Turning Red’s cast chat about the adorable animated movie

Turning Red is already one of Movies4Kids’ favourite movies of 2022, a terrific animated movie about mums and daughters, being a teenager, friendships, boy bands – and how to deal with turning into a giant red panda every time your emotions get the better of you.

Now available on DVD, 4K Ultra HD and Blu-Ray as well as streaming on Disney+ and all major digital platforms, the Pixar coming of age movie features Rosalie Chiang as the voice of Meilin, alongside Sandra Oh as her mother Ming and Ava Morse as Mei’s friend Miriam. Movies4Kids and other media sat down with them to chat about the movie – read on for our interview, and you can read the M4K review of Turning Red here:

Turning Red is partly about the relationship between a teen girl and her mother. So what is Mei’s relationship with her mother like?

Sandra Oh: I voice Ming, who is – I’d like to call her a hyper-vigilant, loving mother. We basically go through this change in our relationship. It’s a natural change between mothers and daughters where daughters have to become their own independent people. It’s tough on my character!

Rosalie Chiang: Meilin is a 13-year-old Chinese Canadian who’s confident, she’s ambitious, and she’s a little dorky and a bit of an overachiever. She puts so much value in her friendships and her relationship with her mom. And she goes through these huge changes and she’s dealing with this. She has all these things in her life and she doesn’t want to lose herself.

For me, after watching the movie, my mom and I kinda looked at each other like: ‘This is really similar!’

Do any of you have a tiger mum in real life?

Sandra: I love my mom. And she’s a fierce, fierce person. Tiny, tiny, but fierce.

I posed something a very long time ago on Instagram. It was such an unbelievable quote that my mom said in the kitchen that I had to write it down on a Post-It and then I put it up on Instagram. Basically she said – and I’m not joking – ‘If only you were neater, I would love you more.”

I do happen to have a really good relationship with my mom and I know not everyone does. But I can’t stop her from being herself!

The friendships in Turning Red are part of the movie’s charm, aren’t they?

Sandra: What I love about this film is through friendship, and through music, it’s that precious time when you’re starting to figure out who you are, when your friends become really, really important. You know for me, the girls that I grew up with in like Nepean, Ontario, we’re still all friends.

One of Meilin’s closest friends is Miriam – Ava Morse, are you anything like the character you voice?

Ava: Well, I’m currently a high school student, and everybody is just growing and changing together. It can be very stressful and dark at times, because everyone is going through a lot, and not everyone knows how to handle that.

At the same time, it’s kind of a beautiful thing, because everybody’s in that together, and put it all into living their lives the best they can. All my friends mean so much to me. And they’re all supportive, no matter what. I was really inspired by my own friends, kind of putting them into Miriam herself, because she is such a supportive, amazing friend to  Mei-Mei and the other girls.

Rosalie – Turning Red is your first major role. What was it like to get the news you would be voicing Mei?

Rosalie: I kinda had two moments of finding that I was voicing Mei. The first time was when I was 12. It was a scratch recording, that was when they were still figuring out the plot and the characters and design, they hadn’t gone to production yet. So they just needed a voice to animate off of. At first, they just sent me an email like ‘hey, congrats, you booked it for scratch.’ And I’m like, kind half-crying, half confused because it’s like ‘what the hell is scratch?’

Then two years later, Domee [Shi, the director] brought in this camera… and she just said ‘We love your voice, can you please be Mei?’ I just remember being in shock…!