After wowing audiences back in 2018 with her Oscar-winning Pixar short, Bao, Domee Shi is back to work at Pixar with an even more exciting project: her first full-length film. Much like Bao, Turning Red is a coming-of-age story that pulls from her Chinese heritage and involves adolescent transformation, but this time Shi is writing the piece from the perspective of confident and mostly carefree 13-year-old Mei Lee (Rosalie Chiang). While the teaser trailer dropped earlier this summer, giving us a brief look at the film’s strange and fur-filled Hulk story, we now have our first trailer and somehow, it looks even cuter.
Turning Red follows Mei, a smart and spunky teenage girl who loves her friends, her Tamagotchi, music, and being unapologetically herself — or at least she did, until it’s revealed her family suffers from a curse that causes her to turn into a giant red panda whenever she experiences intense emotions. Mei must then learn how to fully embrace her fuzzy form as well as navigate her emotions and life as a teenage girl. In addition to Chiang, the film also features Sandra Oh as Mei’s slightly overbearing mother and a whole cast of colorful characters.
However, Mei’s giant red panda form isn’t the only larger-than-life sensation being unleashed in Turning Red. Like oh so many teen girls, Mei and her friends share a common and all-consuming interest: hit boy band 4*Town. Seemingly based off of *NSYNC, whose song “It’s Gonna Be Me” plays throughout the trailer, 4*Town looks like it will play a significant part in Turning Red, and Pixar enlisted some major star power to help make sure each and every one of their musical performances memorable. Creating three original songs as 4*Town are Grammy-winning singer-songwriters Billie Eilish and FINNEAS, which is a pretty inspired and on-the-pulse choice. The first of the duo’s songs, “Nobody Like U,” plays briefly in the trailer.
You can catch 4*Town and what’s sure to be an adorable, coming-of-age journey when Turning Red hits theaters March 11, 2022.