Mei Lee and her alter ego, a giant red panda. (Images courtesy Disney/Pixar)

Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution announced that Disney and Pixar’s “Turning Red” would premiere exclusively in homes worldwide on Disney+ on March 11, along with a simultaneous limited run at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood.

This marks the first time that a Pixar feature has had an Asian protagonist and centered mainly on Asian characters. It is also the first Pixar feature to be directed solo by a woman — Domee Shi, who won an Academy Award for the animated short “Bao” — and the first to have a female-led creative team.

Domee Shi

“Disney+ subscribers around the world enthusiastically embraced Pixar’s Academy Award-winning ‘Soul’ and the critically acclaimed ‘Luca’ when they premiered exclusively on the service and we look forward to bringing them Pixar’s next incredible feature film, ‘Turning Red,’” said Kareem Daniel, chairman of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution. “Given the delayed box office recovery, particularly for family films, flexibility remains at the core of our distribution decisions as we prioritize delivering the unparalleled content of The Walt Disney Company to audiences around the world.”

“Turning Red” introduces Mei Lee (voice of Rosalie Chiang, “Clique Wars”), 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 (voice of Sandra Oh, “Killing Eve,” “The Chair”), 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!

The voice cast also includes Ava Morse (“Ron’s Gone Wrong”), Maitreyi Ramakrishnan (“Never Have I Ever”), Hyein Park, Orion Lee (“First Cow”), Wai Ching Ho (“Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens”), and veteran actor James Hong (“Blade Runner,” “Big Trouble in Little China”). Mei’s aunts are voiced by Lori Tan Chinn, Lillian Lim, Sherry Cola, and Mia Tagano.

Mei Lee and her friends are Canadian kids growing up in the early 2000s.

The music includes three original songs — “Nobody Like U,” “1 True Love” and “U Know What’s Up” — performed by the fictional boy band 4*Town, composed by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell. The band members are voiced by O’Connell, Jordan Fisher, Josh Levi, Topher Ngo and Grayson Villanueva.

Set in Canada — another first for a Pixar film — in 2002, the story is based on the director’s experiences growing up in Toronto. Shi co-wrote the screenplay with Julia Cho.

In international markets where Disney+ is not yet available, the film will be released theatrically.

The El Capitan is located at 6838 Hollywood Blvd. “Turning Red,” which is rated PG, runs through March 17. The schedule is as follows: Saturday, Sunday and Monday, 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 7 p.m., 9:55 p.m.; Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m., 1 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m., 1 p.m, 4 p.m., 7 p.m., 9:55 p.m. For more information, call 1-800-DISNEY6 or visit

Mei Lee’s friends get to know her as a red panda.

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