Review: Turning Red

TURNING RED (2022)

One of the most fun outings from Pixar in recent memory, Turning Red is moving, hilarious, and relatable on so many levels, a beautifully animated sure-hit for the studio.

Young Mei Lee (Rosalie Chiang) is on the precipice of breaking out onto her own path, but her mother’s (Sandra Oh) expectations and the challenges of being a teenager, as well as a family secret that sees her transforming into a giant red panda, throw her into turmoil. Domee Shi (Bao) has crafted a film that speaks to adolescents in a way no other Pixar film has before. Turning Red is one of the more simple films the studio has put out, a welcomed change that should lead to a favored reception from kids of all ages. Mei Lee and her friends are absolutely goofy, their humor frequent and quite funny from beginning to end. Turning Red really succeeds in the exploration of the mother-daughter relationship and the expectations placed upon kids when growing up, told through a tight, well-executed script. Aspects of the family’s Asian culture are vividly brought out through both the striking visuals and impactful plot.

At its core, Turning Red is an emotional triumph that celebrates individuality while diving deep into the strengths of the family unit even as it sometimes can be a burden to manage. The film will speak to young women worldwide who will see themselves through the lens of Mei Lee. Similarly, though a but underdeveloped, the metaphor of bursting into a transformative state that results in becoming a panda will strike a cord with anyone who has felt conflicting pressures and emotions. Shi’s vision explodes onto the screen in a dazzling display of color, a stunningly beautiful departure from typical Pixar animation styles. The filmmaker is one to watch. Here, she hands Pixar yet another W as their streak rolls on.

Turning Red hits Disney+ this Friday.

Rating: 4/5

Photo from IMDb

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