Turning Red: release date, cast, plot, trailer, and everything we know

Mei Lee as a giant red panda with her friends
Turning Red is a story about a girl who turns into a giant red panda! (Image credit: © 2022 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.)

Turning Red is a fun and vibrant animation about a 13-year-old girl called Mei Lee. She may seem like your typical confident teenager, but there’s something extraordinary about her — she turns into a giant red panda when she gets excited or stressed.

Turning Red is directed by Domee Shi, who won an Academy Award for her Pixar short film Bao. Shi has brought together a star-studded cast for the film. We can’t wait to see what happens in this movie and (hopefully!) we won’t turn into a giant red panda like Mei Lee.

Here’s everything we know about Turning Red, one of the big new movies of 2022...

Mei Lee

Mei Lee is a spritely girl— but she's about to find out an extra special quality about herself. (Image credit: © 2022 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.)

Turning Red release date. Is it on Disney Plus?

Turning Red is released on Friday, March 11, 2022 on Disney Plus in both the US and UK.

Turning Red cast

The voice cast is led by Rosalie Chiang (Soiled) who will be voicing the main character, Mei Lee. 

Rosalie Chiang on the red carpet in strapless gown

Rosalie Chiang will voice main character, Mei Lee. (Image credit: Getty)

While Sandra Oh (Killing Eve, The Chair) will provide the voice for Mei’s mother, Ming, with Orion Lee (Only You) as Mei’s father, Jin Lee and Wai Ching Ho (Robot Stories) as Grandma.

Sandra Oh

Killing Eve star Sandra Oh is voicing Mei’s mother.  (Image credit: Getty Images)

Voicing Mei’s close-knit friends are Maitreyi Ramakrishnan (Never Have I Ever) as Priya, Ava Morse (Ron’s Gone Wrong) as Miriam, and Hyein Park as Abby. 

Other stars include Jordan Fisher, Grayson Villanueva, Josh Levi, Topher Ngo and Finneas O’Connell who are lending their voices as the members of 4*Town, with many more famous names rounding up the voice cast.

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as Devi Vishwakumar

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan is providing the voice for one of Mei’s friends, Priya. (Image credit: Netflix)

International pop sensation Anne-Marie has also been announced to voice the character of Lauren, a schoolmate of Mei Lee.

Anne-Marie at the Capital Jingle Bell Ball

Singing sensation Anne-Marie will voice Lauren in Turning Red. (Image credit: Getty Images / Samir Hussein / Contributor)

Anne-Marie said: “I’m a massive fan of Pixar so it was an honor to be invited to have a role in Turning Red. It’s such a special film, I love the 00’s setting, it’s nostalgic and fun and I love the concept of Mei needing to figure out her journey about growing up in this weird world.”

Turning Red music

Grammy award-winning singers Billie Eilish and FINNEAS have written the songs for the fictional band 4*Town in the upcoming animation, including "Nobody Like U," which is featured in the trailer.

The Turning Red soundtrack will be released at the same time as the film, on March 11. It will have three original songs penned by Eilish and FINNEAS, including "Nobody Like U," "1 True Love", "U Know What’s Up" as well as a score by Oscar-winning composer Ludwig Göransson. 

Nobody Like U soundtrack sang by the fictional band 4*Town

Nobody Like U soundtrack sang by the fictional band 4*Town. (Image credit: Disney+)

Producer Lindsey Collins said: “When we first started talking about Billie Eilish and FINNEAS — back before they’d won a billion GRAMMYS — we could see then how they had their finger on the pulse. We were big fans. We met with them and pitched this crazy idea of a boy band, asking if they’d be interested in writing and producing the songs. They were!"

Watch the lyric video for "Nobody Like U":

Turning Red plot 

Disney has revealed the plot to be: “Turning Red introduces Mei Lee, a confident, dorky 13-year-old torn between staying her mother’s dutiful daughter and the chaos of adolescence. Her protective, if not slightly overbearing mother, Ming, is never far from her daughter — an unfortunate reality for the teenager. And as if changes to her interests, relationships and body weren’t enough, whenever she gets too excited (which is practically ALWAYS), she 'poofs' into a giant red panda!”

Mei also discovers the real reason as to why she transforms — it's because her ancestors had a mystical connection with red pandas.

Turning Red — Mei Lee as a giant red panda

Mei Lee isn't too happy that she's turned into a red panda. (Image credit: © 2022 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.)

Turning Red trailer 

You can watch the trailer for Turning Red below, where we’re introduced to Mei and her friends’ widely different and refreshing personalities. But Mei isn’t happy when she morphs into a giant red panda and she soon finds out the real reason as to why she’s transformed!

Grace Morris
Staff Writer

Grace is a digital writer with WhatToWatch.com, where she writes series guides, recaps and features for must-watch shows and delivers all the latest soap news and reactions. She graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2020 with a degree in Writing and Film Studies, which only made her love for creative writing, film and TV grow stronger.

You'll usually find her watching the drama unfold in the latest reality series or much-loved UK soaps (usually with chocolate by her side!). She's an expert in EastEnders, Emmerdale, Coronation Street and everything reality-related from Selling Sunset and Married At First Sight UK to 90 Day Fiancé UK. Plus Netflix megahit Virgin River!

Grace also likes to explore new places with her friends and family and, of course, watch and read about the latest films and TV series.