Pixar's 'Turning Red' Features Some Needed Representation for Diabetic Children

Chris Barilla - Author

Mar. 14 2022, Published 4:48 p.m. ET

It's officially here! The release of Pixar's highly-anticipated movie Turning Red came on March 11, 2022, and the project is already receiving rave reviews from kids, parents, and critics alike. The heartwarming story of 13-year-old Meilin "Mei" Lee (Rosalie Chiang), who wakes up one day as a giant red panda, is an exploration of adolescent anxiety, puberty, and a series of other often uncomfortable topics.

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Turning Red's producers turned these hard-to-discuss concepts into a relatable feature film for the whole family to enjoy and learn from.

Aside from touching on these sensitive issues and the effects that they have on young people navigating them, Turning Red gives representation to another group of people: those who are diabetic. What do we know about the diabetic characters in the film? Keep reading to find out.

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'Turning Red' notably features young characters who have diabetes.

When the official trailer for Turning Red was first shared with fans, some intrepid users noticed a small detail that held a big place in their hearts.

"Spotted this watching a trailer for Disney’s Turning Red. Is that what I think it is?” wrote one Reddit user. Indeed, it appears as though the girl emerging from the bathroom in the trailer is sporting a Dexcom, a glucose monitoring device that is utilized by people with diabetes to update them in real-time on their sugar levels.

In the film's earliest teaser trailer, Mei can be seen in class with another female student who also has a Dexcom patch on her right arm. Then when she stands up, fans can clearly see a purple insulin pump attached to her waistband. Talk about representation, right?

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The internet is loving 'Turning Red' for its representation of children with diabetes.

The film was already garnering solid support thanks to the tough topics that it helps children tackle, and the addition of the support of the diabetic community is huge. Plenty of fans already took to social media to voice their opinions on Pixar and Disney opting to include multiple youngsters with diabetes in the new film.

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The official page for Quin, a diabetes management application, tweeted, "Seriously exciting times that Pixar's new movie Turning Red has a character with diabetes! LOOK AT THE SENSOR!"

"When I see people in the mainstream with diabetes gear on, I immediately sob. It's like an adult me says to 9-year-old newly-diagnosed me, 'Look! You aren't the only one!' And I just think about all the little T1 babies who are so strong who will feel so validated seeing it," shared a user on Reddit.

While speaking with PopSugar, Lei Mercado, the chief marketing officer of Insulet, said, "Seeing diabetes technology in the Turning Red trailer immediately felt like a huge win." She added, "This is such an important moment in time for us all to recognize, especially for children living with the condition as they see someone on the big screen representing them and the diabetes community as a whole."

Turning Red is available to stream on Disney Plus now.

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