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Double Trouble

Rosalie Chiang is the voice of the animated character Meilin Lee. Mei changes into a red panda when she gets excited. PIXAR (2); INSET: EMILY SHUR

Disney-Pixar’s new movie is called Turning Red. It’s about a girl named Meilin Lee. She’s Chinese-Canadian.

Meilin is having a tough time growing up. It doesn’t help that she turns into a giant red panda when she gets too excited.

Actor Rosalie Chiang is the voice of Mei. She says turning into a red panda is how Mei shows her fears about growing up. “Red Panda is just Mei times 100,” Rosalie says.

Asian people in films are often shown being successful. Sometimes, they are superheroes. Rosalie says this puts pressure on Asian viewers. They might feel they have to live up to high expectations.

Mei is a different kind of character. She’s not perfect, Rosalie says. That gives viewers a new way of understanding Asian family life.

Rosalie says there is a message to take away from Mei’s story. “Differences are what make people who they are,” she says. “Find out who you are. Not what other people want you to be.”

Turning Red can be seen on Disney+.