The director of Pixar’s Turning Red says that Nintendo helped influence the film

by Pierre Bell

Turning Red is the latest animated film from Pixar. The film had been released last month. Turning Red’s director, Domee Shi, recently did an interview with The Washington Post. In the interview, she reveals that Nintendo played a part in influencing the film.

Shi talked about playing games like Pokemon, Zelda and Earthbound as a kid Shi even mentions that she would play Zelda and Pokemon games on handhelds, “like a lime green Game Boy Color and Nintendo DS Lite”, and hide them under her pillow so she could play past her bedtime. In fact, it’s not just her that got influenced by Nintendo. The film’s production designer, Rona Liu, also loves Nintendo. And the “chunky cute aesthetic” art style that Nintendo has used would have a major influence in the film’s work.

Shi said that she and Liu “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?’”

Later in the interview, Shi admitted that “If someone told 13-year-old me who was drawing Pokémon or Sonic fan art for dollars and weird trinkets that she could do that for a living and make a million-dollar movie about that, I think she’d be amazed”.

As for today, Shi is still playing video games. In fact, she still enjoys Nintendo games. She’s played Super Mario Odyssey and Metroid Dread. She also plays games like Hollow Knight. And during the production of Turning Red, Shi got a PlayStation 4 Pro and, although she admits she was initially intimidated and “not a hardcore gamer”, she enjoyed Red Dead Redemption 2, Ghost of Tsushima, The Witcher 3 and Death Stranding. With the film now out, she wants to play Elden Ring and try out Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl.

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