‘Turning Red’ is adorableCategory: Movies
The newest animated film from Disney/Pixar is Turning Red, a fun story about family, friends, and growing up. It focuses on 13-year-old Mei Lee (voiced by Rosalie Chiang) and delves into her family life, school friendships, and her Chinese heritage.
Mei lives in Toronto with her mother Ming (Sandra Oh) and father. She is on the cusp of adolescence and under the strict thumb of her mother. Mei is dutiful daughter and happy with her life. She is an overachiever, excited about life, and if her mother has anything to say about it, Mei will be a future UN Secretary General.
Then something strange happens to Mei. One night she turns into a giant red panda. Upon learning that the women in her family turn into pandas when they reach adolescence, Mei is horrified. But there is a solution. When the next red moon rises, the family will perform a ritual to vanquish the panda from her life so she can return to her old self. In the meantime, however, Mei is stuck morphing into the panda when she gets too excited, which is quite often.
It takes something soothing to bring her back to being human, and she discovers that friendship is a comforting part of life. After all, who would we be without our besties? Think about your own school days and the friends that shared the ups and downs with you.
When Mei and her three best friends learn their favorite boy band 4*Town is coming to Toronto, they devise a plan to earn the money for the tickets and sneak into the concert, even though their parents disapprove. But just how they go about earning the money is a little unorthodox.
Adolescence is a difficult time, especially for girls. They have physical changes and their emotions get the best of them. Their first crushes are all-important in their lives. And for Mei and her friends, they have strong crushes on the five members of 4*Town.
The film includes songs with some original songs performed by the fictional boy band. “Nobody Like U” will most likely be a song sung over and over again by the kids in your house. “1 True Love” and “U Know What’s Up” are other songs included in the film and on the soundtrack.
Turning Red is a winner. The story of Mei’s self-discovery is something many girls experience, albeit without the giant red panda. This is a film that will undoubtedly be embraced by young girls everywhere, and even boys will enjoy the story. Do not think twice about taking your kids to see it. Adults will be able to reflect on this difficult time in their own lives when the world was big, the future was scary, and it seemed like everything was fresh and new.
Director Domee Shi said about Mei, “I just love her dorky confidence. I love her spunk and her spirit.” This little girl is not only adorable, she is also engaging. “I really wanted to explore the conflicts of a young teen girl,” Shi said, “how she’s torn between being a good daughter and embracing her true messy self.” Mei is “spunky, confident, nerdy, passionate, weird and a lile bit snooty.” And she is a character audiences will take to their hearts.
The movie is rated PG for thematic material, suggestive content and language. It opens March 11, 2022 and will be available on Disney+.
Heads up – Parents might have to discuss menstruation with their kids.
Photos courtesy Disney/Pixar. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment industry for over 25 years. She also writes about products and travel. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as Internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, is the entertainment correspondent for Good Day Orange County, and has her own TV show, Beyond the Red Carpet, on Village Television in Orange County. She is a longstanding member of the Television Critics Association, was a longstanding member of the Los Angeles Press Club, and is accredited by the MPAA. Follow her on Twitter.