Pixar’s 2022 film Turning Red casts Toronto in starring role

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Toronto has played plenty of other places on the big screen over the years, but for the first time in a Pixar film Hogtown will star as itself in next year’s Turning Red.

Directed by Canadian Oscar winner Domee Shi (who helmed the animated short Bao) and featuring the vocal talents of Ottawa-native Sandra Oh, the animated feature follows the story of a 13-year-old girl (Rosalie Chang) who suddenly “poofs” into a giant red panda when she gets too excited.

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“We are beyond thrilled that director Domee Shi chose her hometown of Toronto as the backdrop for her new feature film,” says Greg Mason, VP of Marketing for Walt Disney Studios Canada. “Turning Red truly is a love letter to Toronto and Canada.”

After Pixar’s Luca and Soul went straight to Disney+, Turning Red is set to be the studio’s first film to hit theatres since Onward playing in cinemas in March 2020.

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It’s the second movie that’s set in Toronto set to hit the big screen next year. Kevin Hart’s action-comedy The Man From Toronto is scheduled to open in theatres next January.

The trailer features cameos from the CN Tower and Rogers Centre, as well as the city’s Chinatown neighbourhood.

“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,” Mason adds.

Shi, a graduate of Sheridan College, set Bao in Toronto with the short featuring the CN Tower, scenes of characters riding TTC streetcars and a Vince Carter jersey.

“I made sure that in a lot of the wide shots of the city that you see the CN Tower in the background,” Shi told the Sun. “We snuck in Canadian flags in the background … one of the characters wears a Vince Carter jersey, but it’s a subtle nod so that (there was) no NBA copyright thing.”

Turning Red is slated to hit theatres March 11, 2022.

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