Disney and Pixar’s Turning Red trailer introduces Mei Lee (voiced by Rosalie Chiang), a confident, batty 13-year-old torn between her mother’s dutiful daughter and the chaos of puberty. Her doting, if not slightly overbearing, mother Ming (voiced by 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, when she’s too excited (which is pretty much ALWAYS the case), -PUFF!- into a giant red panda!
To redden Directed by Oscar winner Domee Shi (Pixar short film bao) and produced by Lindsey Collins To redden Director Domee Shi, when you play the coming-of-age story of a 13-year-old girl in the early 2000s, it’s pretty much mandatory to involve a boy band. “We wanted our character Mei to be obsessed with something that her mother wouldn’t approve of,” Shi said. “Boy bands were the first step into the world of boys for a lot of girls that age. The boys were all super pretty, elegant, soft and loving, and they had a way of bringing girls and their best friends together. Also, I thought it would be really cool to start an animated boy band.”
Enter Pixar’s first-ever boy band, 4*Town. The filmmakers called on Grammy-winning singer-songwriters Billie Eilish and FINNEAS to write the fictional band’s songs – three in total, including the song “Nobody Like U,” featured in the new trailer. “When we first started talking about Billie Eilish and FINNEAS – back before they won a billion Grammys – we could see how they had their finger on the pulse,” said producer Lindsey Collins. “We were big fans. We met up with them and introduced them to this crazy idea of a boy band and asked them if they would be interested in writing and producing the songs.
Eilish, whose second album Happier Than Ever debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in the US and in 19 countries worldwide, made history as the youngest artist to win in all major categories at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards, including an award for Best New Artist, Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album.
The youngest person to ever win the Grammy for Producer of the Year (Non-Classical), FINNEAS has built a premier discography writing and producing smashes for a cadre of superstars – not just for his sister, Billie Eilish, but also for Justin Bieber and Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Camila Cabello, Tove Lo, Kid Cudi and Ben Platt, among others. His debut solo album Optimist is out now.
Grammy, Oscar and Emmy-winning Swedish composer Ludwig Göransson (Black Panther, The Mandalorian) composed the score for To redden. “I’ve been a fan of his for a while,” Shi said. “We were drawn to his versatility – he’s a composer but he also produces pop music. We knew he would help us create a very unique sound.”
Joining the previously announced Rosalie Chiang and Sandra Oh to voice Mei and her mother Ming is Orion Lee as the voice of Mei’s father Jin and Wai Ching Ho as the voice of Grandma. Mei’s close-knit circle of friends is voiced by Ava Morse as Miriam, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as Priya, and Hyein Park as Abby. Tristan Allerick Chen voices classmate Tyler, and Addie Chandler voices Mei’s secret crush, Devon. Jordan Fisher, Grayson Villanueva, Josh Levi, Topher Ngo and Finneas O’Connell provide the harmonious voices of the members of 4*Town. The cast is rounded out by James Hong, Lori Tan Chinn, Lillian Lim, Mia Tagano, Sherry Cola, Sasha Roiz and Lily Sanfelippo.
Turning Red will be released on March 11, 2022.