With ‘Red Alert’, Disney explores the subject of female puberty

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The fabulous Pixar animation studio is back with a feature film. Worthy Red alertIt has been available since Friday on Disney+. This great comedy tackles the pain of puberty with humor. The first American animated film with Asian heroes, it was signed by a young woman, Domee Shi, who has already won an Oscar for an animated short.

Director Dom Shi was inspired by her teenage years to create the character of Melin, an excellent student of Chinese descent fully integrated in Toronto, Canada. Yet there is a huge difference between the 30-year-old director and her character. in the movie Red alertLittle Melin turns into a giant red panda once she gets angry.

I was this confident, emotional, silly kid who liked to be in control, and I had a wonderful relationship with his mom, family, and friends. And then one day, puberty arrived. I suddenly grew up, my hair grew everywhere and my feelings took over, I argued with my mother every day. I wanted to come back to this period to understand what had happened. »

Characters viewers can relate to

The first Pixar film directed by a woman, Red alert It balances strong female characters, between Mélène and her friends, her mother, her grandmother and her very demanding aunts. It is also the first animated film that talks about the onset of menstruation in a young girl and periodic protection in a funny and embarrassing sequence for the main character.

For producer Lindsey Collins, this sequence was essential: “ We trust our teams and our demos to see if our ideas work. And when we showed the film internally, everyone laughed and then put themselves in the character’s shoes. And that’s what we’re looking for, this symmetry between the spectators and the characters. Everyone wanted to keep that scene in the movie. »

Thus, Dum Shi metaphorically shows the transformations of a young girl into an adolescent. Used for this panda figure. ” Even though the panda is a Chinese animal, it’s a great metaphor for adulthood because it’s ginger and hairy. I was not inspired by any existing Chinese legend. I invented mine. »

Music by Billie Eich and Phineas O’Connell

The challenge for Melin and her friends is to go to a concert to male group happening in Toronto. Lindsey Collins called on Billie Eilish and her brother Phineas O’Connell for the band’s songs.

We wanted artists who would speak to this generation, singers who would feel like they wrote songs especially for their 13-year-old audience. Billie Eilish and Phineas write songs for this generation. They were therefore offered to create this boy band for the film and to compose their music. They immediately accepted and wrote three songs that we love. »

Jessica C. Bell