Turning Red is the latest disney/pixar film that debuted on disney plus on March 11th, 2022
The movie is about a 13 year old Chinese Canadian girl Mei Lee who turns into a red panda and the story is set in 2002 which adds an interesting element to the setting of the film.
The spirit of the red panda has been in Mei lee’s family for generations, affecting the women in the family as Mei Lee’s mother ,grandma and aunties have the red panda spirit which originated as a way for them to protect their family in the past. but in modern times they have become an inconvenience. They each disconnected their connection with their own red panda spirits and placed necklaces,rings or hair pins in order to control it. Unlike Mei who eventually embraces her red panda as she is unable to do the ceremony that breaks the connection.
I had a fantastic time watching this movie as the red panda symbolized puberty and a girl’s first period as she is growing up as the red panda appears when Mei feels intense emotion.
We see this when Mei’s mom shows up with pads and tells her daughter everything will be okay. Doing this in a pixar film makes young girls feel comfortable with what they are experiencing and embraces a natural part of life.
The younger generation knows more than what adults give them credit for as unfortunately this was a criticism in the film as parents and viewers did not like this topic appearing, but that reaction just further proves these conversations need to be had and I am glad younger girls could be seen and validated.
Critics have been judging the animation in the film as they believed it was not to Pixar’s standard with its hyper realism, this has become expected now with movie goers which was first noticed in the disney/pixar movie Luca as they changed the cartoon style. I think changing the style of animation is perfectly fine as it looks great and adds its own charm to the characters and the world they live in. I personally don’t think it has to always be the same, changing it makes it unique. it’s a cartoon, this adds the freedom to make shapes and colors look wacky and fun is the point not everything has to mimic real life.
Some complained of its inability to connect with them personally or they did not see themselves in the film.These criticisms were seen in certain viewers as other ethnicities or young girls in general have resonated with this film as they saw themselves in Mei growing up hanging with her friends as they plan to attend a 4 town concert. I enjoyed seeing her friends support her when she turned into a red panda and everyone else at her school enjoyed that aspect of Mei as well.
The ending was a nice closure on Mei finally being able to express how she really feels to her mom. So far she does what’s expected of her which is shown when she throws her friends under the bus at a party. The generational aspect of Mei’s mother feeling the same way her daughter did when she was younger was a good moment between their relationship.
I give the movie a 10/10