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Pixar's 'Turning Red' Trailer Previews The Panda-monium

After having two movies in a row skipping cinemas and heading straight to Disney Plus, we are sure the folks at Pixar are looking forward to seeing their films released in cinemas again in 2022. And it is 'films' plural because Pixar will have two features released next year.  Not long ago they gave us our first look at their big summer film, the Toy Story (sort of) spin-off Lightyear. Before we get to that though we have another fully original film to look forward to in Turning Red.

Written and directed by Domee Shi (who was previously behind the Oscar-winning short Bao), the film follows a 13 year-old girl who discovers that she turns into a giant (and fricking adorable) red panda when she gets emotional. We got our first look earlier this year in the fabulous teaser trailer, but now the first full trailer is here... and it does not disappoint.

The full trailer introduced us more properly to the lead character Mei Lee (voiced by relative newcomer Roaslie Chiang) and her pretty average seeming life. Interestingly, as we guessed from the first trailer, the story takes place in Toronto, Canada as signified by the presence of the well-known landmark, the CN Tower in a number of scenes. This is an indication of the film's connection to the director's own past- she too is a Canadian of Asian descent.

We get to see that Mei Lee has a supportive friend group, and we see her having fun with them at the start of the trailer. We see scenes from her school life, where we see her doing well at school, getting straight As. We see her extracurricular activities, playing flute in the school band. She even has 'this girl loves math' sticker on her flute case. She seems very much the model student.

After which its time for the fantasy element to kick in. It does this with showing what appears to be a dream or vision that is troubling Mei Lee- and it looks considerably darker and more menacing than you would expect from everything else we've seen here so far. Then she wakes up the next morning in panda form, and it turns out in this trailer that this particular affliction (or "little quirk") runs in the family.

We then see various scenes of her dealing with her new problem- revealing it to her friends and hiding it from others, trying her best to avoid transforming at school, and fending off an over-protective (if well-meaning) mum (voice by Sandra Oh). We also get to see her having a whale of time dancing with her friends and enjoying a new sense of freedom.

From the presence of what looks like a Tamagotchi in the trailer and the Back Street Boys on the soundtrack (in the trailers at least) and based on the fashion, it seems like this might also have a period setting, perhaps taking place in the 90s?

There's a lot we still don't know (thankfully) but this continues to look like another classic from Pixar. It's got a distinctive visual style- it's somewhat similar to Luca but not quite the same. The trailer is extremely fast-moving with quick edits, almost giving it an Edgar Wright feel. Is the film going to be like that, or is it just for the trailer? We're excited to find out!

Turning Red is due to be released in cinemas in the US and UK on March 11, 2022.