Mei Lee is an ordinary 13-year-old in the first trailer for Turning Red, the next film from Pixar — unless she gets stressed out or overexcited. Then she turns into a gigantic talking red panda in a massive explosion of pink smoke, not unlike an adorable version of The Incredible Hulk.
Adding to the problem is Mei’s (Rosalie Chiang) overprotective mother, Ming (voiced by Sandra Oh), who’s seen in the trailer sneaking to watch over her at school, causing an altercation with a security guard that leads to one of Mei’s panda-sized incidents.
While the initial teaser doesn’t offer too many details on what sort of misadventures Mei will have (as both a teenager and a giant panda), it does bear the distinction of being the first full-length animated Disney film to be definitively set in Canada.
Turning Red is also the first feature-length film from director and writer Domee Shi, who had previously worked for years as a storyboard artist at Pixar before stepping into the spotlight with her Oscar-winning short Bao in 2018.
Turning Red is set to hit theaters on March 11th, 2022, and like the recently teased Encanto (coming from Walt Disney Animation Studios), it represents a restored faith in Disney that families, in particular, will be returning to theaters soon. The company had previously moved its last year and a half’s worth of animated films — including Luca, Soul, and Raya and the Last Dragon — to either exclusive or hybrid releases on Disney Plus due to the shuttering of theaters during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.