Going Red is Pixar’s latest animated film. The film was released last month. Turning Red director Domee Shi was recently interviewed by The Washington Post. In the interview, she revealed that Nintendo played a role in influencing the film.
Shi talks about playing games like Pokemon, Zelda, and Earthbound as a kid. Shi even mentions that she would play Zelda and Pokemon games on handheld devices, “like the lime green Game Boy Color and Nintendo DS Lite,” and hide them in under the pillow so she can play off her bedtime. In fact, it wasn’t just her who was affected by Nintendo. The film’s production designer, Rona Liu, also loves Nintendo. And Nintendo’s “chunky and cute aesthetic” art style will have a major impact on the film’s work.
Shi said she and Liu “just love that chunky and cute aesthetic that’s definitely cultivated by playing Nintendo games like Pokémon, like ‘EarthBound.’ How they can be so appealing and chunky and cute in such a way. Stylizing their world, it’s really fascinating. When we were looking at the look development for the movie, we watched Breath of the Wild and thought, ‘Wow, how can they make this world feel so beautiful and rich , but still be able to simplify it?'”
Later in the interview, Shi admitted: “If someone told me at 13 that she was drawing Pokémon or Sonic fan art, she could make a living out of it and make a million dollar movie about it, I would Think she’d be surprised.”
As for today, Shi still plays video games. In fact, she still loves Nintendo games. She has played Super Mario Odyssey and Metroid Dread. She also plays games like Hollow Knight. During the making of Turning Red, Shi was given a PlayStation 4 Pro, and while she admits she was initially intimidated and “not a hardcore gamer,” she loved Red Dead Redemption 2, Ghost of Tsushima, The Witcher 3 and Death Stranding. After the movie came out, she wanted to play Elden Ring and try out Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl.