Disney and Pixar released the first full-length trailer for Turning Red.
The trailer begins by introducing 13-year-old Mei Lee, who's described as "a confident, dorky 13-year-old torn between staying her mother’s dutiful daughter and the chaos of adolescence." However, this otherwise ordinary girl is soon transformed into a giant red panda after a nightmare, and it's quickly revealed that this is the result of her ancestors' mystical connection to the animals.
"We needed our character Mei to be obsessed with something that her mom would not approve of," director Domee Shi said. "Boy bands were the first step into the world of boys for a lot of girls that age. The guys were all super pretty, polished, soft and loving, and they had of way of bringing girls and their besties together. Plus, I thought it’d be really cool to create an animated boy band."
To bring Turning Red's musical components to life, Pixar recruited billy Eilish and FINNEAS to form the fictional band 4*Town. "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!"
Turning Red features the voices of Rosalie Chiang as Mei Lee and Sandra Oh as her mother Ming, along with Orion Lee, Wai ching Ho, Ava Morse, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Hyein Park, Tristan Allerick Check, Addie Chandler, Jordan Fisher, Grayson Villanueva, Josh Levi, Topher Ngo, Finneas O'Connell, James Hong, Lori Tan Chinn, Lillian Lim, Mia Tagano, Sherry Cola, Sasha Roiz and Lily Sanfelippo. The film was announced in May 2018, with the title being revealed over two years later during Disney's Investor Day presentation. Though it was previously unclear if the movie would release theatrically or on Disney+, Pixar confirmed in June 2021 that it would be the former, unlike its predecessors Soul and Luca.