An artist on Twitter has imagined the protagonists of Turning Red as adorable anime characters. Turning Red follows 13-year-old Mei Lee, as she is torn between being the perfect daughter and living her own life. In addition to the usual struggles of teenagehood, Mei also faces the added complication of turning into a large red panda whenever her emotions become too strong. The central theme of the film is accepting one’s self — even the ugly parts — and holding on tight to the things that bring joy. 

Since Turning Red‘s release last month, viewers have been raving about its heartfelt storyline, exciting characters, and profound message. Fans of the Disney film have even taken to social media to show their devotion by creating their own work to add to the scope of the Turning Red universe. This has come in the form of video essays, TikToks, cosplays, and fan art imagining Turning Red‘s main characters in a wide range of scenarios.


A recent piece of fan art posted by Twitter user @hanavbara shows the Turning Red characters — including 4*Town — in an adorable anime style. The artist posted two incredible recreations of the characters that quickly gained thousands of likes and retweets. The first shows Mei, Priya, Abby, and Miriam posing together with the words “Besties Assemble!” printed at the bottom. The second features the four girls again, now accompanied by Tyler, swooning over the members of 4*Town, who are depicted in a dreamy atmosphere and surrounded by roses. “4*Town Forever” is printed at the bottom of this picture, reminiscent of the mantra they repeated throughout the film. Check out the art below:

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The artist displays a clear and impressive understanding of characteristics that distinguish anime from other styles. The art is right in line with that of popular animes, showing the characters with stars in their eyes, flowing tears of joy, and very emotive expressions. The artist also utilizes bright colors that add a very lighthearted, playful tone in both pieces. In fact, the art perfectly captures Turning Red‘s tone and visual style, which director Domee Shi has said is heavily influenced by anime projects of the 1990s.

This artist’s work is one of many created by fans of Turning Red, but it is unique in that there are very few that have been made in the anime style. Anime projects have become much more popular in recent years, and Shi has brought the genre to the forefront of mainstream entertainment by using it to inform the hit Disney film. If this art proves anything, it is that people may really enjoy seeing Disney’s loveable brand of characters imagined in this style. Perhaps if these Turning Red-inspired pieces gain more traction, Disney’s next film will be an anime.  

Source: @hanavbara

Key Release Dates
  • Turning Red (2022)Release date: Mar 11, 2022
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