Turning Red Movie Review


www.motionpictures.org and Nicolas Gomez

The movie has maintained inclusivity in its voice actors, utilizing Asians that maintain titles for themselves in live-action shows. The film contained Asian culture and mixed with it the standards of a parent’s ideal child. “I like this movie for the introduction it did of tough topics that Pixar doesn’t usually mention, like puberty and the difficulties even young kids go through with their parents’ strict expectations. It’s very difficult, and I like how the movie keeps up with how the world is working in these times,” freshman Kristy Gonzalez said.

Nicolas Gomez and Najalae Griffith

The film “Turning Red” follows a young girl named Mei-Mei who deals with her strict mother and her own growing self. The movie came out in early March and touched a lot of people due to the plot of the film. The film addresses a stigma around the need to grow up in a physical way because growing up for Mei-Mei means having her red panda and more independence.

The movie takes place in Toronto, Canada, with Mei-mei and her friends Priya, Miriam, and Abby maturing into young women, while expressing their love for a K-pop band called “4 town”. They also discover their feelings about boys. As this happens, Mei-Mei discovers she developed a crush on the convenience store worker, Devon.

Mei-Mei expresses her emotions and when she gets too excited she turns into a giant red panda. Viewers can relate to the film because Mei-Mei mainly runs around the whole movie waiting for her mother’s approval for everything and when she’s tired of waiting for reassurance and approval her relationship with her mother changes. Mei-Mei also undergoes the drive to appear as the perfect person. Later on Mei-Mei becomes comfortable with her new ways of life and starts to explore her independence.

“You’re so focused on getting your parents’ approval that sometimes we just forget to live our lives. You’re not going to get validation from every single person in your life, even from your family members. Everyone you surround yourself and associate yourself with is going to have to accept you and your boundaries. As kids we shouldn’t have to worry about acceptance from the people we love, we should already have it instead of seeking it,” NC freshman Jasmine Boka said.

This movie marks the start of something new. As much as the movie expresses the topic of exploring independence and coming of age, “Turning Red” takes the role of becoming “Pixar’s first women and Asian directed movie”. Solely made up of  Asian actors, the director of the movie, Domee Shi, continues to work hard on all of the productions she makes with Pixar. Since 2011, Shi worked with Pixar on movies like “Toy Story 4”, “Inside Out” and “Incredibles 2” and now produced her first movie “Turning Red.”

The movie’s premiere red carpet event happened on Tuesday, March 1, 2022, in Los Angeles, California. Cast stars such as Sandra Oh, who plays the mother, Rosaline Chiang who partakes in the lead role of “Mei”, the director Domee Shi also attends as she becomes the first person to direct a women-led Pixar movie, and Maitreyi Ramakrishnan who takes the role as one of Mei’s friends. Artists Billie Elish and Ludwig Göransson attended the event as they wrote a couple of the songs that accompany each scene in the background of the movie.

This movie reaches target audiences as it involves the coming of age genre. The film represents eastern and western influences. As much positive feedback the film has gotten, problems among the Pixar staff arise. Pixar staff members bemoan the fact that Disney decided to release the movie exclusively to Disney+ like the last two Pixar movies “Luca” and “Soul”.

   Even though “Turning Red” only released exclusively in February, the film may become controversial for children or pre-teenagers as the movie goes in-depth about coming of age and finding independence. Viewers also may relate to the movie as it explains privacy and freedom. The main character, Mei, goes through a whirlwind of emotions throughout the movie as she tries to please her strict mother and explore new parts of her and Pixar expresses that perfectly within the film.

The Chant’s rating: A-