Disney and Pixar reveal their animated version of Toronto in new trailer for Turning Red
A new trailer for Turning Red — the first ever full-length animated Disney movie set in Toronto — has thrown locals into a tizzy today as images circulate of Pixar's take on everything from the city's distinguishable bike rings to rooftop views of the CN Tower.
Set to be released on March 11, 2022, the highly-anticipated feature film from Sheridan grad and Oscar-winning filmmaker Domee Shi (of Bao fame) revolves around a spunky 13-year-old girl named Mei, who turns into a giant red panda whenever she gets a bit too excited.
The film's first teaser trailer dropped this summer to widespread acclaim, particularly among Torontonians who are thrilled to finally see their city get the Disney / Pixar treatment.
Toronto isn't featured too heavily in that original glimpse of the movie, but the longer, more-detailed second trailer released this week has imprints of The 6ix all over it.
Seeing the seemingly accurate depiction of #Toronto and its diversity in the ‘Turning Red’ trailer is giving me life this morning.— Steve Vegvari (@SVegvari) November 17, 2021
Domee Shi knows the city and what it represents. https://t.co/lvAgGeaqXI pic.twitter.com/yGWaBxP7a6
Within seconds, we're introduced to protagonist Meilin Lee (Mei), a feisty pre-teen who says she wears want she wants and says what she wants "24/7, three-sixty-five."
We see the proud math-fanatic and flautist at school briefly (in French class! Because Canada!) before the trailer shows Mei riding a TTC streetcar.
Did I mention the whole movie is set in the early 2000s? People seem really stoked on that part.
YES!!!!!! SO EXCITED FOR #TurningRed! Red Pandas, Toronto, and the music of *NSYNC. A winning trifecta!— Jared Schnabl (@JaredSchnabl) November 17, 2021
Come 2022, I had better see a Mei plushie available at @Disneyland and @WaltDisneyWorld! Is it March 2022 yet?! https://t.co/9H8xt3j8uh
The trailer also reveals the presence of a boy band called "4Town," voiced by Jordan Fisher, Grayson Villanueva, Josh Levi, Topher Ngo and FINNEAS.
According to Pixar, the movie will feature at least three "all-new songs written by Billie Eilish & FINNEAS."
Adorable as the kid already is, she soon grows way, way cuter by morphing into a giant red panda overnight, setting up the movie's main plot.
From there we see several glimpses of Toronto interspersed between clips of Mei as a big red panda: The side garden outside her parents' old red brick Victorian, the colourful vintage shops of Kensington Market, and plenty of skyline shots featuring the CN Tower from atop Mei's roof.
Canada represent!! 🇨🇦🍁 https://t.co/7GjrgEWrB2— Ben Janzen (@BenJanzen15) November 17, 2021
The main character's parents even have a box of Timbits on the table at one point.
"I'm honestly just incredibly excited to be getting a Pixar movie set in Toronto! It's gonna be so much fun leaving the theatre and seeing locations from the movie," wrote one Twitter user of the trailer.
"Turning Red looks good and all, but I'm most excited about a movie that’s actually SET in Toronto, rather than just filmed here to look like New York or whatever (I know this movie is animated, but you get what I mean)," wrote another.
Of course, as usual, there are detractors: "Turning Red looks great but the last thing Toronto's housing market needs is a Pixar film," tweeted one person of the movie and the city's housing affordability crisis.
But it wouldn't be a true Toronto film without some heavy internet hate in the mix, now would it?
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