New Pixar Movie 'Turning Red' Is a 'Love Letter to Toronto'

Coming out in March 2022, Disney-Pixar's newest production Turning Red is set in Toronto in the early 2000s, and features tons of Canadian easter eggs.

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After many years of playing New York on the big screen, Toronto is finally getting its shine on. Turning Red, the newest animated production from Disney and Pixar, is being billed as one big love letter to the 6ix. 

The film, set for release on March 11, 2022, is set in Toronto, and tells the story of Mei (played by Rosalie Chiang), a Chinese-Canadian girl who is dealing with an extreme case of turning into a giant red panda when she gets too excited. 

Turning Red is directed by Toronto’s own Domee Shi, who won an Oscar for her 2019 animated short film Bao. Ottawa-born actor Sandra Oh plays Mei’s overprotective mom. The trailer for the film dropped boasts a never-ending stack of fun Canadian references, like the CN Tower, the Skydome, and snapshots of Chinatown. 

Turning Red truly is a love letter to Toronto and Canada,” said Greg Mason, VP of Marketing for Walt Disney Studios Canada, in a statement. “There are a couple of great Canadian easter eggs in this trailer and we can’t wait for Canadian audiences to see more when the film hits theatres next year.”

In an statement, Toronto mayor John Tory expressed his excitement for the movie.

“It used to be the case that Toronto was always disguised as ‘some other city.’ Now, thanks to our own great reputation and thanks to all the Torontonians making films and TV shows we are actually able to be Toronto!” said the mayor. “Turning Red is another testament to our great city and all that we have to offer,” he added, going on to thank Shi “for choosing to highlight her hometown.”

Turning Red poster

Turning Red is set in the early 2000s and promises to bring a bunch of nostalgic elements, like the Backstreet Boys’ hit “Larger Than Life” being part of its soundtrack. Considering their success in the north, we’ll count BSB as honourary Canadians.

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