The new hit animated film Turning Red is history-making in several ways. The film about a 13-year-old girl growing up in Toronto, Canada, is the first Pixar film to center on a female character since 2012's Brave, and it beautifully shows several aspects of girlhood that usually aren't shown in animated movies, including complex mother-daughter relationships, preteen fangirling, and period maintenance as a neutral, unashamed part of life (finally!).
It's also an empathetic portrayal of a girl finding her own way in the world, even if her mother disapproves, all wrapped up in a giant puberty metaphor involving a giant red panda. The film, which premiered on Disney+ March 11, has found a passionate fanbase, who have fallen in love with the characters. The cast behind those voices are just as unique as the film itself, ranging from trailblazing Asian-American and Asian-Canadian actors to a Grammy-winning singer-songwriter. Here's everything we know about this stellar cast.
Rosalie Chiang as Meilin "Mei" Lee
Thirteen-year-old Toronto native Mei balances her friend group and fangirl activities with her duties to her parents, including working at their traditional temple. One day, she inherits the family blessing (or curse) of turning into a giant red panda when she feels intense emotions. Newcomer Chiang is just getting started in Hollywood, with Turning Red as her first feature film. She previously acted in short films, and guest-starred on the series Clique Wars.
Sandra Oh as Ming Lee
Mei's mother Ming is very overprotective, partly because her daughter is her best friend...and mostly because she's been preparing for Mei's big change. Korean-Canadian actress Oh is best known for playing Dr. Cristina Yang on the first ten seasons of Grey's Anatomy. Recently she also starred as intelligence agent Eve Polastri in the crime drama Killing Eve, and as professor Ji-Yoon Kim in the Netflix dramedy The Chair.
Orion Lee as Jin Lee
Mei's calm and kind-hearted father Jin is played by Lee, who has acted in theater, film, and television over the course of his career. Recently he appeared in Zack Snyder's Justice League as a Star Labs Scientist, as well as starring in the critically-acclaimed film First Cow.
Ava Morse as Miriam Wexler
Mei's friend Miriam is a tomboy who's always there for Mei, though Ming thinks she's a bad influence. Turning Red is Morse's first major role, having guest-starred on HBO's Somebody Somewhere and on two episodes of Chicago P.D.
Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as Priya Dewan
Priya is another of Mei's best friends, who has a calm demeanor though she's as much of a 4*Town fangirl as the rest of the group. Indian-Canadian actress Ramakrishnan is the star of Netflix's Never Have I Ever, playing boy-crazy Sherman Oaks teen Devi in her first professional role. She's also set to continue voice acting for the cartoon series My Little Pony: Make Your Mark.
Hyein Park as Abby Park
Rounding out Mei's friend group, Abby is super confident and a bit intense, and she's also always there for Mei and her friends. Park is actually a storyboard artist for Pixar, having worked with director Domee Shi on the Oscar-winning short Bao, as well as Pixar films like Soul and Toy Story 4. Turning Red is her first-ever voice acting role.
Tristan Allerick Chen as Tyler Nguyen-Baker
School bully Tyler is played by Chen, in the young actor's first major film role. He previously had guest-starring spots on WandaVision and The Kominsky Method, as well as voice acting roles in the animated films Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Ron's Gone Wrong.
Wai Ching Ho as Grandma
When she hears about her granddaughter's change, Mei's grandma comes straight to Toronto, bringing along the preteen's aunts to help in the ritual that will turn Mei back to normal. Hong Kong-born actress Wai Ching Ho is best known to Marvel fans for playing Madame Gao in the series Daredevil, Iron Fist, and The Defenders. Over the years she has also appeared on the shows One Life to Live, Orange is the New Black, and Awkwafina is Nora from Queens, as well as playing Constance Wu's grandmother in the film Hustlers.
Lori Tan Chinn as Auntie Chen
Mei's first aunt is played by Chinese-American actress Lori Tan Chinn, who got her start in theater acting before breaking in to film and television in the '80s and '90s. She's best known for playing Litchfield inmate Mei Chang on Orange Is The New Black, as well as Awkwafina's grandma on Awkwafina is Nora From Queens.
Mia Tagano as Lily
Mei's second aunt Lily is voiced by newcomer Mia Tagano, a stage actor who has performed at Lincoln Center in New York City and toured with the Royal Shakespeare Company in England. She's also a prolific acting and speaker coach based in California's Bay Area.
Sherry Cola as Helen
The actress behind Mei's third aunt Helen, Cola has starred in several series over the years, including Prime Video's I Love Dick, TNT's Claws, and Freeform's Good Trouble. The Chinese-American actress is also a former radio personality who had a show on the LA station AMP Radio 97.1FM, and she often performs as a stand-up comic.
James Hong as Mr. Gao
Local elder Mr. Gao, a regular at the temple who also helps out with Mei's ritual, is played by prolific actor James Hong, who has over 650 film and TV credits to his name as of 2021. Just some of those include the '70s series Kung Fu, the Kung Fu Panda films and TV shows, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and the upcoming Michelle Yeoh film Everything Everywhere All At Once.
Jordan Fisher as Robaire
Each of the actors behind the members of Mei's favorite band 4*Town both voice and sing for their early '00s boy-band counterparts. The voice behind Mei's favorite member, the French Robaire, Fisher is best known for playing John Ambrose in To All The Boys I Loved Before: P.S. I Still Love You, and for his run on the Disney show Liv and Maddie. He also contributed his singing talents to the soundtrack of another Disney animated film, Moana.
Finneas O'Connell as Jesse
Playing another 4*Town member is O'Connell, a Grammy-winning singer-songwriter who often works with his musical partner and sister, Billie Eilish. He also has acting experience, playing Alistar on the sixth season of Glee and guest-starring on the series Aquarius and Modern Family. Also, he and Eilish wrote all of 4*Town's original songs for the film.
Domee Shi, writer and director
Turning Red is Chinese-Canadian animator Domee Shi's first feature-length film, arriving four years after her Oscar-winning short film Bao. Shi started her career at Pixar in 2011 as a storyboarding intern, and now she's the first woman to solo-direct a feature film in the studio's 36-year history.
Quinci LeGardye is a Contributing Culture Editor who covers TV, movies, Korean entertainment, books, and pop culture. When she isn’t writing or checking Twitter, she’s probably watching the latest K-drama or giving a concert performance in her car.
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