“Your mother and I were close once, but the red panda took that away. I couldn't bear to see that happen to you. So, no more panda. You are your mother's whole world, Mei Mei. I know you'll do what's right.”
―Grandma Wu to Mei about her transformation
Grandma Wu is a major character in Disney•Pixar's 2022 animated feature film, Turning Red. She is Mei's strict grandmother who tries to cure her granddaughter's abilities.
Grandma Wu is a very strict disciplinarian. While she clearly cares for her family, she has certain expectations that must be met in order for her family to thrive, at least in her own view. Being that she had a bad experience in the past with the red panda curse, she understandably feels that there needs to be a tight leash on their family secret. She gave the impression that her controlling nature affected her daughter, Ming, and, to a certain extent, her granddaughter, Mei. Upon seeing Ming in her monster panda form, she finally lets go to save her daughter, becoming more welcoming to Mei's decision to keep the panda after realizing that she can control it better.
Grandma Wu realized that pushing Ming to be her perfect daughter actually pushed her away, especially when Wu didn't originally approve of Jin, and this led to an argument that resulted in Ming losing control of her panda and presumably injuring Wu and giving her the scar on her forehead. She originally blamed the Panda for driving a wedge between her and Ming, but after seeing the consequences her harsh words and strict expectations had on Ming and by extension Mei, Wu finally understood that she was at fault, that she'd held on too tight, causing a rift in her bond with Ming, and so made peace with her daughter in the celestial plane, assuring Ming that she didn't have to apologize (because it was never truly her fault), and that she is her mother, meaning Wu loves her daughter unconditionally and that would never change. In addition, Wu respected Mei's choice to keep her panda and wished her granddaughter well with a blessing that she be watched over and guided by their honored ancestress, Sun Yee.
Grandma Wu is an Asian woman of average height with light skin, brown eyes, a faded mole under her left eye, short black hair that is done up, and noticeably has a scar over her right eyebrow. She wears a dark green coat with embroidered gems and turquoise linings, a light green scarf with purple flowers, pearl earrings, black slacks, and black slip on shoes.
As a red panda, Grandma Wu has a large round head and a short dark brown nose that is in front of a white muzzle that begins from her nose and ends with her mouth her face also includes additional white tear tracks starting from where her zygomatic bone is to the corner of her chin, Her eyebrows have a more thin lining, with a darker color of her scar. She also has a small tuft of red hair on her head. She has white straight whiskers. She has large, white, pointed ears (a little more pointed than Mei's) that are red from behind. Her coat is reddish-brown fading to a dark brown when moving further to her arms and legs, while having a brown swirl on her upper arms, and having more fluff on the upper chest area. Her hands have dark brown paws with small black claws in them. She has a long, bushy tail with alternating dark red and light red rings. Grandma Wu's form is taller than Mei's.
It is unknown if Grandma Wu's last name is Lee. Either Ming adopted Jin's last name, or Jin adopted the Lee name after marrying Ming.
Grandma Wu has a strong dislike towards the number 4. In Chinese culture, the number 4 means "death" and is the equivalent to the number 13 in the U.S., in that it is an unlucky number.
It is believed that the scar on Wu’s right eyebrow was caused by one of Ming’s direct-out-of-screen outbursts, although it’s unknown whether she got this when Ming was little or when she was an adult. However, others believe that she either got it from an animal attack, or when a red panda spirit attacked her inside.
Grandma Wu's panda is contained in a green bracelet at the beginning of the movie.
In Chinese culture, jade jewelry has a close association with women and is believed to protect the wearer’s soul and body. Also, it should be noted that when a jade bracelet breaks, it is said to have protected its wearer from an unlucky event.
She lives in Florida, as evidenced by her phone call with Ming.
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