You don’t want to make her angry. Or, at least, anxious or emotional.
With a middle school tween that’s basically impossible, which is why it makes for a great catalyst in Turning Red, Pixar’s latest feature film, their 5th to cast a female as the main protagonist.
Meilin Lee is a 13-year-old girl who excels at school. However, she has a very unique problem: whenever her emotions get the best of her, she explodes into a giant furry red beast. That condition gets triggered in this first teaser (above) when Mei’s overprotective mother Ming is seen spying on her while Mei is at school.
It’s the Incredible Hulk writ adorable but also bittersweet, working as an effective fable about how hard it is for young people to contain their emotions at times, and how embarrassing that can be when it inevitably draws attention to themselves in awkward, self-conscious ways.
From writer/director Domee Shi, the Academy Award winner for Pixar’s animated 2018 short Bao, Turning Red looks to incorporate Shi’s Chinese roots as an artist, employing anime flourishes within Pixar’s cute, colorful palette, all while being set in the Toronto of Shi’s youth where her family moved to when she was a child.
Starring the voice of newcomer Rosalie Chiang as Meilin and Sandra Oh as her mother Ming, Pixar’s Turning Red will open next spring in March 2022. Whether it will do so in theaters or follow the recent pandemic trend of Pixar movies playing exclusively on streamer Disney Plus (Soul and Luca) remains to be seen.
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