Red pandas are one of the greatest animals in existence. This is just facts.
They also have very pointy little faces that aren’t remotely human-like, and when you mash up those pointy little faces with human features, you get… well, you get Turning Red, Pixar’s upcoming feature about a girl who turns into a red panda when she gets excited.
Except she kind of just turns into a giant red bear.
Leaving aside the iffiness of this red panda’s resemblance to an actual red panda, Turning Red has a lot going for it. The film is written and directed by Domee Shi, who won an Oscar for the beautiful short film “Bao.” Rosalie Chiang voices Mei Lee, who becomes pandalike, and Sandra Oh voices her overprotective mother, Ming. And “Growing up is a beast” is a truly excellent tagline. The film is set in Toronto in the early 2000s, and the backgrounds are gorgeous.
The song choice, though, is a little on the nose, and it’s curious that Pixar’s second mother-daughter focused film also has one of the two women turning into a large furry animal. (In Brave, Merida’s mom turns into a bear.) But it’s only a short teaser! Hopefully we’ll see more of the movie’s charms in the months to come.
Turning Red will be in theaters on March 11, 2022.