Pixar's next movie is called Turning Red and it's about a young teen who, when she gets excited, transforms into a massive red panda. It's certainly a wild premise, but it's not the first time we've seen stories along these lines, and now that the full trailer is here and it reveals some more plot details, it confirms that Turning Red was clearly inspired by the Michael J. Fox comedy Teen Wolf.
Teen Wolf saw a high school student discover that his family had a curse that caused them to transform into werewolves. Turning Red's trailer reveals that when Mei transforms into a red panda, the reason is because of a mystical connection her family has to the animal. Check out the trailer below.
The similarities between the two movies are strong. We have the family legacy, and the stress induced transformations. Teen Wolf saw Michael J. Fox's character become a high school basketball star with his new found wolf abilities. Turning Red shows Mei pound some poor sucker in a dodgeball game, which maybe isn't exactly the same thing, but it feels close enough.
That's not to say the two look perfectly parallel. Mei is obviously a very different character. Her interest in boy bands, which will clearly be a big part of the movie, is her own thing. Three songs in Turning Red will be from the fictional boy band 4-Town, and the songs have been written by Billie Eilish and FINNEAS, which will certainly make a lot of people very interested to hear them. One of them appears in the trailer.
It also appears that, while a lot of people will end up seeing Mei as a panda, there is still an attempt to keep her secret, which isn't really part of the '80s movie. Mei's friends are also incredibly supportive, and don't look ready to exploit their best friend, which was part of Teen Wolf.
And then there's Mei's helicopter mom. It looks like the relationship between mother and daughter is going to be a big part of Turning Red, and it will probably be the part of the story that ends up causing emotional outbursts in the theater. This is Pixar, after all.
And the fact that people will potentially be getting emotional in a theater is also significant. When Turning Red arrives in March 2022 it will be the first Pixar film to get a theatrical release in over two years, and that movie, Onward had its theatrical run cut short due to the early days of the pandemic.
Turning Red, which is the feature directorial debut of Domee Shi, who won the Oscar for her Pixar short Bao, looks like it will be a fun return to theaters, whether or not you're a huge fan of boy bands.
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