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On the next red moon, you'll undergo a ritual that will seal your red panda spirit into one of these. And then, you'll be cured for good. Just like me. But any strong emotion will release the panda. And the more you release it, the more difficult the ritual will be. There is a darkness to the panda, Mei-Mei. You only have one chance to banish it and you cannot fail. Otherwise, you will never be free.
―Ming to Mei about the ritual

Ming Lee is the deuteragonist in DisneyPixar's 2022 animated feature film Turning Red. She is Mei's overprotective mother, and while she is aware of her daughter's panda form, she is unaware of Mei's plots to go to the concert of a boy band she dislikes.

Background[]

Official Description[]

Ming is a proud wife, devoted mother, and hardworking keeper of the Lee Family Temple in Toronto's Chinatown. Elegantly turned out and poised at all times, she takes her professional duties seriously, but she's even more dedicated to keeping an eye on her precious daughter, Meilin. Ming is fierce, stubborn, funny, controlling and as Mei would put it a lot, but the deep love she has for her family is always apparent. Ming can be intense, but all of the crazy stuff she does is motivated by her love for her daughter.[2]

Personality[]

Ming is described to be a proud, devoted mother and wife. She is a hard worker who can come off as crazy or intense, but it all comes from a place of love. Ming is also overbearing towards other people, even strangers, and is not afraid to hurt them.

Ming has a complex relationship with her daughter, Meilin (Mei). She is an overbearing mother who relies on Mei to be her perfect, dutiful daughter. The two of them do nearly everything together, such as maintain the family temple, and get along like friends. However, as Mei transitions into a teenager and begins to develop new interests, such as a crush or the boy band 4★Town, Ming fiercely disapproves of these changes. Ming is also not a fan of Miriam, Mei's friend, as she believes her to be a bad influence on her daughter.[3]

After Mei's red panda powers activate, Ming becomes very observant of Mei's life, like a helicopter parent, as she begins openly watching her at school. Ming is adamant that Mei find a way keep her emotions, and therefore her panda form, in check. However, she only does so out of a legitimate concern that her daughter's powers may get out of control and cause her or others to get hurt.

Ming's anxieties and flaws stem from when she went through the Red Panda transformation herself, along with the overbearing demands from her own mother, Wu, that she be the perfect daughter. It reached a boiling point when Ming and Wu got into an argument regarding Jin, whom Wu did not approve of. Ming reached her breaking point and unleashed her panda, causing her to hurt her mother (and presumably causing the scar on Wu's brow), which left an emotional scar on Ming that she never truly got over, and the incident caused a divide between them ever since.

Not wanting the same thing to happen to her own daughter, Mei, Ming unintentionally made the same mistakes in raising Mei to be perfect, just as she had been, and kept Mei close, watching her like a hawk for any signs of when Mei would go through the Red Panda transformation as well (but didn't say or do anything to actually prepare Mei for the eventuality). Ming had a problem in assuming the worst in certain situations and not listening to Mei, such as when she saw Mei's drawings regarding her crush on Devon and confronted him with accusations and publicly humiliated her daughter, all the while ignoring Mei's protests and pleas. Furthermore, Ming continued to view Mei as the "perfect daughter" she had loved and raised, but unintentionally disregarded the fact that Mei is growing up and would become her own person and would not remain "perfect little Mei Mei" (which caused Mei anxieties and insecurities around her mother that she couldn't be herself around Ming or even express her personal interests because she knew Ming would not approve of them).

When Ming discovered that Mei and her friends were using the Panda blessing to make money, Ming immediately assumed Mei's friends had pushed her into it (when really it was Mei's idea) and seeing Mei almost hurt Tyler in a fit of rage was the final straw, as she pressured Mei to go through the ritual to bind her panda spirit. However, when Mei refused and tells her that she's keeping her panda, and ran off to the concert, Ming was pushed to her breaking point yet again (along with her talisman) as her mother and relatives pushes her too far by berating her for Mei's behavior and decision to keep the panda. Ming, still unable to see her faults, blamed Mei rather than herself as she unleashed her panda and sought her out. Filled with a rage after Mei confessed she lied, that she was sick and tired of being "perfect little Mei Mei", Ming angrily scolded Mei, accusing her of betraying her family's wishes and traditions while she (Ming) had only ever tried to be a good daughter (to her own mother, Wu).

In the celestial plane, Mei comes across a teenaged, distraught Ming, showing Mei that Ming had carried the guilt and pain of hurting her mother and the frustration and self-deprecation that she (Ming) would never be good enough for her mother or anyone else. Mei consoled Ming, assuring her that though it may feel that way a lot of times it wasn't true. After finding their relatives in the celestial plane, Ming tearfully apologized to her mother while Wu assured her daughter that she did not have to apologize because she (Wu) is Ming's mother (and loves her unconditionally), and while she and their relatives chose to seal their panda spirits again, Mei stood by her decision to keep hers and Ming accepted that, as she finally understood that her daughter is growing up and on the journey of becoming her own person. Though they both feared of how that might divide them they found mutual assurance that their love and bond as mother and daughter would keep them connected, and indeed their bond only grew stronger afterwards.

Ming found peace, within herself, with her daughter, and even with Mei's friends that she warmed up to them and began inviting them over to their home for dinner, much to their appreciation for Jin's cooking. Ming is also shown to have taken full responsibility for her behavior and humbly accepted the consequences like the good, honorable woman she is. It is shown when she and the family are helping to raise money to repair the SkyDome she nearly destroyed while it's also helping her pay her debt to society. Ming also began trusting Mei more and letting her be herself rather than the perfect daughter she originally saw her as, and though they missed how things used to be they were happier and closer than they were before.

Ming seemed to make peace with her own Panda spirit (and herself by extension) when her Panda spirit was sealed into Mei's tamagotchi, and Ming enjoyed feeding her Panda spirit and treating it like a beloved pet through the device.

Physical appearance[]

Ming is an average height, adult, Asian-Canadian woman with light skin, brown eyes, bright green eyeshadow, a mole under her left eye, and long black hair that is tied into a bun at the lower back. She wears a light blue and aquamarine, wrapped dress with a green blazer with gray buttons, dark gray tights, and dark green heels. She also has other accessories, such as emerald earrings set in gold, an emerald ring, a red moon talisman (which is later replaced by a Tamagotchi), a maroon handbag, and sunglasses she wears whenever it's appropriate.

As a red panda, Ming resembles her daughter with a few key differences. She is way much larger than Mei, along with having longer, shaggier fur, having fur in a fire such as a motif on her chest area, and a thick curl of "hair" on her head between her ears. Her facial features remain mostly the same, retaining her eyeliner and mole, and having purely red eyes.

As a teenager, Ming is 16 years old, is shorter, only slightly taller than Mei, she also wears her hair loose, which is shown to be shoulder-length. She wears silver square glasses, a light blue polo shirt with two buttons on it, a knee-length blue chess skirt, gray leggings and black Mary Jane shoes.

As a young adult, Ming's appearance is almost the same as a teenager, except that she wears her hair in ponytail, has discarded her glasses and wears a green coat tied on her shoulders.

Appearances[]

Turning Red[]

Ming is first seen at the Lee Family's Temple where she is seen at the Sun Yee Hall where she is asking Sun Yee at a shrine. As Mei approaches her mother, she shows her the grades she received at school, believing that the ancestors would be so proud. Ming then asks Sun Yee, the revered ancestress and guardian of the red pandas, for protecting her daughter in her family while Mei continues to honor her and save her family's community. Ming then explains to a group of visitors that her family runs one of the oldest temples in Toronto where Ming honors her ancestors, including her most revered ancestor, Sun Yee, a scholar, a poet, and defender of animals where she dedicated her life in protecting forest animals, especially the red panda. Ming continues explaining to the tourists that the red panda has protected their family with good fortune and prosperity. After closing the temple gates, Ming and her daughter arrive home where her husband Jin is making dinner.

Arriving at home, Ming and her daughter are seen watching TV while her husband Jin is cooking dinner for his family. After the program ends, Ming then watches a commercial for 4★Town who are having their North American tour as she curious to know about who 4★Town is, Jin tells his wife and daughter that dinner is ready. After dinner, Ming holds a plate of oranges to which she sees Mei's notebook on the floor and upon seeing a picture of Devon from the convenience store, the Daisy Mart. Arriving at the Daisy Mart, Ming approaches the clerk who furiously warns him that she will report him to the police, telling him that she gave a negative influence to her daughter, telling him that the Daisy Mart had lost a loyal customer. Upon leaving the Daisy Mart, Ming takes her daughter back home for safety.

The next day, Ming prepares breakfast for her daughter, which is a bowl of congee. However, she hears Mei who transformed into a red panda. Ming tries to ask her daughter what happened while Jin notices his daughter overwhelmed after finding herself as a red panda just as Ming tries to discuss with her daughter why her red panda form is happening. However, Ming hears an alarm from Jin who overcooked the porridge just as Jin grabs a fire extinguisher to extinguish the smoke. Ming later drops Mei to the Lester B. Pearson Middle School where she packs lunch, snacks, and herbal tea for her. Later during class, Mei sees her mother arguing with a security guard who accuses her for trespassing as it is then known that Mei forgot her pads.

After Ming sees her daughter in her red panda form, she tries to give her pads only for Mei to run away from her across the streets as Mei tries to catch up with her. Arriving at home, Ming approaches Mei while her husband tells her that it is time to take her to Sun Yee. Ming finds a chest in a hidden compartment behind a scroll depicting a painting of Sun Yee who is surrounded by red pandas just as Ming tells the story of Sun Yee, her family's revered ancestor, to her husband and daughter just as she explains to them that Sun Yee had a mystical connection with red pandas and after telling the story to Mei, she believes that it is a curse as it is found out that there is a cure that would stop turning her into a red panda as it is figured out that it once happened to her at first and then overcame this challenge. Ming then explains to her daughter that Mei will be tasked do a ritual on the next lunar eclipse that will seal her spirit into a talisman so that she will be cured for good, explaining to her that any strong emotion will release the panda, warning her daughter that there is a dark connection with the panda as she explains that she only has one chance to banish the spirit.

The next day, Ming vacuums the pieces of red fur left by Mei in her red panda form as she reacts to Mei feeling frustrated in her temporary room. As Mei is discussing with Miriam, Priya, and Abby, Ming knocks on the door in Mei's temporary room trying to make sure everything is safe. Mei discusses with her parents at the dining room to make sure she can control her emotions to which her husband Jin shows pictures of a clear cut, an unhappy orangutan, and Mei herself in second place during spelling bee as Mei tries to think that these pictures are the one that give Mei negative energy. After doing so, Ming's husband Jin then shows his daughter a box full of kittens to which Mei decides to calm herself to which Jin happily reacts to his daughter who is happy that she can handle controlling her emotions to avoid turning into a red panda while Ming praises her daughter for handling this as Mei explains to her parents that when she starts to get emotional, all she does is to think positive about the people she loves the most in the whole world to which Mei decides to discuss with her mother about 4★Town.

During a discussion, Ming refuses to let her daughter to attend the event where 4★Town is performing as she prohibits her from attending a concert, fearing that her daughter will be excited upon attending it as she might turn into a panda when excited. Jin tells his wife to know if she should trust this band or not to which she doesn't trust them to which Mei tells her mother that she wants to broaden her musical horizons to which Ming tells her daughter that attending the concert is not worth jeopardizing her life. As Mei leaves, Ming talks to her husband about Mei's interests for attending 4★Town performing on stage, fearing that she would waste too much money for attending the concert. She then calls her mother about how she is doing in Florida as she is telling her that about handling her own ritual while her mother explains to her that she is on her way home, much to Ming's shock. During a montage of Mei's plan to accumulate $800 to see 4★Town performing at the SkyDome on May 18, Ming is seen discussing with Mei about mathletes believing that this class can be dangerous and later during the part where she is talking to Sun Yee to notice that Mei is not present with her, followed by a scene where Ming arrives at school and offers Mei some dumplings she made only to be spotted by the guard chasing her just as she leaves. After the montage, Mei returns home during dinner time and approaches her mother and father where Mei places various objects she did to collect $800 for 4★Town under her bed.

Later after receiving a flyer from Tyler about attending his party at 466 Willow Glen Terrace, Mei decides to head off for Mathletes not noticing her favorite food her mother made just as Mei tries to discuss with her about this. As Mei walks with her mother, she explains to her daughter that she was a mathletes champ where she was called the "Uncommon Denominator" while telling her daughter that Miriam could slow her down just as she feels skeptic about mathletes. Suddenly, Mei's grandmother and aunts arrive at the temple grounds as Ming approaches her mother as Mei's grandmother prepares her granddaughter to prepare for the ritual. At home, Mei's aunts and grandmother help prepare her for the ritual while Mei's mother tells them to know why they all came to her family's house so early as Mei's grandmother tells her granddaughter about her problems in handling the panda just as one of her aunts, Lily, comments about the difficulty of controlling the red panda spirit as Ming tells Mei's aunts that she passed the trigger test, even the kitten box. Mei thanks her aunts for the gifts and decides to go to bed early.

As Mei's aunts and grandmother leave the temple grounds, Ming's mother Wu tells her daughter that she should avoid keeping Mei out of sight. Later, Ming enters Mei's bedroom and finds the panda stuff including the merchandise Mei and her friends had used to see 4 town her daughter had kept under her bed and notices a flyer to Tyler's birthday party at his house. She tries to wake her daughter up so she can explain this but discovers that Mei isn't in bed, much to her shock. She then heads over to Tyler's party, where she overhears a commotion. Ming sees Mei attacking Tyler after he insulted her family. Tyler's parents have a discussion with Ming of what her daughter did to their son. Ming then angrily passes Mei and accuses Miriam, Priya, and Abby of being bad influences and taking advantage of Mei. When they tried to explain themselves, Mei says nothing to defend them and her mother stares at them one last time before she takes her daughter home to prepare for the panda ritual.

The next night where 4★Town is performing at the SkyDome, Ming and the rest of her relatives are having dinner while Wu tells the rest of Mei's aunts to prepare the ritual for Mei. After dinner, Ming tells Jin to clear away the table to help the family prepare for the ritual. Ming then enters Mei's bedroom seeing her daughter discussing with Jin telling her it is time for her to join the ritual. During the ritual, Ming sings with the rest of Mei's family while Mr. Gao speaks to Sun Yee to hear their voices and to send Mei to the astral realm so that she can banish the red panda spirit. As Mei is sent to the astral realm, she refuses to banish the spirit and decides to attend the concert where 4★Town is performing at the SkyDome. As Mei is sent to the astral realm, she decides to keep her panda after all the fun memories she had fun with the panda and when Ming tries to tell her to do the ritual again, Mei finally stands up to her mom by saying she's keeping the panda and decides to go to the Skydome where 4 town is performing to be with her friends. An enraged Ming decides to bring Mei back by force after transforming into a giant red panda after her mom and aunts crictize her for not protecting Mei. Ming slowly stomps through the streets of Toronto and later arrives at the SkyDome, disrupting 4★Town's performance. Later, Mei's grandmother Wu, her aunts, her father Jin, and Mr. Gao arrive at the SkyDome decide to do the ritual again to save Ming.

Ming Red Panda 2

Ming arrives to the SkyDome as a very giant red panda a.k.a. Mingzilla.

Ming berates her daughter for disobeying her (grabbing the logo from the stage and throwing it on the ground causing it to break), but Mei breaks out of her grasp and finally stands up to her mother by telling her the truth about how she lied and it was her idea to hustle the panda, going to Tyler's party. Grandma Wu and the aunts band together to perform the ritual while Jin uses a line marker to draw a circle to send Ming to the astral realm. Mr. Gao helps Mei's family send Ming to the astral realm just as Mei's family members sing the ritual song again. Mei continues to rebel against her mother and knocks her out cold during their fight.

Seeing Ming unconscious, a remorseful Mei, her grandmother, aunts, and cousins (who transform into red pandas) pull Ming into the circle to send her to the Astral Realm just as they sing the ritual song again. Priya, Abby, Miriam, and the 4★Town members join in to make the circle larger, successfully sending Ming to the spirit world.

4kturningred-animationscreencaps

16-year-old Ming walking with Mei to the Mirror.

Later when Mei enters the astral realm, she encounters a younger version of her mother, who was very upset due to the pressure of living up to her mother's expectations and hurting her unintentionally. Upon approaching Ming, Mei comforts her and takes a walk with her across the bamboo forest just as Ming transitions to her adult self and as Mei approaches her grandmother and aunts, Ming happily reunites with her mother apologizing to her the way she acted. Afterwards, Mei's grandmother and aunts then let go of red panda spirits, followed by Ming doing the same. However, Mei decides to keep her own panda spirit before reconciling with her mother.

After Mei decides to keep her red panda spirit, the Lee Family's Temple suddenly reopens with Ming attempting to raise charity, as she is given a massive fine of $100 million for destroying the SkyDome. Soon as Mei approaches her friends Miriam, Priya, and Abby, Ming allows her daughter to hang out with them while Ming and her husband Jin continue guiding visitors at the Lee Family's Temple.

Disney Parks[]

A human Ming Lee appears alongside Mei Lee at Disney California Adventure's 2024 Lunar New Year celebration.

Gallery[]

Wiki
The Disney Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Ming Lee.

Trivia[]

  • Like her voice actress, Ming is Asian-Canadian.
  • Her and Mei's relationship is sort of similar to another Pixar mother-daughter duo, Merida and Queen Elinor in Brave (which was released almost a decade prior to Turning Red) as like Elinor, despite wanting what's best for her daughter, she oversteps her bounds and it results in her relationship with her daughter becoming toxic.
    • They also have similar hair colors at the end of their respective films, with Elinor and Ming having dark hair, and Merida and Mei having red hair (Mei's hair turned red when she became a red panda).
  • Ming is represented by the color green. Being Mei's mother, this makes sense as green is considered a positive and nurturing color, but also jealousy; represent of Ming's jealousy toward Mei for having friends and getting to go to the concert, while Ming have to put her family first when she was the same age as Mei, however, it also actively contrasts the color red, representing the imbalance in her relationship with her daughter. Ming wears blue as well. Blue signifies harmony and tranquility but also coldness and depression, representing how Ming shows coldness on Mei's friends and depression due to the expectations her mother puts on her.
    • Incidentally, Miriam is mostly adorned in green as well. This represents how both Ming and Miriam have their own nurturing take on Mei in her most difficult time of need.
  • Her panda is contained in a red necklace at the beginning of the film; at the end, it becomes contained within Mei's Digital Pet toy.
  • Mei finds out the reason her mom was so overprotective was because of Ming's mother Wu who Ming accidentally hurt her mom by giving her a scar when she was a red panda.
  • The reason why Ming (in her red panda form) destroyed the SkyDome was because she thought 4*Town was a bad influence of Mei.
    • The number "four" is considered unlucky in Chinese and Japanese culture.

References[]

External Links[]

http://pixar.fandom This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from the Pixar Wiki. The list of authors can be seen in the page revision history (view authors). As with Disney Wiki, the text of the Pixar Wiki is available under the CC-BY-SA license.
v - e - d
Turning red logo
Media
Turning Red (soundtrack/video) • The Art of Turning Red
Disney Parks
Parades: Better Together: A Pixar Pals Celebration!

Entertainment: The Adventure of Rhythm
Fireworks: Happily Ever AfterTogether Forever: A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular
Spring: Disney Color-Fest: A Street Party!

Characters
Mei LeeMiriam MendelsohnPriya MangalAbby ParkMing LeeJin LeeTyler Nguyen-Baker4*TownGrandma WuChen, Ping, Helen, and LilyDevonSun YeeMr. GaoMr. KieslowskiStacy FrickCarter Murphy-MayhewMr. MalikTyler Nguyen-Baker's Parents

Deleted: Leo

Locations
Canada (Toronto) • Lester B. Pearson Middle SchoolLee Family's TempleSkyDomeThe Red Panda RealmThe Lee Residence
Songs
Nobody Like U1 True LoveU Know What's UpRed Moon Ritual
Objects
Pixar BallA113Pizza Planet Truck
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