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Pixar's 'Turning Red' First Teaser Trailer Materialises


Last week, Disney treated us to the trailer of the newest film from Walt Disney Animation Studios, the rather wonderful looking Encanto. Now, it's Pixar's turn to get us excited with the release of their latest teaser trailer.  

Turning Red is the feature debut of Domee Shi, director of the Oscar-winning short Bao. If you've been keeping tabs you will know that embarrassingly enough, this will be the first time a woman director will get sole credit (Brenda Chapman is still credited with co-directing Brave with Mark Andrews although in reality she was replaced during production). Shi will be the second Asian director (Korean American Peter Sohn was the first) and only one of four people of colour if you include co-directors Kemp Powers (Soul) and Adrain Molina (Coco).

Turning Red will be focussed on something that almost everyone will be able to relate to- the embarrassments and awkwardness of growing up and going through puberty. Only 13-year old Mei Lee has something extra to contend with- when she gets overexcited, she magically transforms into a giant (but very adorable) Red Panda.

The teaser sets this up perfectly. Mei Lee is in class, but her mum shows up: cue embarrassment and she "poofs" into the panda (which is how the film is apparently going to describe it). Giant fuzzy Mei Lee takes off in embarrassment, with Mama Lee in hot pursuit (and some old school Back Street Boys on the soundtrack).

It's such a universal experience (the embarrassment, not the panda part) that it's sure to have a wide appeal. It's territory that we haven't seen Pixar cover often (Inside Out being an obvious example). We also haven't had very many female leads in their films (probably not unconnected with the lack of women in directing and writing roles). Shii's own personal experience will also bring something extra, as the film will be told from an Asian perspective, hinted at here with a brief shot of Chinatown. 

There's actually a couple of clues that the film might not be set in the US but is probably in Shii's native Canada. Firstly there's a shot of a structure that looks like it could be Toronto's CN Tower dominating the skyline. Secondly, there's Mei Lee's Maple leaf T-shirt.

There's something of Luca's pleasingly chunky look to the character designs here, with an almost stop-motion look to them. And all importantly Mei Lee's Panda form looks fantastic- you feel like you could almost reach out and touch her fuzzy belly. There's something of Totoro about her too. (Toronto Totoro, if you will).

Newcomer Rosalie Chiang will voice Mei Lee, with Killing Eve star Sandra Oh voicing her mother. Although the last two Pixar films went straight to Disney Plus, Turning Red should be getting a full theatrical release on March 11. 2022.


 Teaser Poster

Recent Trailers

⏯ Disney's Encanto

⏯ Marvel's What IF...?

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