In a story about a middle-school-age girl in the early 2000s, it’s pretty much a given that a boy band makes an appearance.
It’s less of a given that the girl will spontaneously transform into a giant red panda.
(But that’s what keeps things interesting, right?)
In the upcoming Disney/Pixar film Turning Red, newcomer Rosalie Chiang lends her voice to Mei Lee, a 13-year-old who suddenly “poofs” into a giant red panda when she gets too excited (which is practically ALWAYS). Sandra Oh voices Mei Lee’s protective, if not slightly overbearing mother, Ming, who is never far from her daughter—an unfortunate reality for the teenager.
The movie also features Pixar’s first-ever boy band, 4*Town – whose music comes from real-life pop stars Billie Eilish and FINNEAS. You can hear a bit of 4*Town in action at the start of the latest trailer for the movie. (Plus, the Backstreet Boys too.)
“We needed our character Mei to be obsessed with something that her mom would not approve of,” said director Domee Shi. “Boy bands were the first step into the world of boys for a lot of girls that age. The guys were all super pretty, polished, soft and loving, and they had of way of bringing girls and their besties together. Plus, I thought it’d be really cool to create an animated boy band.”
Turning Red includes three 4*Town songs, including “Nobody Like U” featured in the trailer. The production nabbed Eilish and FINNEAS early on in their careers, which have skyrocketed recently.
“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,” said producer Lindsey Collins. “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!”
Eilish made history as the youngest artist to win Grammys in all the major categories in 2020, and recently had her sophomore album “Happier Than Ever” debut at No. 1 on the Billboard charts. FINNEAS became the youngest ever to win a Grammy for producer of the year, and has produced hits for a number of stars, from his sister Eilish to Justin Bieber and Camila Cabello.
Get ready to scream for 4*Town along with Mei in 2022. Turning Red premieres March 11.