No, that’s not the Thundercats reference in Turning Red

If you’re like me and you grew up in the era of the Thundercats TV series, you might have worked your way up to the new Pixar movie. Turn red where a character picks up a sword with a very familiar design, in the center is a large red round stone on the crossbar. Later in the film, when the same character lifts his sword above his head and the jewel emits a vivid red beam of light, that moment becomes all the more familiar. The sword looks a lot like the Thundercats’ signature weapon, the Sword of Omens, and the action in that sequence feels very similar to the sequence that ends almost every episode of the show’s original 1980s incarnation, with the main character. Lion-O is activating the sword and emitting a giant explosion of red light to summon his allies or circumvent them from magical effects and physical limitations.

But Turn red director Domee Shi says that any similarity there only comes from the way the two Thunder cat and Turn red based on similar influences and images. “It’s just an homage to anime in general, not particularly Thunder cat! ” she told Polygon in an interview before the movie came out. “But it is very memorize Thunder cat. ”

Shi and her team took from some of her favorite animated movies to create the look of the movie and to inspire details like the big pink smoke whenever the main character Mei transforms into a giant red panda, or huge trembling anime eyes.” The characters have moments of intense emotion.

Mei, the main character of Turning Red, and her friends hug at a concert, while all the sports giants are fluttering anime eyes

Image: Pixar Animation Studios

“Throughout the whole movie, you see a mixture of Western and Eastern animation styles,” Shi told Polygon. “At that time, in the third season of the series, we raised the anime to 11, because it was an action-packed, emotional, exciting, dramatic moment and it felt like a perfect opportunity. perfect for that epic beam of light. I like how it fires right up to the beat. It is very satisfying. ”

The beam is also unlike anything else in Turn red, because it incorporates flat 2D overlays to enhance the 3D CGI of the rest of the movie. Credits to Shi and producer Lindsey Collins Pixar animator Rob Thompson with developing the look and feel of that particular effect. “They painted all this in all the evidence [of this scene]Collins said. “That was really fun.”

Shi says that part of what gave her the confidence to stylize the film the way she wanted, and to draw inspiration from her favorite movies, was her work on the 2019 Pixar project. Bagwon the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. Bag It caused some strange reactions in theaters from viewers who didn’t understand its symbolism or significance, but it also received a strong positive response. Shi based on both of those reactions when she decided to do Turn red culturally and personally, knowing that people will see different things in it and interpret it differently, but will react strongly both ways.

Bag gave me the confidence to push it in Turn redand actually take a lot of creative risks that I don’t think I would take without Tell, ” Shi said. “It gave me a craving for reactions – big, big, shocking audience reactions. I chased that dragon again, and we were able to catch it with Turn red. ” No, that’s not the Thundercats reference in Turning Red


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