Domee Shi, the director of Turning Red, has debunked a well-liked fan theory regarding Abby, a character in the movie. The most recent Pixar animated film, Turning Red, made its debut on February 21 only on the streaming service Disney+. The story, which takes place in Toronto in 2002, centres on a 13-year-old Chinese-Canadian girl named Mei (Rosalie Chiang), who learns that she has a family curse that makes her turn into a huge red panda anytime she feels intense emotion. Mei uses her close-knit group of friends’ shared obsession with the fictional boy band 4*Town as one strategy to overcome this propensity.
Abby, a Korean-Canadian character voiced by Hyein Park, stands out among this group of pals. She is known for her frequent spurts of energy, her fixation with 4*Town member Tae Young in particular, and her adoration of Mei’s red panda form’s fluffy appearance. Her hair is usually styled in short bangs across her forehead and she usually wears a pink outfit with a matching headband. This has caused people online to draw comparisons between her and Boo from Monsters Inc., the young girl who befriends Sully and changes the monster universe so that laughter instead of screams rule the day. Boo is also shown wearing a pink T-shirt and dramatic, black bangs, supporting the widely held belief that Boo was the child version of the Turning Red character.
Shi was directly questioned about the fan hypothesis in an interview with ComicBookMovie. She effectively put an end to the speculations by stating that Abby is not meant to be a mature Boo. She appreciates the premise, though, and doesn’t want to discourage fan ingenuity, particularly if it encourages others to “accept that Boo is Korean.” Below is the whole quote:
Oh, I noticed that. I watched the TikTok. Unfortunately, Abby is not an older Boo. I don’t want to ruin people’s conspiracy theory, rabbit hole investigations because that’s always very enjoyable. You never know—they might be connected. I can see how the hair is similar. Additionally, I like the notion that Boo’s Korean heritage is being accepted. That’s great. I agree with that!
Given how linked Pixar’s universe is, this notion wasn’t wholly unwarranted. In addition to the typical Pixar Easter eggs, such as the Pizza Planet truck, the Luxo ball, and the number A113, the movies frequently make references to previous Pixar works, such as Monsters Inc., which had a Nemo toy in Boo’s bedroom. In fact, Shi’s film is already in violation of this rule because Turning Red contains a subliminal nod to the upcoming Pixar movie Lightyear, which is scheduled to hit theatres in June.
Shi has, regrettably, put an end to this particular idea, but that doesn’t imply Turning Red is devoid of more cunningly disguised information. Like every Pixar effort, there are still numerous intricate layers of thematic significance, character nuance, and inter-film coherence to uncover. Ironically, given the popularity of this notion, Abby will probably be surrounded by deliberate references to Boo the next time she appears in a sequel or short movie.
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