Before this review begins, Please Note that this will be a Spoiler-Free Review.
It is set in 2002 and begins with a dorky, but loveable Chinese Canadian girl named Meilin “Mei” Lee. She is not only confident but torn between staying her mother’s dutiful daughter and the chaos of adolescence. Then one morning, after a nightmare she wakes up the next morning to find that she has become a Red Panda! Mei learns that her ancestors share a history with the species, and whenever she finds herself experiencing any strong emotion, her newly founded “poofing” ability will transform into the red panda, time and again.
Here is a fun fact about this Disney•Pixar film, the woman who directed this feature film. Her name is Domee Shi and was the first woman who directed a Pixar short and won an Oscar for it, and that was the 2018 Animated Short Film, “Bao“.
In an Entertainment industry that has been currently dominated by Superhero films, Reboots, and Action Thrillers, Pixar’s Turning Red is something that people are looking for, whether they have realized it or not. And that, my friends, was a down-to-earth film that speaks to our inner child, about a girl who just recently turned thirteen years old and going on an adventure with her friends while growing up and finding their identity.
Here is what works so well for Pixar’s Turning Red Movie, it doesn’t fall into that stereotypical idea of what girls should be, they aren’t pitted against each other and fighting over a guy like most stories in the past have done. As for the type of friendship they have, it isn’t a “catty” type of friendship nor pushes a harmful narrative to pit the friends against each other. Abby, Priya (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), and Miriam (Ava Morse) are there for Mei when she needs them the most.
The relationship between Mei and her mom isn’t depicted in a bad way, yes, she feels restricted at times but she still loves her mother. Some people have misconstrued this film as an “attack on traditional family values“, or my favorite accusation, “Walt Disney and Pixar are at it again promoting Woke Propaganda“, which we know that isn’t true. Honestly, it’s one of the best Pixar movies in years, and that includes Soul. By far, it is one of the most expressive animated films in quite some time, and enjoyed the anime influence it had when telling Meilin’s story.
With its pastel-colored style and unique animation, Turning Red is a fun film that the kids and family. Domee Shi and her creative team have done a spectacular job with Shi’s Feature-Film Directorial debut, we’re looking forward to what she has in store for fans of both Pixar and Disney.
Turning Red is available now on Disney Plus
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