Billie Eilish And Finneas Wrote Music For Pixar, But There’s A ‘Bizarre’ Twist

Billie Eilish is just 20 years old, but in the last couple of years alone, the singer has accomplished a lot. And she’s added to her resume yet again for one of Pixar’s upcoming movies, Turning Red. The songstress teamed up with her brother Finneas to write music for the Disney+ exclusive release, but not in the way you'd probably think. The songwriters were asked by the Turning Red filmmakers to create and craft up songs for the animated film’s fictitious boyband, 4*Town. 

Turning Red will take audiences back to the ‘90s, specifically Toronto, Canada, to follow the story of a middle-schooler named Mei, who like many teens at the time, really loves a popular boy band. When CinemaBlend spoke to Turning Red’s producer Lindsey Collins, she shared how Pixar got Billie Eilish and Finneas for the movie: 

It was such a bizarre ask. I think it worked in our favor. The fact that we weren’t just going, ‘Hey, can you write an end credit song for us?’ or a more traditional ask of an artist like that. The fact that we were coming in and saying, ‘So we’d love for you to come and help us create this fictitious boyband’ and write all this music for them, which is not at all in their sweet spot in theory, although having heard the songs, actually it is very much in their sweet spot. I think there’s something about how weird the ask was that actually helped us get to a meeting – maybe if only because they wanted to be like ‘Wait, I don’t even understand what you’re asking me?’

The obvious pick for this particular ask would probably be an actual and current boyband, but the fact that Pixar was asking Billie Eilish and Finneas to do something out of their brand actually inspired them to lean in and listen to the opportunity even more, according to Collins. The producer continued with these words: 

Once we had them in the room captive, we were able to pitch them the movie and the ideas and do the hard sell as to why this could be this really cool opportunity for us and for them and they were completely sold. I think when they walked out of the room, they were like ‘Yeah, we’re in.’ We have to win a bunch of Grammys in a minute, but then we’ll be back on. They were right on board right out of the gate which was awesome for us.

Clearly, it was an exciting ask for the pair of songwriters. I mean who wouldn’t want to have a hand in creating Pixar’s first boy band? You can check out some early artwork of 4*Town from Turning Red below: 

Turning Red boyband 4 Town visual development art

(Image credit: Pixar )

Billie Eilish and Finneas have written music for a movie before. The siblings were asked to write the most recent James Bond tune with Hans Zimmer for Daniel Craig’s exit as 007, No Time To Die. Eilish has also rubbed elbows with Disney before, for her 2021 concert special Happier Than Ever, where she was even inspired by Who Framed Roger Rabbit’s Jessica Rabbit for an animated version of herself. 

As Lindsey Collins pointed out, the pair met with Pixar just before their fame blew up with their incredible night at the Grammys in early 2020. Both Billie Eilish and Finneas won the most awards that night including Record and Song of the Year for “bad guy,” Best New Artist, Best Album and Best Pop Vocal Album. Collins also said this about Pixar’s collaboration with Billie and Finneas: 

Within a month of us meeting with them everything shut down and maybe we were the beneficiaries of that too because they started sending us demos. I think all three songs came in within a five or six week period. I think they were clearly sitting at home like ‘Oh god’ like the rest of us and worked on these songs and sent them out. We have a lot of boy band fans on our crew, so they are not easy to please and they were all totally blown away. It was just kind of a dream collaboration for us.

Billie Eilish was in the middle of her tour when the pandemic began and shut downs began occurring, which meant the time they had for Turning Red’s songs right away. As it turns out, writing boy band songs for Pixar was secretly their first project out of the pandemic!  

Turning Red, which will follow Mei’s magical transformation into a giant red panda after facing humiliation at school, will be available on Disney+ on March 11 with a Disney+ subscription. Now you can look out for Billie Eilish and Finnea’s latest songs when you watch the movie! 

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.