Meilin (voice of Rosalie Chiang) is a confident, dorky 13-year-old torn between staying her mother’s dutiful daughter and the chaos of adolescence. Her protective, if not slightly overbearing mother, Ming (voice of Sandra Oh), is never far from her daughter – an unfortunate reality for the teenager. And as if changes to her interests, relationships and body weren’t enough, whenever she gets too excited (which is practically ALWAYS), she “poofs” into a giant red panda.—Disney/Pixar
As explained in various interviews, director Domee Shi took inspiration from four Japanese anime regarding the film’s creation: Fruits Basket (2001), Ranma ½ (1989), Sailor Moon (1992), and Inuyasha (2000). The first two in particular share themes of adolescence and transformations in wacky situations with the film.