A thirteen-year-old girl named Mei Lee is torn between staying her mother's dutiful daughter and the changes of adolescence. And as if the challenges were not enough, whenever she gets overly excited she transforms into a giant re...
Feb 9, 2024| Streaming Disney+
Other Key Dates
Feb 9, 2024 (Moderate - Reissue)
Sound Mix: Dolby Atmos
Aspect Ratio: 1.85 : 1
Country of Origin: United States
In 2002, Meilin “Mei” Lee is a 13-year-old Chinese-Canadian girl living in Toronto. She helps take care of the family’s temple dedicated to their ancestor, Sun Yee, and works to make her strict, overprotective mother Ming proud. Mei hides her personal interests from Ming, such as the fact that she and her best friends Miriam, Priya, and Abby are fans of the boy band 4*Town. When Ming discovers Mei’s crush on the local convenience store clerk, she unintentionally embarrasses Mei in public, including in front of school bully Tyler.Mei has a vivid nightmare involving red pandas; when she wakes up in the morning, Mei has transformed into a large red panda. She hides from her parents and discovers that she only transforms when she is in a state of high emotion, though her hair remains red. Ming initially believes Mei is experiencing her first period, but finds out the truth when she further embarrasses Mei at school, causing Mei to transform and run home.Ming and Mei’s father Jin explain that Sun Yee was granted this transformation to protect her daughters, and every female family member since then has also transformed when they came of age. This has become inconvenient and dangerous in the modern age, so the red panda spirit must be sealed in a talisman by a ritual on the night of the Red Moon; the next being in a month’s time. Mei’s friends discover her transformation but take a liking to it, and Mei finds that concentrating on them helps control the red panda within her.Ming allows Mei to resume her normal life but refuses to let Mei attend 4*Town’s upcoming concert. Instead, the girls secretly raise money for the tickets at school, exploiting the popularity of Mei’s red panda form, while lying to Ming. To cover the last ticket, Mei agrees to attend Tyler’s birthday party as the red panda. At the party, Mei is upset to discover that the concert will be held on her ritual night. In the midst of her rage, she attacks Tyler when he insults her family, frightening the other children. Ming discovers Mei’s activities and accuses her friends of corrupting and taking advantage of her. Ashamed and afraid to stand up to her mother, Mei fails to come to her friends’ defense.Mei’s grandmother Wu and Mei’s aunts come to assist in her ritual, to Ming’s dismay. As Mei prepares herself, Jin finds videos she took of herself as the red panda with her friends and tells her she should not be ashamed of this side of her. During the ritual, as Mei’s red panda form is about to be sealed, she decides to keep her powers and abandons the ritual to attend the concert at the SkyDome. Her friends forgive her for her actions at the party, and they discover Tyler is also a 4*Town fan. However, during Mei’s escape from the temple, Ming becomes so enraged that her amulet breaks and she transforms into a kaiju-sized red panda and disrupts the concert, intending to take Mei back by force.Mei and Ming argue about Mei’s independence, and as they quarrel, Mei accidentally knocks her mother unconscious. Wu and the other aunts break their talismans to use their red panda forms to help drag Ming into a new ritual circle. Mei’s friends and 4*Town join in singing to complete the ritual, sending Mei, Ming, and the other women to the astral plane. Mei reconciles with Ming and helps her mend her bond with Wu, whom Ming accidentally scarred in anger at some point before sealing her red panda form years ago. The other women conceal their red pandas in new talismans, but Mei decides to keep hers, and Ming accepts that she is finding her own path. Later, as the Lee family raises money to repair the damage caused at the SkyDome, Mei and Ming’s relationship has improved, as Mei balances her temple duties-where her red panda is now an attraction-with spending time with her friends and their new friend Tyler.
Toronto, Canada, 2002. Trying to juggle her burgeoning independence and the family’s expectations is about to become even more complicated when 13-year-old high-achiever Mei Lee makes an eye-opening discovery. And as her hyperactive teenage hormones kick in, having a mind of their own, Mei’s emotions also take on a life of their own: whenever she gets too stressed or excited about something, Mei triggers a strange, radical metamorphosis. Can Mei Lee endure puberty and the growing pains of growing up, or will she keep turning red? — Nick Riganas