Disney Pixar’s latest animated film “Turning Red” includes a small detail that viewers are marveling at: a little blue patch on a student’s arm.
Reddit user @Scorch8482 shared a screenshot from the film’s trailer, wherein a blond female student wearing a light blue patch on her left arm is shocked to find Mei in her panda form in the bathroom.
“Spotted this watching a trailer for Disney’s Turning Red,” the user captioned the post. “Is that what I think it is?”
“It is!” one user replied. “There’s another trailer that came out a few months ago that gives a clearer look. We love the diabetic rep.”
Reddit users believe that the animated student is wearing a Dexcom, a glucose monitoring device that updates people with diabetes on their sugar levels. One user explained why the minor detail was important for representation in the media.
“As they say in context of other minority groups: Representation matters,” user @ew73 wrote. “It’s so important for young people to see people that look like them in media. Growing up, if there had been people with diabetes that weren’t the brunt of a joke in media, maybe it would’ve helped me see that other kids were going through what I was. It may have helped the ‘normal’ kids develop a little empathy, and maybe even taught the teachers they didn’t need to announce, ‘ew73 has diabetes and can’t eat sugar!’ to the entire class.”
“My two-year-old daughter saw the trailer and not only instantly recognized it but was excited that there was a character who had a Dexcom like her,” another user shared.
It is not the first time a viewer spotted an animated diabetic character in “Turning Red.” In the Pixar film’s teaser trailer, which was released last year, another female student character with dark brown hair in one of Mei’s classes was also spotted with a diabetic device attached to her right arm.
When the character stands up from her desk, a purple insulin pump can be seen affixed to her waistband. The student can be spotted at the 34-second to 36-second mark of the teaser trailer. This minor detail was shared to Twitter on July 14, 2021, by Quin Diabetes Management with the caption, “Seriously exciting times that Pixar’s new movie Turning Red has a character with diabetes! LOOK AT THE SENSOR!”
It looks more like an infusion site to me. If you slow down the trailer when that character jumps up you can see what looks like a purple Medtronic insulin pump. pic.twitter.com/6izarARNyS
— Randall Barker, T1D (@RandallbT1D) July 14, 2021
The detail was also shared to Reddit, wherein some users expressed what the representation meant to them.
“When I see people in mainstream with diabetes gear on, I immediately sob. It’s like 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,” a user wrote.
In an interview with PopSugar, the chief marketing officer of the Insulet Company, Lei Mercado, said, “Seeing diabetes technology in the Turning Red trailer immediately felt like a huge win. 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” follows the story of a Chinese Canadian teen who, in the midst of a particularly awkward stage of puberty, discovers her ability to transform into a giant red panda when emotionally provoked.
Pixar’s first Asian-led animated film “Turning Red” premieres today on Disney Plus.
Featured Images via Pixar