SPOTLIGHT May, 2022: Domee Shi, Animator, Director, Pixar VP of Creative

It has been an incredible decade for animator and director Domee Shi. Beginning as a story intern at Pixar in 2011, she was promoted in April of this year to Vice President of Creative for the company where she has spent her entire professional career. She also won an Academy Award and directed a feature film along the way.

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TURNING RED – Review by Lauren Anderson

Turning Red is Disney/Pixar’s latest film about a Toronto teenager who discovers her uncontrollable ability to turn into a red panda whenever she experiences strong emotion. At its core, the animated feature is a metaphor for puberty. But as Disney/Pixar films are wont to do, it reminds us it’s good to embrace who we are instead of dampening our “red pandas.”

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TURNING RED – Review by Leslie Combemale

Pixar’s new animated feature Turning Red is an absolute delight from start to finish. The studio’s 25th feature is a celebration of so many things, including female friendship, self esteem, personal growth, the millennial experience, motherhood, and Chinese culture, all while bringing both mom and dorky teenaged-girl realness. Helmed and co-written by Chinese-Canadian Domee Shi, Turning Red also the first Pixar film officially solo directed by a woman. When Shi took her idea for the movie to Pixar, her pitch was “it’s a girl going through magical puberty and turns into a giant red panda”. It might not sound particularly complex or nuanced, but Shi and her team have brought a tremendous amount of meaning and depth to what is a funny, wild cinematic ride. It also allows girls and women, especially those of Asian descent, to be fully seen onscreen.

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OSCAR NOMINATED ANIMATION SHORTS – Review by Diane Carson

Each year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominates five short films for the Best Animation Oscar. This year’s compilation offers diversity. From hand drawn to computer animation, with everything from muted to vibrant colors, realistic to surreal scenes, these five Oscar nominees testify to the wide range of subjects and styles gracing animation.

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