Pixar’s Newest Character Turns Red

This Tuesday, July 13th, Disney and Pixar released the first trailer for Turning Red. Set in Toronto, Canada, Turning Red follows a young girl named Mei Lee, who turns into a giant red panda whenever she gets too excited. The film will star Rosalie Chiang as Mei and Sandra Oh as her mother. Turning Red is directed by Domee Shi, best known as the director of the Pixar short Bao, which played before Incredibles 2 in 2018. Turning Red is set to release in theaters on March 11th, 2022, making it Pixar’s first theatrical release since Onward in March 2020. So far, no mention has been made of a Disney+ release, free or premium. Check out the first trailer here:

I didn’t have much to say about Turning Red when it was revealed at Disney’s investor’s meeting. I loved Bao; it was actually better than the movie it was attached to. I can’t wait to see Domee Shi’s continuing work with animation, but like most of the films announced at the meeting, very little was known. Much like the teaser for Encanto Disney released last week, Turning Red’s first trailer mainly creates a feel for the movie and gives us a sense of who Mei is. Like Bao, Turning Red will also feature an Asian-Canadian family in Toronto. Domee Shi was the first woman to direct a Pixar short. Since Brenda Chapman shared directorial credit on Brave with Mark Andrews and Steve Purcell, she will also be the first woman to single-handedly direct a feature film for them. Whereas Luca’s character designs looked inspired by the last decade or so of “CalArts style” cartoons on TV, Turning Red – and Mei, in particular – look reminiscent of Studio Ghibli character designs. I’m not sure if that was intentional, but the Pixar guys have talked on numerous occasions about their admiration for Ghibli and especially Hayao Miyazaki. Either way, I like that they’re experimenting with different art styles and creators behind the scenes.

What do you think of the Turning Red trailer? Let us know in the comments below!

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