Pixar movies has very much been enjoying stories based on the topic of animal transformations in recent years – and the new film from the animation studio might just be the most extreme example yet.


Turning Red – which arrives on Disney Plus this week – tells the story of young Chinese Canadian tweenager Mei Lee, whose adolescent angst is made all the more difficult by the fact she transforms into a giant red panda whenever she gets too excited.

The film is the feature debut from director Domee Shi, who previously made the brilliant short Bao, and features a combination of great jokes, enjoyable cultural references to its early 2000s setting and interesting insights into immigrant communities.

It seems certain that Pixar will manage to melt audiences' hearts once again with this unique tale of teenage angst - here's everything you need to know about Turning Red.

Turning Red release date

Turning Red will be released on Friday 11th March 2022, available exclusively to subscribers of Disney Plus.

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As was the case with Pixar's previous two offerings, Soul and Luca, Turning Red is not receiving a normal theatrical release but will only be available online.

You can sign up to Disney Plus for £7.99 a month or £79.90 a year.

Turning Red cast


Rosalie Chiang will make her theatrical debut in the Turning Red cast as lead Mei Lee, having previously appeared in short films Soiled and The Interns.

Sandra Oh will bring some star power as Mei's overbearing mother Ming, with Oh of course known for playing Cristina Yang on Grey's Anatomy between 2005 and 2014 and for her award-winning portrayal of the titular character in smash-hit spy thriller Killing Eve.

Related: Turning Red star says Pixar is great at "telling stories without villains”

The voice cast for the film also includes Maitreyi Ramakrishnan (Never Have I Ever), Ava Morse (Ron's Gone Wrong) and Hyein Park (Soul) as Mei's friends, while there are roles for Orion Lee (First Cow), Wai Ching Ho (Daredevil), and James Hong (Mulan).

The film will was written and directed by Domee Shi, who previously directed the Oscar-winning Pixar short Bao which played before The Incredibles 2 in cinemas. She has worked on several other Pixar films, including as a storyboard artist on Toy Story 4 and Inside Out.

Turning Red trailer

Is there anything worse for a teenager than being embarrassed by their mum at school? Well, clearly turning into a giant red panda straight afterwards is - as shown in this adorable trailer that neatly showcases the film's premise.

Turning Red plot

Turning Red follows awkward 13-year-old Mei Lee who is struggling with the changing interests and relationships that come with adolescence - as well as the fact she transforms into a giant red panda whenever she becomes too excited.

This isn't helped by her well-meaning but overprotective mother Ming, who is never far from her daughter - an unfortunate reality for a teenager.

It seems that Mei's transformation will act as a metaphor for the changes of puberty, and that the mother-daughter relationship will be central to the movie - and a perfect opportunity for Pixar to tug at the heart strings once again.

The film is set in Toronto during the mid-2000s, hence the Backstreet Boys track used in the film's first teaser. Always a stickler for detail, Pixar has snuck in several Canadian easter eggs in the trailer also, including the CN Tower in the background and the school's name which is a reference to Canadian Prime Minister Lester B Pearson.

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Turning Red is released on Disney Plus on 11th March 2022. You can sign up to Disney Plus for £7.99 a month or £79.90 a year now. Visit our Movies hub for more news and features and find something to watch tonight with our TV Guide.


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