.
When Meilin is sketching the boy and she turns around you can see Purl from the Pixar short hanging on the desk.
The back of her notebook has the bunny from Burrow. So far, a heavy nod to all the Pixar Shorts.
Did anyone else feel like Devon as a mermaid looked a lot like Luca the sea monster?
The license plate on Ming’s car reads “Syst3ms” in honor of all the hard work the Systems team did to allow filmmakers to work from home during the pandemic.
Ming makes Mei-Mei a delicious breakfast with a smile in it, just like Mushu makes for Mulan.When Mei is walking through the school a boy is wearing a t-shirt with a Monster from Monsters Inc. on it. There are also lots of origami cranes hidden in the movie. There is one in Meilin’s bedroom and another seen here in the hallway.
The boy that Mei suddenly thinks is cute has a shirt that says Escápula which was a band that played in Coco during the talent show.
In the science classroom, you can see a gem like the one from Onward sitting on the shelf on the left, and a skeleton that is the same shape as Kevin from Up on the right by the chalkboard.
When Meilin scares the people on the street, you can see Coco flags on the left corner.
The dragons painted on the wall are Chinese water dragons just like Sisu from Raya and the Last Dragon.
There is a Finding Nemo sticker in the girl’s bathroom.
How about a cute Rainbow Unicorn sticker from Inside Out.
ITALIAN IMPORT – Artists borrowed the model of Massimo’s cat Machiavelli from Luca to create the temple cats that frequent the Lee family temple. The fur is a little longer and the coloring is different to distinguish the difference, but if you look closely you can see the resemblance.
The Pixar Luxo ball is in Tyler’s swimming pool.
When Mei-Mei runs to the concert she passes the Pizza Planet Truck.
I would like to give mad props to the filmmakers for the 4*Town boy band vibes. As someone that saw The Backstreet Boys in concert and totally cried like they did, I have so much love for this scene.
A113 is an Easter egg in Pixar films developed by alumni of the California Institute of the Arts, referring to the classroom used by graphic design and character animation students. You can see it on the chalk dispenser and a set of 4*Town concert tickets.
Best Quotes from Turning Red
Meilin – I’m Meilin Lee. Ever since I turned 13, I wear what I want, say what I want. 24/7, 365.
Priya – She is so brainwashed.
My Panda, My Choice, Mom!- Mei-Mei
It was my idea to hustle the panda! My idea to go to Tyler’s party! It was all me! I like boys! I like loud music! I like gyrating! I’m 13, deal with it! -Mei
Why are you moving like that!? – Ming
Shake your money maker! – Mirium
Destroy her with your big butt! – Abby
That’s it? Mei-Mei’s keeping the Panda? -Auntie
It’s her life. Now Move. – Auntie
I’m changing, Mom. I’m finally figuring out who I am. But, I’m scared it will take me away from you. – Mei
Me too. I see you Mei-Mei. You try to make everyone happy, but are so hard on yourself. And if I taught you that…I’m sorry. So, don’t hold back. For anyone. The farther you go, the prouder I’ll be. – Ming
I’m Meilin Lee, and ever since I turned 13 life’s been a lot. People still talk about Pandapocalypse 2002. Mom and I just call it…growing pains. -Mei
And yeah, sometimes I miss how things were, but nothing stays the same forever. We’ve all got an inner beast. We’ve all got a messy, loud, weird part of ourselves hidden away. And a lot of us never let it out. But I did. How about you? -Mei
Fun Facts in Turning Red
Make sure to watch Embracing the Panda a documentary of the women behind Turning Red. They discuss a lot of great cultural contexts and the reason they chose the Red Panda.
DINNER BELL – In the film, Jin’s delicious dinner is inspired by Taishanese cuisine, including abalone with snow peas, steamed chicken, steamed fish, and eel rice.
MAJOR DRAMA – In the film, Mei and Ming watch a show called “Jade Palace Diaries.” The “Turning Red” production team actually created a two-page script for the drama that unfolds, but only a few shots can be seen on the Lees’ TV.
- The TV logo is in the shape of the dumpling boy from Pixar’s 2018 Oscar®-winning short “Bao,” and features director Domee Shi’s last name as the channel name.
MIDDLE SCHOOL MAYHEM – The unique orientation of the desks in Mei’s classroom was based on Domee Shi’s school experience as in a Toronto middle school.
DOPPELGANGER – One of the kittens in the kitten box was modeled after Domee Shi’s cat, Diane.
HOME SWEET HOME – “Turning Red” was animated from the homes of the animation team. Some even opted to head to their childhood homes, working from their old bedrooms. Others worked in their garages, basements, and kids’ bedrooms. See the shout-out to the systems team in the Easter Egg above!
OH CANADA – Set in Toronto in 2002, “Turning Red” includes a host of details specific to the time and place, including street furniture, signs written in Canadian English, and even milk sold in bags versus cartons.
- When Mei is in the school music room, the music notes are the actual notes for the national anthem “Oh Canada.”
- The closeup shot of a bobblehead moose on Ming’s car’s dashboard is not just a Canada reference, but also for director Domee Shi’s dad who has a similar trinket on his dashboard.
POWER OF THE PALETTE – Each of the main characters has a distinct color palette: Mei is red, Miriam is yellow and green, Abby is lavender and Priya is ochre.
- The background characters at school don grayish blue-green clothing so that the main characters pop against the crowd.
SIGNATURE LOOKS – Artists gave each of Mei’s best friends a distinguishing characteristic that—in addition to their specific color palettes—helps audiences quickly differentiate the teens.
- Animators showed off Miriam’s braces as much as possible.
- Abby has “angry eyebrows” even when she’s happy, underscoring her quirky yet intense personality.
- Artists never raised Priya’s eyelids all the way, giving her a calm and cool look.
TIMELY – As filmmakers created the environments for the film, they looked for opportunities to reinforce the film’s early 2000s setting. There are wall-mounted telephones, old-school computers, CD players, and handheld video games at Mei’s school. VHS tapes line the shelves in the Lee household.
BACKWARDS THINKING – In order to make the hand-drawn posters that hang in the middle school look as if they were drawn by middle schoolers, artists on the graphics team wrote each letter inversely or changed their grip on the pen.
WINDBLOWN – When Mei goes from red panda back to a 13-year-old girl, a small gust of wind accompanies the transformation. Filmmakers scaled Mei’s hair up to twice its actual length for just a few frames before it settles into its established length.
FRIENDS 4*EVER – Mei and her friends have matching bracelets that were designed to look like they’re handmade by young teens.
RED PANDA MEI is the same Mei her friends and family know and love—but in the form of an unpredictable, eight-foot-tall, smelly, and inadvertently destructive red panda. She may be fluffy and impossibly cute, but Red Panda Mei represents Mei as her most vulnerable, messy, and true self. “We’re basically using the red panda as an adorable metaphor for the very unadorable phenomenon of puberty,” says Shi.
The temple décor includes sculptural details, a tiled roof, and subtle nods to the red panda. “The panda motif can be seen in furniture, carvings, and signage,” says Norelius. “The color red symbolizes good fortune and was clearly the only choice for the temple.”