“Turning Red” Review


On Mar. 11, Pixar released their new film “Turning Red” on Disney+. The film follows Mei Lee, a 13-year-old girl who has lived her life as her mother’s perfectly obedient daughter.  However, one day she realizes when she gets overly emotional, she turns into a big red panda.

Although the majority of viewers enjoyed it, it has experienced some controversy by parents surrounding the themes of the film. The giant red panda in the film is a metaphor for puberty, and it is used throughout the film to describe the experience of becoming a teenage girl and the changes that come with it.

Many parents feel this topic is too mature for the film, whereas some feel the film can strike important conversations necessary in families. Upon watching this film, I think the writers did a wonderful job of keeping the “mature” topics in a light-hearted, age-appropriate manner. There was nothing majorly inappropriate that was said during the film.

Although this was a message presented, it was not the driving focus of the film. Mei has three best friends (Priya, Abby, and Miriam) in the film, whose characters bring so much humor to the film. So many funny moments happen between Mei and her friends that are relatable to everyone. Each of the friends have such different personalities that get along great together and represent young teenage girls so well. 

Priya is presented as the most chill and mellow of the group. Although her facial expressions may not show it, she is just as excited and happy as her friends when it comes to her favorite things. Her appearance strikes more as the “goth girl” stereotype. However, her character does not come off as rude and is very supportive of her friends.

Abby is a fun loving and energetic girl.  She wears vibrant colors and glitter all across her outfit. Although fun, she can also be very aggressive and gets easily mad at herself if she messes up. She arguably gets the most excited when Mei turns into her red panda. When Mei transforms into her red panda, she likes to hug her because she is “fluffy.”

Miriam gives off the impression of your typical “skater girl”. She wears a green beanie at all times and is seen riding a skateboard numerous times throughout the film. She, like her other friends, is very supportive of Mei and lets her know she is loved no matter what.  Even when betrayed by Mei, she took care of her Tamagotchi because she knew how much it meant to her.

Their friend group represents friendships as young teenagers very well. Each of them represent the range of personalities amongst young teenage girls.  Their love for their favorite boy band, crushes and silly dances are relatable, and it is what makes them so loveable in this film. They show that, although they are not perfect, they are always there for one another.

Overall, I thought this was a very sweet and funny film. I thought the overall message was important and portrayed really well. Therefore, I would recommend it, not only to children, but to everyone who loves a light-hearted animated film.