Toronto is ready to turn out for Turning Red.
Ever since the movie’s first trailer dropped and audiences learned that Pixar’s latest would be set in the 6ix—making it the beloved animation studio’s first feature set in Canada (not to mention, the first to be directed by an Asian woman)—Canadians have been eagerly anticipating the new film, premiering on Disney+ this Friday. After years of doubling for other cities, both real and fictional, Toronto was getting a chance to play itself in a major Hollywood release.
From director/co-writer/Toronto native Domee Shi, whose Oscar-winning animated short Bao was similarly set in and around Toronto’s Chinatown, Turning Red turns back the clock to 2002, following a 13-year-old Chinese-Canadian named Mei (Rosalie Chiang) as she navigates all the messy emotions and changes that come with growing up—only, in her case, that means “poofing” into a giant red panda when she gets over-excited.
The result’s another thoroughly-charming Pixar coming-of-age tale, with the added bonus of functioning as an animated time capsule for anyone who grew up in the GTA during the early 2000s, featuring plenty of IYKYK references to go with the more instantly-identifiable landmarks. (The one silver lining of Turning Red getting pushed from a theatrical release to a Disney+ premiere? It’s way easier to go Easter egg hunting.)
Here are all the Toronto references we were able to find in Pixar’s latest animated adventure.