New Pixar Movie “Turning Red” Set in Toronto

This article focuses on Pixar’s newest film, Turning Red, coming out on Disney+ on March 11th.

Turning Red Official Trailer

This March, Pixar will be releasing its newest direct-to-streaming animated film, Turning Red on Disney+. The movie will be set in 2002/2003 and will centre on Meilin “Mei” Lee, a 13-year-old Chinese-Canadian torn between her role as her mother’s dutiful daughter, and that of a blooming teenager. For Mei, things only get more chaotic when her emotions (e.g., excitement or stress) trigger her transformation into a giant red panda.

The most exciting element of this film is the fact it is actually set in Toronto. Not filmed or produced in, but actually set in the city. As we have previously discussed, Toronto is a hub for filming and production, with countless films having showcased Toronto hotspots over the years. Some examples include Good Will Hunting, American Psycho, and Hairspray.

Even so, for whatever reason, the city has had few opportunities to play itself on the big screen – instead, acting as a double for others (e.g., New York City or Baltimore). Turning Red will be wholly set in Toronto, and will be one of the first major motion pictures to bring the city to life via animation! In the trailer alone, we see an opening shot with the CN Tower and depictions of various neighbourhoods including Chinatown.

Another exciting win for the city lies in the directorial debut of Toronto-raised Domee Shi. This film follows her Academy Award-winning short film Bao on Disney+, also focusing on Toronto, through the relationship between an empty nester and their baby dumpling. Adorable, strange, and packing all the feels. We can only hope that Turning Red will be the beginning of Shi’s brilliant career, creating depictions of our amazing city for the masses.

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