Puberty is a difficult time for almost everyone, as you trade in the simple innocence of childhood for confusing new feelings, unwanted acne and body hair, and, of course, a constant sense of embarrassment and shame. But imagine how much harder it would be if part of this transformative period involved you turning into a giant red panda, which is the premise of Pixar’s upcoming film Turning Red.
The trailer introduces us to Mei Lee (voiced by Rosalie Chiang), a confident, driven 13-year-old who is surprised to discover this strange new “quirk” that she learns runs in her family. Anytime she experiences intense emotions, which is the foundation of your teen years, she transforms into a massive red panda. Naturally, she is less than happy about this development.
The trailer kind of feels like Big Mouth but for kids instead of adults, as it similarly seems to be delving into the chaotic experience of adolescence by having Mei literally become the monster many of us feel like we are during that time. Though it’s safe to assume there will be significantly less masturbation jokes and pillow-humping in Turning Red than in Big Mouth.
Honestly, it’s surprising that it’s taken this long for Pixar to dive into the world of puberty, as the animation powerhouse only occasionally dabbled in adolescence with characters like Violet in The Incredibles and Princess Merida in Brave. But it’s exciting that we’re finally going to get to see what Pixar makes of one of the most difficult and bizarre periods in life, with a bit of magic transformation thrown in for good measure.