Imagine going to sleep one night as a human and then waking up as a giant red panda. At first, it seems fun, but it could definitely present some problems. That’s what Pixar’s upcoming animated feature Turning Red directed by Oscar winning Bao filmmaker Domee Shi is all about… and there’s also a boy band involved (we’ll get to that soon).
The Disney and Pixar coming-of-age story introduces us to Mei Lee (voice of Rosalie Chiang), a confident, dorky 13-year-old torn between staying her mother’s dutiful daughter and the chaos of adolescence. Her protective, if not slightly overbearing mother, Ming (Sandra Oh), is never far from her daughter—an unfortunate reality for the teenager. And as if changes to her interests, relationships and body weren’t enough, whenever she gets too excited (which is practically ALWAYS), she “poofs” into a giant red panda! Turning Red debuts on March 11, 2022.
As you can see from the trailer, the movie will introduce Pixar’s first-ever boy band 4*Town. Grammy-winning singer-songwriters Billie Eilish and FINNEAS have boarded to write the fictional band’s songs including the song “Nobody Like U” which you heard in the trailer. In addition Grammy, Oscar and Emmy-winning composer Ludwig Göransson (Black Panther, The Mandalorian) boarded the film to create the score.
“We needed our character Mei to be obsessed with something that her mom would not approve of,” said Shi. “Boy bands were the first step into the world of boys for a lot of girls that age. The guys were all super pretty, polished, soft and loving, and they had of way of bringing girls and their besties together. Plus, I thought it’d be really cool to create an animated boy band.”
Joining previously announced Chiang and Oh are Orion Lee as the voice of Mei’s dad, Jin, and Wai Ching Ho as the voice of Grandma. Mei’s tightknit group of friends are voiced by Ava Morse as Miriam, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as Priya, and Hyein Park as Abby. Tristan Allerick Chen voices classmate Tyler, and Addie Chandler lends his voice to Mei’s secret crush Devon. Providing the harmonious voices of the members of 4*Town are Jordan Fisher, Grayson Villanueva, Josh Levi, Topher Ngo and Finneas O’Connell. Rounding out the voice cast are James Hong, Lori Tan Chinn, Lillian Lim, Mia Tagano, Sherry Cola, Sasha Roiz, and Lily Sanfelippo.