Being 13 can be really hard — especially if you suddenly get hit by a curse that causes you to turn into a giant red panda when you’re angry. But it makes for an entertaining story idea in the first full trailer for Pixar’s “Turning Red.”
The trailer introduces our heroine, Mei Lee (Rosalie Chiang), who’s unapologetically herself at all times. She and her friends have a love of music, clearly, but that love runs particularly deep for one group in particular: 4*Town.
Yes, Pixar has created its first-ever boy band, and fans should probably expect their songs to be great, considering the real-life duo behind them. Disney called on Grammy-winning singer-songwriters Billie Eilish and FINNEAS to write the fictional band’s songs. There will be three originals in “Turning Red,” including one featured briefly in the trailer called “Nobody Like U.”
You can watch the full trailer for “Turning Red” in the video above.
“When we first started talking about Billie Eilish and FINNEAS — back before they’d won a billion GRAMMYS — we could see then how they had their finger on the pulse,” producer Lindsey Collins said. “We were big fans. We met with them and pitched this crazy idea of a boy band, asking if they’d be interested in writing and producing the songs. They were!”
Given the way the band’s name is written, they clearly take inspiration from *NSYNC, whose hit song “It’s Gonna Be Me” primarily underscores the preview.
But let’s circle back to the actual premise of “Turning Red.” Because yes, you read right earlier: Mei Lee is essentially getting a Hulk storyline, but instead of turning into a huge green monster, she turns into a giant red panda when she’s mad. According to her mother, voiced by Sandra Oh, “any strong emotion will release the panda.”
So when Mei calms down, she returns to her normal self. It’s a headache, but as she seems to learn while playing dodgeball, it can actually be a pretty useful thing.
“Turning Red” hits theaters on March 11, 2022.