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Pixar's Danielle Feinberg Explains Why Coco Was An Important Moment For Representation - Exclusive

Disney and Pixar's latest offering, "Turning Red," is finally coming exclusively to Disney+ next month, and viewers are going to love this fun movie. 

"Turning Red" follows 13-year-old Mei Lee, a Chinese Canadian teen who turns into a giant red panda whenever she gets too excited. Throw in a swoon-worthy boy band, a close knit group of besties, an overbearing mother, and a Toronto backdrop, and you have the basis for Disney and Pixar's incredible new film. Not only is the film the perfect metaphor of becoming a teenager, but it also features Pixar's first ever Asian lead character.

Pixar recruited an all-star team to create "Turning Red," including visual effects supervisor Danielle Feinberg, who has worked on everything from "Toy Story 2" to "Finding Nemo" and "Coco." During an exclusive interview with Looper, Feinberg opened up about her role in "Turning Red" and discussed why "Coco" was also such an important moment for representation in Hollywood.

Representing Mexico with Coco

Danielle Feinberg's career at Pixar has seen her work on some of the studio's biggest movies to date, from "Inside Out" to "The Incredibles" and "WALL-E." Feinberg was also the director of photography on "Coco," and remembers the film fondly for several reasons. "'Coco' was awesome," she told Looper. "I think it was one of those fun ones where every set we got, I was like, 'Oh, I can't wait to light this. This is so fun.'" 

"Coco" also featured a key moment in onscreen representation, as Feinberg explained, "Getting to represent Mexico and this beautiful holiday and culture at that time when there was some anti-Mexico sentiment, it felt like, 'Yeah, right on.'" She continued, "It's like, with 'Turning Red,' you're getting to represent people on the screen that are not necessarily represented very often. To me, that's the icing on the cake of making these movies is getting to not only put a good movie out in the world, but getting to represent different people up on screen is ... That's the best."

"Turning Red" premieres exclusively on Disney+ on March 11, 2022.