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Interview: ‘Turning Red’ Filmmaker and Pixar Vice President of Creative Domee Shi Discusses Telling Personal Yet Universal Stories

Pixar is a very special home for a creative storyteller. The way they’ve cultivated individual voices, while telling acclaimed stories that still manage to make oodles of money? That’s rare. So, it’s always a pleasure to talk to someone who’s on the inside of the company. Last week, I had the opportunity, getting some time to chat with filmmaker Domee Shi. Not only is she the director of Turning Red, nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars, Shi is also now Pixar’s Vice President of Creative. To say she knows what’s going on there is an understatement. Today, you can see her explain how it all workks.

In my review of Turning Red (here), I had this to say about Shi’s passion project:

Co-writer/director Domee Shi clearly has a personal connection to this story. Along with co-writer Julia Cho, Shi crafts a truly lived in tale that’s also out there and even wild. There’s brilliant colors, a lot of humor, and a connection to mothers and daughters that you’ll almost certainly respond to. Throw in a very nice score from composer Ludwig Göransson and Shi has something in Turning Red that’s about to find a major audience.

Below, you can see my conversation with Shi. The helmer of Bao, which won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short, she was able to take that distinctive voice and elevate it to the story of a very unique young girl in Turning Red. We discuss that concept, developing stories at Pixar, and how the company does what it does so well. It’s a great chat, especially if you’re a big fan of these animated films.


Here now is my interview with Turning Red filmmaker and Pixar Vice President of Creative Domee Shi. Enjoy:

Turning Red is available to watch right now and is nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards!


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Written by Joey Magidson

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