Turning Red: Why Meilin’s Mom’s Panda Was So Big??

Pixar’s latest flick ‘Turning Red’ has taken the world by storm. It is the story of a young girl who discovers a family secret that changes her life forever. It is a fun coming-of-age film that dives into some complex themes while maintaining a light-hearted tone. This is the reason why the film is appealing to viewers of all ages. But we wanna know why Meilin’s Mom’s Panda was so big in size!

In the film, Mei finds out that the women of her family have a special gift of shapeshifting into a red panda. And while Mei turns into a fairly big panda, we later see that her mother Ming’s panda form is humungous! This interesting detail has left many fans to wonder why Ming’s panda has such a gigantic form.


In the film, it is also said that Ming’s panda was the most destructive out of the lot and was extremely difficult to control. Out of all the women in Ming’s family, her panda is by far the biggest and most destructive. This is why her sisters and mother are alarmed when they see her lose control and unleash it. This is a drastic contrast from Ming’s normal personality which appears to be balanced and calm most of the time. Then why is Ming’s red panda so big? Read further to find out.


Why Meilin’s Mom’s Panda Was So Big?

Although the movie doesn’t answer this question directly, there are a few possibilities that could explain why Ming’s panda is so big. On the outside, Ming appears to be calm and composed as she doesn’t express her pent-up emotions. Keeping her emotions bottled up for so long with the help of the amulet, is one of the most probable reasons for her giant panda form.

Since the movie uses symbolism to talk about different things, the giant panda could symbolize Ming’s emotional and mental state. If Ming had not suppressed her emotions for so long, her panda would not have been so difficult to control. Hence, a bigger panda could be a metaphor for all the emotions lying dormant in a person. Ming even tries to teach Mei that she must suppress her emotions to keep her panda form hidden. Instead of doing this, she should have taught her to face her emotions head-on in a healthy manner.


Furthermore, as the film has paid homage to anime and Japanese animation, the giant form of Ming’s panda might also be a nod to the same. According to the director, Domee Shi, the film is inspired by different tropes of anime. And colossal monsters are a recurring theme in these films. Therefore, we can assume that Ming’s large panda could be a result of this inspiration.


The Symbolism of the Red Panda

A key reason that ‘Turning Red’ is turning so many heads is that the film delves into the controversial subject of periods. From the surface, the film seems to highlight the fantastical element of the red panda. However, when you look past the fantasy, the writers have made a bold move to talk about a young girl coming of age. In the film, Mei turns into a big poufy red panda which is a metaphor for hitting puberty or adolescence.


Why  Meilin’s Mom’s Panda Was So Big

The title ‘Turning Red’ is also a huge giveaway and the film does a great job of normalizing the topic of periods in a subtle way. In fact, you might not even notice the hidden meaning in your first watch. But not everyone is happy with the film talking about periods. Many parents have expressed concern by saying that the film is not suitable for children below a certain age. However, this raises the question of why menstruation is still treated as a hush-hush thing?


The film tries to take away the stigma attached to periods and does an excellent job of talking about them positively. By the end, Mei embraces her panda and realizes that it is not something demonic but a part of her that deserves love.

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