When it comes to kid movies, no one does it better than Disney Pixar. The characters are always memorable, but it’s the storyline and the message takeaway that makes them so loved. The writers have been candid about how much time they put into perfecting the story, and we see that play out in a new exclusive clip for Turning Red.
The story is centered around 13-year-old Mei Lee who turns into a giant red panda whenever she gets really excited. The storyline is complex as Mei navigates puberty, school, and her relationship with her protective and overbearing mother. The conflict Mei has with herself is coming to terms with her dual life and whether she wants to live as a human or embrace her red panda side.
In a deleted clip exclusive to Fatherly, director Domee Shi explains how different the original dilemma storyline was going to be for Mei. Instead of facing whether she wants to be a human or a red panda, Mei had to decided if she wanted to be a fun red panda and do what she wants or if she should be a responsible red panda, and help her mom save her Temple.
In the deleted scene, Mei is sitting on the bleachers with Miriam. Mei is feverously signing posters with her head down, while Miriam watches the other students and tries to joke with Mei. Mei makes it clear to Miriam that she only has one goal in mind – to do what she must so she can save the Temple.
But her whole attitude changes when Miriam presents her with concert tickets for her favorite band, 4*Town. Suddenly Mei breaks concentration and jumps up from her seat (and turns into a red panda, of course). Mei then declares her new mission: instead of focusing feverously on saving the temple, Mei drops it all for those front-row seats to her favorite group.
It’s a more realistic decision for a teenager who shouldn’t have so many responsibilities on their shoulders. But it’s not a scene that fits with how the storyline for Mei ultimately went in the end.
The movie ultimately went another direction, focusing on Mei not wanting to be different and not wanting to stand out. And it was the right move in the end.
Turning Red will be available for digital purchase on April 26, and the Blu-ray/DVD set will be available May 3.