a red panda to talk about puberty

During a preview in Paris, the director of Alerte Rouge told us about her desire to tell puberty through the prism of fantasy. Meet.

Pixar plunges us into the heart of the beast age, with its new animated feature film. By the director of BaoOscar winner in 2018, Red alert takes a fresh look at puberty by addressing the changes that take place in the most literal way possible. At 13, Meilin has to deal with her role as a model little girl in the eyes of her mother, and that of a cool young girl with her friends. A balancing act that becomes even more complex when she discovers the existence of a family curse, which has caused her to turn into a panda whenever she is overwhelmed by her emotions.

The director of such an adventure was a challenge for the creative teams, starting with Domee Shi who from the start wanted to address without concession all the physical and emotional changes that adolescents go through. For the first in the history of the studios, a feature film addresses the issue of menstruation. A theme that Domee Shi had very much at heart.

“I knew from the start that if we wanted to tell a young girl’s story in the most honest way, we had to talk about it. Talking about the fact that she might be on her period soon.”

A feeling shared by the producer of the film, Lindsey Collins. “They were clearly told: ‘Are you okay with doing this? Because that’s how we’re going to do it.’ And everyone loved it.” Moreover, the director confides that the choice to illustrate this transition to adulthood with a red panda is not trivial. “The red panda has many qualities that make it the perfect animal to illustrate puberty.”

“I mean, well it’s red, it’s the color. The color of menstruation, anger, embarrassment. It’s also the color you have when you see your crush in the hallways. And then he’s hairy, a little weird, and yet so cute” adds Lindsey Collins.

Before the arrival of social networks

The story ofRed alert is eminently personal. It immerses us in the early 2000s, a period that greatly influenced the director who was around Meilin’s age at the time. A choice that the director explains precisely by this proximity to her childhood, but also and above all a desire to center her plot on the relationships between the characters. Lindsey Collins explains:

“It was always about telling this story in the 2000s. This is the period in which you grew up (Domee editor’s note), so you are more comfortable talking about it. But also and above all, social networks were not yet in the game. The story remains modern and close to what we can live today, but without having to address all the social element that are social networks. We wanted to talk more about the relationships between the characters, family and friends, to stay in an arguably simpler period”.

A bit of Sailor Moon and Wes Anderson

During the interview she gave us, the director also returned to the many inspirations that fueled her feature film. With these pastel colors, Red alert is reminiscent of the filmography of Wes Anderson, and in particular his stop-motion films.

There is also some anime-inspired imagery. “I was vice president of the anime club in high school. I’ve always loved anime, the way series and manga talk about strong female characters. Sailor Moon was definitely an inspiration, color wise and nostalgic.”

A Boys Band created for the occasion

Who says 2000s necessarily says Boys Band, and Red alert created one for the occasion. The director gave birth tox4 Towna group of five singers with very different personalities, who are cracking up teenagers all over the world.

If the original music was composed by Ludwig Goransson (Tea mandalorian)this is not the only prestigious collaboration that Red alert to his credit. disney and Pixar recruited Billie Eilish and his brother and producer Finland O’Connell for the composition of three original scores. “Noboby Like U”which we have already heard in the trailer is available on streaming platforms and on YouTube.

See you on Disney+ this March 11 to discover Red alert. Like the rest of the latest Pixar productions, the film will eventually be released exclusively for the platform. A decision taken by the studios in December 2020 to Drunkwhile the health situation forced cinemas to keep their doors closed.

Discover Red Alert on Disney+

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