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Turning Red Fans Thrilled After Spotting Subtle Diabetes Reference

Turning Red Fans Thrilled After Spotting Subtle Diabetes Reference

Did you notice this?

Turning Red viewers are over the moon after spotting not one but two characters with diabetes in the new Pixar film.

Even before the animation landed on Disney Plus last week, eagle-eyed fans had gotten their hopes up when they spied what looked like a diabetes patch on the arm of a character in the trailer.

And, after finally getting to feast their eyes on the film, Disney fans were thrilled to have their suspicions confirmed.

You can watch the trailer for Turning Red here:

Not only is one unnamed student in Mei Lee's school seen with a patch on her arm, but so, too, is Mei Lee's classmate Stacy.

You might remember Stacy as one of the first students who sees Mei in her red panda form, bumping into her in the school toilets and squealing with delight.

After spotting the diabetes patches on the arms of Mei's classmates, viewers took to Twitter to gush over the thoughtful detail.

One tweeted: "Although these characters only had a few seconds of screen time, as a person who has had type 1 diabetes since the age of 7, i was pleasantly surprised to see actual representation of it in a Pixar movie!!"

Stacy is one of the characters seen with a diabetes patch on her arm. (

A second fan wrote: "I’d like to thank whoever did this. It’s such a little gesture, mostly unnoticed by the most, but it’s literally the first time ever I’ve seen someone with a diabetes patch, let alone in a cartoon. This is so important, thank you. #TurningRed".


A third added: "Another thing that gets me about Turning Red, there's two diabetic characters. I have never seen diabetes representation portrayed in animation before."

It turns out the person behind the diabetes patches is Susan Fong, the technical supervisor and member of Turning Red's all-female production team.

Speaking to diabetes non-profit Beyond Type 1, Susan confirmed that the patch we saw was, in fact, a diabetes patch.

"It was a remarkably easy thing to incorporate into this film. And I think a lot of that goes back to the fact that we’ve had a kind of grassroots effort, really probably started around the time of Toy Story 4 of trying to get better representation of what the real world looks like into our characters."

Technical supervisor Susan Fong was behind the decision to add diabetes patches. (

Explaining the choice to portray diabetes with a patch rather than an insulin pump, she said: "We wanted to be accurate to the time period of the film, which is the early 2000s. 

“And so that kind of describes what you’re seeing. And part of the choice to wear it on the arm is the fact that when you film a movie, very commonly you’re filming kind of framing the faces, so if we put an insulin pump on the waist or we have the infusion set hidden, we were afraid you wouldn’t see it very often."

Speaking on Stacy's character, Susan added: “But one of the things I also like about it is that she is so accepting of who Mei is in particular, with her transitioning to a Panda, she’s the one that’s in the bathroom that’s just like, ‘Oh my God, you’re so cute. This is amazing.’ And again, she herself is the one accepting the otherness, accepting it at face value. And so I thought that was kind of a nice character to have on.”

You can watch Turning Red now on Disney Plus

Featured Image Credit: Disney Plus

Topics: TV And Film, Disney, Disney Plus