Domee Shi made her Pixar directorial debut with Bao, an Oscar-winning short film about a mother who eats her son. I mean, sure, there’s more to it than that, about empty-nest syndrome, about the importance of traditions, about overprotective parents, but ultimately, Bao is about a “mom nuzzling her little baby steamed bun to death.” It’s very good and very stressful — although not as stressful for the teaser trailer for Bao’s feature-length debut, Turning Red, about a young girl who turns into a giant red panda when she gets stressed. This is the Incredible Hulk movie that we deserve.
“Even though I was super young when I watched it, the first Toy Story movie was so different than all the musical animations that were coming out at the time,” Shi said about her history with Pixar. “It was probably Finding Nemo when I realized wow, they’re making different stories, stories that are really emotional and they feel real. It’s not just an animated film, it felt like there were so many more layers and emotions and stories going on in their films.
Here’s the official plot synopsis:
Growing up is a beast. Young actress Rosalie Chiang lends her voice to Mei Lee, a 13-year-old who suddenly “poofs” into a giant red panda when she gets too excited (which is practically ALWAYS). Sandra Oh voices Mei Lee’s protective, if not slightly overbearing mother, Ming, who is never far from her daughter — an unfortunate reality for the teenager.
Turning Red opens on March 11, 2022.