Similar to Shi's short film Bao, this upcoming release focuses on Chinese-Canadian women, like Shi herself. This dual authorship approach, where Shi is able to explore her own cultural heritage, enables more narratives to be shared. Shi is able to create stories that celebrate Asian heritage, and are heart-warming tales for all.
The film sees the main character, Mei (Rosalie Chiang), turn into a red panda when she is emotional.
On Pixar's end, It seems they have learned from Disney's casting mistakes with Raya and The Last Dragon (2021). Whilst both films feature Sandra Oh (Killing Eve, Grey's Anatomy), in Turning Red she will be depicting an East Asian character, instead of a Southeast Asian character. Raya and The Last Dragon had the Southeast Asian characters predominantly voiced by East Asian actors like Oh. Turning Red makes a point in its casting to have actors play characters of their own race, something many animated films fail to do. Indeed many other people of colour are also in the cast including Maitreyi Ramakrishnan (Never Have I Ever), Wai Ching Ho (Daredevil) and Josh Levi (Friday Night Lights).
What we can expect is a warm film full of laughs. Equally, Turning Red should be full of great music as Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas are writing original songs for it!