‘Turning Red’ Animators Talk Overcoming Production Challenges and Delicious Food

Domee Shi’s Bao was praised for its poignancy and beautiful portrayal of the Asian immigrant experience. While the story captured the hearts of many, production designer Rona Liu was responsible for the finished look of the entire short. And we know the end result. Now Liu reunites with Shi for Turning Red. As one could imagine, the responsibilities increase ten-fold now that the two are working on a feature-length film.

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‘Turning Red’ Blazes a Trail for Female Animators and Storytellers

Pixar has changed the way we see animated films since they released Toy Story, their first theatrical feature, in 1996. But, while they have made great strides to change the visual and narrative language of animated cinema, the studio has also affirmed its commitment to be more inclusive and deliver content that reflects the world we live in today. That’s why shorts like Sanjay’s Super Team and films like Coco and Soul are crucial because those films feature people of color in lead roles as real people with real stories that authentically reflect their lives and not cliched characters.

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Sloclap Studio’s ‘Sifu’ Looks to Rejuvenate the Genre Through Death and Mastery

Sloclap, the French studio that brought us the 2017 multiplayer beat ’em up title Absolver, looks to bring new life to the genre with Sifu. The studio’s newest title is set to release February 2022 and focuses intensely on the idea of mastering kung fu through death.

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Why Asian Americans Feel Compelled to Defend ‘Shang-Chi’

Recently and on their own initiative, my 11-year old child became interested in Greek mythology. As a single co-parent father continually desperate for reasons to relate to and bond with my child, this delighted me, because by coincidence I became infatuated with Greek myths when I was young. As a broke Vietnamese refugee nerd kid, I’d go to the Franklin library and read up about the messed up Gods, the flawed heroes, the fantastic creatures.

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Two Chinese Americans Explain How to Pronounce ‘Shang-Chi’

Keith and Dominic tap into their Chinese American backgrounds to provide YouTube’s definitive explainer on how to pronounce “Shang-Chi,” a name that the entire world will want to know now that Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is the biggest movie in the world!

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How to Pronounce ‘Shang-Chi’ Because it’s Super-Important for the Marvel Universe

The “Chi” part is easy. “Chee.” Rhymes with “Kree.” Technically the “Ch” is not precisely the same as in English “Chad” or “Chocolate,” but it’s close enough for conversation amongst non-fluent Chinese speakers.

The “Shang” is said the same way as the “Shang” in Shanghai, the city in China. But here’s the thing, if you’ve been saying “Shanghai” as if it rhymes with “Fang Sky” all your life, that’s not really how you say “Shanghai.” And that’s okay.

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Q&A with the ‘Kung Fu’ Cast and Showrunner

Presented by CAPE and The CW, join the cast of Kung Fu — Olivia Liang, Shannon Dang, Jon Prasida, Kheng Hua Tan, Tzi Ma, and showrunner Christina M. Kim — and The Nerds of Color Editor-in-Chief Keith Chow for a conversation on reclaiming martial arts, shattering stereotypes, and being an Asian American family on primetime TV.

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Disney’s ‘Mulan’ Will be Rooted in Realism

Over a year ago, in October 2018, I was fortunate the attend the set visit to the live-action version of Disney’s Mulan. Many fans, including myself, have waited over 22 years for the animated version to come to life. It was really surreal to see it play out in person on the set in New Zealand.

When plans of the live-action film were announced in 2015, fans immediately were excited with the idea of seeing their favorite characters come to life — from the Hua family guardian, Mushu, to Mulan’s good luck charm, Cri-Kee, and the bisexual icon, Li Shang.

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An Interview with Greg Pak about Marvel’s New All-Asian Superhero Team ‘Agents of Atlas’

(A version of this interview appeared originally at melancholyball.com) DOM MAH: Hi, Greg! So, for those of us (like me) who sometimes get the Marvel Events out of order in our head canon, can you tell us the overall premise … Continue reading An Interview with Greg Pak about Marvel’s New All-Asian Superhero Team ‘Agents of Atlas’

Right Here, Right ‘Bao’

Oakland and the surrounding East Bay Area is a welcoming, casual town. The standard uniform of jeans and a hoodie is a ticket to pretty much anywhere: a Warriors game, a UC Berkeley lecture hall (as a student or even as the professor), a Michelin-star restaurant, R&B paint night at the Complex. The few exceptions are three-fold: the Piedmont School District, an available slice of sweet potato pie at Lois the Pie Queen after 10:00 AM, and Pixar Animation Studios.

I have lived in the East Bay for more than twelve years, and I have never gotten closer than peering through the iron gates while driving past to get my son to badminton practice. Until now.

To celebrate the upcoming in-home release of Bao and Incredibles 2, Pixar opened their gates to The Nerds of Color as well as other media outlets for dinner and interview opportunities with their creators.

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Moonlight Forest: Magical Lantern Festival Lights Up Los Angeles

For the first time ever, the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden will host a beautiful lantern festival called the Moonlight Forest. Celebrating nature, art, and culture, the gardens have been transformed into magical night landscapes illuminated by beautiful, hand-crafted lanterns.

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Southern Fried Asian: Stanley Wong

On the latest episode of Southern Fried Asian, Keith is joined by the hilarious actor/writer/director whose credits include 21 Jump Street, The Big Short, and the award-winning short film Hand Fart, Stanley Wong.

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Womyn Warriors of The Great Wall

The Great Wall was, as the movie posters implied, about how we should all say #ThankYouMattDamon. Yes, he comes up with the brilliant plans that the Chinese hadn’t figured out in the last 2,000 years (even though there was a clue in ancient texts) and all that white savior stuff — fittingly, the movie was written by the same guy who wrote The Last Samurai. Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up). But I’m not gonna talk about it because you can find it all over the internet.

You can read about the plot here — or read Valerie’s review here — so you know what I’m going to be talking about, but it’s basically Starship Troopers in ancient China. But there was a theme that made me not want to slit my wrists and go screaming out of the movie theater (which was the case when I saw Kubo and the Two Strings, but that’s for another day). What was it? It was the portrayal of womyn.

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The Great Wall Review: Is It Worth The Watch?

Originally posted at Black Girl Nerds

All that is lacking in substance is made up for with gorgeous imagery in a Zhang Yimou’s new and pointless film, The Great Wall. Whomever his set people are, give them all the awards because they bring their A-game when it comes to costume and set design. But I digress.

I’m not sure what I expected, but I certainly wasn’t expecting the Silk Road version of Edge of Tomorrow featuring giant Komodo Dragons. Shouldn’t a larger budget allow more time to work on perfecting the CGI? How many Adobe-editing programs did they use to get these monsters to look as fake and silly as they do? Zhang Yimou should stick to martial arts dramas because he is out of his element with The Great Wall.

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Stan Lee’s Chinese Female Superhero: A Good Idea?

by Dominic Mah | Originally posted on YOMYOMF

Stan Lee, like Ken Jeong, is one of my personal heroes. I previously wrote about how he probably is Asian1. As a writer, his legacy is unmatchable; he created literally DOZENS of characters with which almost everyone in America has a passing familiarity. I mean, ask a person in a bar to name four characters in The Great Gatsby and it might take a while, but that person will at least have heard of Spider-Man, Iron Man, The Thing, Daredevil, X-Men, Galactus, Magneto.

And, I’m Chinese American, so yeah, technically I’m in favor of more Chinese superhero characters (there are only, like, three of them). And as a culture critic I see the righteous value of a female-led narrative in a Chinese context. The world needs those.

But is it a good idea for Stan Lee to develop Realm, a film featuring Chinese star Li Bingbing? Not REALLY. 

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Hell on Wheels: Chinamen, The Final Frontier

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t watched through Episode 6 this season, there are some character revelations and minor plot twists revealed, but ostensibly nothing that would alter anyone’s viewing of the show.

AMC’s Hell on Wheels entered its fifth and final season this summer with seven episodes scheduled to finish in 2015 and seven more in 2016 to close it out. The show follows a former Confederate solider, Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount), as he reconciles his dark past while becoming a key player in the race to build the Transcontinental Railroad.

Admittedly, I have never been a regular viewer of the show. I only tuned in for this season after hearing that Hell would finally include Chinese railroad workers as part of its story; and not without some healthy skepticism. Chinese workers have been mostly glossed over in mainstream media depictions of the western frontier and they got the same treatment through Hell‘s first four seasons. While the show’s creators Joe and Tony Gayton gave practical reasons as to why this happened, the chances of whether the Chinese would ever be included on the show seemed less promising with each passing season.

Season Five, however, has been worth the wait.

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