By: Niel Lajot
Turning Red, the next animated picture from Pixar, is the studio’s latest movie to skip the theaters and go straight-to-stream via Disney Plus.
The film follows teenager Mei Lee who turns into a red panda every time she feels stressed or thrilled. It features Rosalie Chiang as Mei Lee and Sandra Oh as her domineering mother Ming, joined by the voice talents of Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Hyein Park, Ava Morse and Orion Lee.
The film gathered quite the fanfare due to it being the first full-length Pixar film with an Asian protagonist and centering around an Asian cast. It’s also the first Pixar film to be fully directed by a woman – Domee Shi, known for her Oscar-winning short film Bao.
While hype for the film is high, employees at Pixar expressed their dissatisfaction with the decision to release Turning Red on Disney Plus rather than in cinemas according to a report by Insider.
With the recent surge of COVID-19 cases due to the spread of Omicron around the world, initial plans to release Turning Red in cinemas were put aside for the safer alternative, which the employees and staffers all understand and agree with, despite their frustrations.
“It’s safe to say that we’re all feeling extremely disappointed. Until today, we all thought ‘Turning Red’ would be our return to the big screen, and everyone at the studio was so excited about it being this film in particular. It was quite a blow,“ a Pixar employee said.
Despite the decision to release Turning Red straight-to-stream, Disney announced that the film will be released in theaters in areas where Disney+ is not yet available, with premiere dates to be announced later.
Turning Red premieres on March 11 at Disney Plus.
Photo from Walt Disney Pictures