A newly released deleted scene from Pixar’s coming-of-age tale Turning Red reveals a heartfelt moment between mother Ming Lee and her daughter Mei.
A newly released deleted scene from Turning Red reveals a heartfelt moment between mother Ming Lee (Sandra Oh) and her daughter Mei (Rosalie Chiang). The Pixar film was released in March 2022 to near-universal acclaim, garnering a 94% Fresh rating on the review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes. The family film did not fare well at the box office as a result of a U.S. Disney+ release due to rising COVID-19 cases worldwide. However, Turning Red was viewed in 2.5 million households across the United States in its opening weekend, giving it the best start ever for a Disney+ original program.
Turning Red is a coming-of-age story centered around Mei, a 13-year-old Chinese-Canadian student who wants nothing more than to hang out with her friends. But due to a curse passed down through the women in her family, Mei turns into a gigantic red panda when she reacts to any situation with strong emotions. The start of the film finds Mei loyal to her mother, admiring her strength and character while avoiding her ire when it comes to Mei’s friends and music interests. Conflict arises between the two when Mei expresses a desire to see her favorite band with her friends. This results in immediate disapproval from Ming, forcing Mei to finally disobey her mother.
Director Domee Shi recently shared a new deleted scene from Turning Red with People. Dubbed “Intro Meilin,” the cut scene reveals a heartfelt moment between Mei and Ming where they attempt to take a professional staged photograph at a store. According to Shi, the scene was intended to familiarize the audience with the familial dynamic between mother and daughter. Read what Shi had to say about the scene in question below.
It shows, one, that Ming is this in-charge, scary but fierce and amazing woman, and that Mei is totally enamored with her mom and sees her mom like a goddess. And that’s kind of the main heart of the movie.
Shi explained the scene was cut due to the fact that it took too long for Mei to turn into the Panda and because the film worked well without the moment. The resulting photograph is very similar to the first image in the film which shows Ming and Mei positioned in the exact same manner but with Mei’s father Jin (Orion Lee) standing with them. In this way, the scene is still represented in Turning Red.
The cut moment is well-constructed in that it perfectly communicates the director’s intention. Ming’s confidence, strength, and pension for perfection are on display, as well as Mei’s unflinching adoration of her mother. However, Turning Red works just fine without the scene, as the same family dynamics are on display elsewhere in the film. This includes Mei’s opening voice-over explaining the importance of honoring one’s parents, as well as the scene where she assists her mother at the Lee Family Temple. Although the photograph moment was cut from Turning Red, at least audiences can still see it now.
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