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The New Teaser For Pixar's Turning Red Has The Internet Buzzing

The new teaser trailer for Pixar's "Turning Red" has barely been out for an hour and a half as of this writing, and it's already taking social media by storm. On the official Disney Pixar Instagram account, the trailer has already been viewed by over a quarter of a million people (and counting). It's getting similar traction on Twitter, with a likes-to-retweets ratio of 2:1. The movie is just under a year away, and people are already chomping at the bit to see it.

Predictably, the vast majority of comments, quote tweets, and Instagram replies are from people who are obsessed over the cuteness of the concept: a young girl who poofs into a giant, red panda at the slightest emotional provocation. There are also some who point out in a snarky (but polite) way that this is yet another one of many Pixar films which features a main character transforming into an anthropomorphic version of their best animal self. However, there are plenty of other legitimate reasons why the internet is buzzing about this potential classic-in-the-making Disney Pixar film, and those reasons may surprise you.

It's the brain-child of Oscar-winner Domee Shi, and it almost didn't get made

According to her IMDb biography, Domee Shi was born in China and immigrated to Canada with her family when she was just two years old. She displayed an artistic aptitude from a very young age and grew up loving Disney films. She also stated in an interview with That Shelf that she was particularly impressed with early Pixar films like "Toy Story" and "Finding Nemo." She also credits the deviantART website as a resource where she could collaborate with other artists. This exposure to like-minded individuals eventually inspired her to attend Sheridan College. From there, she got an internship with Pixar immediately after graduation, and the rest is Academy Award-winning history.

We would think that winning the 2019 Oscar for her short film "Bao" would give her all the confidence in the world for pitching movie ideas to her bosses, but the adorable, emotional red panda movie which is set to come out next spring almost didn't happen. In an exclusive interview with IndieWire, Shi admits she was nervous to pitch the story to Pixar at first. After she discussed the idea with her friend and "Inside Out" colleague Pete Docter, "he became a champion. He said it was cool and different and encouraged me."

Sandra Oh plays the mom (again)

Sandra Oh has a prolific acting career, both in live action and animated productions. She's gone from shunning motherhood in her breakout role as Christina Yang on "Grey's Anatomy" to voicing Debbie Grayson in Invincible and expressing that character's heartbreaking tragedy using only the sound of her voice. Oh will once again take on a matronly role as the voice of Mei Lee's mother in "Turning Red."

In the teaser, Oh's character is seen going full Karen on — and even kicking — a security guard at her daughter's school. It's unclear whether she's there to pick up her daughter from school or just there observing her from afar and lurking behind a tree. The scuffle which ensues is both chuckle-worthy and explains the plot of the movie: Extreme emotions trigger Mei Lee's transformation into a giant, adorable red panda. This crux of the narrative is another big part of why people can't stop talking about the teaser trailer and the upcoming film.

It's an adorable, kid-friendly twist on The Hulk

Whether you're talking about the old school version from the comics or the modern-day iteration from Marvel, it's safe to say that "The Hulk" is hard to portray in a family-friendly way. His superpower comes from an inability to control and process his emotions in a healthy way. He destroys property and hurts others –regardless of whether they're a bad guy or whether they're an innocent bystander. But "Turning Red" is taking a much cuter, more mellow approach to this transformation narrative.

Many of the comments, replies, and quotes tweets — as well as news reports about the teaser trailer — have pointed out the similarities between Bruce Banner and Mei Lee. The Verge went so far as to reference "The Hulk" in their headline about the trailer, and the IndieWire interview mentioned earlier described "Turning Red" as "the cutest riff imaginable on 'The Incredible Hulk'." Based on the teaser, they certainly aren't wrong.

If you're already excited to see this movie, you're going to have to exercise some patience. The movie is slated for a March 11, 2022 release date. Until then, you can watch some of your favorite Disney Pixar movies on Disney+ right now.