Disney and Pixar have released the first trailer for Turning Red, giving us a proper introduction to the lead character of the coming-of-age Pixar movie.
For the most part, Mei Lee’s a regular 13 year-old, bored by school, and endlessly embarrassed by her helicopter parent mother. A typical adolescent, except for that she becomes a massive red teddy bear whenever she becomes anxious or over-stimulated. When that happens, her only choice is to escape, and try and calm herself down.
The trailer looks like one truncated sequence, where Mei spots her mom trying to spy in on their classes. When the mom gets into a confrontation with someone on the grounds, all Mei’s classmates start gathering around and POOF, Mei becomes her panda form. Next thing, she’s high-tailing it across rooftops, trying to find somewhere she can chill out and be invisible for a minute. The teaser ends in her bedroom, finding her zen by brushing her fur to POOF back to human form. Unfortunately, her celebrations bring a POOF back to being a panda. Boo.
Conceptually, the kids movie is on strong ground, presenting an easily readable allegory for anxiety and mental wellbeing for younger people. The film is written and directed by Domee Chi, who’s previously won an Academy Award for her Pixar short Bao. Rosalie Chiang voices Mei, and Sandra Oh voices her mother, Ming Lee.
Turning Red is due in spring next year, and it’s been reported that the animated movie might be Disney and Pixar’s first to get a full theatrical release after all the Covid-19 lockdowns. Disney’s Encanto is also expected to open in theatres, but that may also include Disney Plus Premier Access, like Luca, and Raya and the Last Dragon.
We’ll keep you informed on Turning Red’s release date. In the meantime, here’s the best Disney movies for more from the House of Mouse.