Turning Red is Disney/Pixar’s latest animated feature, and it’s available right now to stream on Disney+. The film follows a 13-year-old girl who is torn between being her mother’s obedient daughter and the chaos of her youth.

Turning Red is certainly one of Pixar’s most unique-looking features, with a style very far removed from the studio’s previous offerings. Turns out that visual approach was directly influenced by the work of Nintendo.

In an interview with the Washington Post, director Domee Shi reveals that both she and production designer Rona Liu were big Nintendo fans growing up. They spent much of their youth playing Nintendo games, and in particular, it was the style of the Pokémon series and Earthbound that inspired them from those days. That said, even Zelda: Breath of the Wild played a part in crafting Turning Red’s aesthetic.

“Both of us just love that chunky cute aesthetic and that was definitely fostered by playing Nintendo games, like ‘Pokémon,’ like ‘EarthBound.’ There’s just something so appealing about how they are able to stylize their world in such an appealing, chunky, cute kind of way. When we were looking at the looks development for our movie, we looked at ‘Breath of the Wild’ and were like, ‘Wow, how are they able to make the world feel so beautiful and rich but are still able to simplify it?’

[Domee Shi]

You can read more about Domee Shi’s interest in video games and their influence on her work in the full Washington Post interview.

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Comments (4)


2y ago

That makes perfect sense. I was thrown by the art style at first but by the end of the movie I was really into it. I can see the Pokemon influence for sure.


2y ago

Cute movie! I can definitely see the Earthbound influence.


2y ago

And yet she made such a bad movie with bland and forgetable designs.

Agreed. This film and Luca had such uninspired, generic-looking characters. I tend to like the variety of shapes and designs they gave us in Incredibles.