Turning Red (2022) Poster

(2022)

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9/10
Massively cute, often very funny, poignant, heart rending and warming and breaking and gorgeous all the time. It's another Pixar!
Quinoa198412 March 2022
Turning Red features a predominantly East Asian cast and is about the growing pains that come for a young adolescent and her mother - oh, mothers and daughters, the things that come between them are about as (in this case) building busting as the love that invariably keeps them together - but it's an absolutely universal story. So many young people come to find that their parents, one and/or both depending on the time, become way too much to deal with, and that finding attraction in others is something immediate and pleasurable and also forms friendships (like 4-Town... ugh and they're 5 teens what gives). So many don't know what to do with their bodies as they sprout hair all over and hormones rage like a furnace. Is it possible to find your "center" when you're 13?

Turning Red is no different than, say, the 400 Blows in addressing how a young person finds themselves at a crossroads of life and choosing a way to go is a conundrum on top of a pain-pile some days, this despite/because of the joys that come with being young and (sometimes/discovering one likes to be) carefree and DGAF about stuff like school and routines and rituals. That these two films are from very different countries and times and protagonists isn't the point, rather that Domee Shii, like Truffaut or Greta Gerwig or Reiner/King with a Stand by Me or (insert other Coming of Age serio-comic saga), finds through her art some compelling ways to express how these changes are vast and cruel and bewildering.

In this case, Mei doesn't know what to quite do with her Panda-y self, or more significantly with what her mother wants her to do with it. It's a film ultimately about familial vs self expectations, and it's realized and executed with a heck of a lot of heart, wit, intense cuteness (that box of kittens made me laugh hard), and enough pathos to crash through a dozen concerts. I do have a few nitpicks on my first viewing, some maybe a little minor that I know come with suspending a bit of disbelief (there was never any time the parents thought to mention the whole Panda-transformation curse thing), and some maybe not as much (not to give too many spoilers away, but would 4-Town or their legions of fans react like *that* after what happens in the climax of the movie? I don't know if I fully buy it, even if it still makes for a heart-pulling finale). And on a more fundamental level, you can kind of see what's going to happen with the Mom pretty early on.

But these little points don't take away from this being another triumph for Pixar - I almost want to say yawn another but these things are so much harder to pull together and click all into place than most realize - and Shii fulfilling her promise after the dynamic High-Cute Big-Cry energy from Bao (which if you watch again, as I did, is thematically so similar to Red). I love the characters, the vision of Toronto, and so much to do with how we all as younger people struggled through the UGH and AAGH of so much, and it's a movie that manages to remind the adults how profound it can be to confront that and reflect on it all. If it falls short of All Time Masterpiece that may be more on me than it will be for you.
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8/10
coming of age Pixar
SnoopyStyle13 March 2022
It's 2002 Toronto. Meilin is a 13 year-old Chinese-Canadian girl on the verge of adulthood. Her family cares for their temple honorable their ancestor who turned into a red panda to defend her family. One morning, she wakes up to find herself transformed into a red panda.

This is a coming-of-age story from Pixar. It's fun. I love the characters. There is a realism in these characters. They feel very authentic. Aside from the supernatural, this is really a story of a girl trying to find her way through puberty and dealing with her mother-daughter relationship. There are no big name actors other than Sandra Oh which does give this a feeling of non-Hollywood. The Toronto locations are also part of that. This has plenty of fun while dealing with some real tween issues.
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5/10
This wasn't made for me
PsychoBeard66612 March 2022
This is the first Disney Pixar movie that I felt wasn't made for me whilst I was watching it. Their films usually have something for everyone and a very broad appeal.

I felt like this film was aimed squarely at young female TikTok users going through hormonal changes.

It has some very important messages that I'm glad to see getting some attention, but it was also very derivative and borrowed a lot of elements from a lot of other kids movies.
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10/10
The struggle is real ... and red
kosmasp25 March 2022
Red Pandas ... I know someone who loves them more than anything else. In this case the red panda stands for something more. The whole movie is about womanhood ... or rather a girl becoming a woman. That time in between actually.

I understand if this isn't everyones cup of tea. The movie is almost entirely aimed at girls. Having said that, you can enjoy this being something else entirely too. Because the characters are well written and funny. Are they over the top? I mean of course they are - the main character literally transforms when she has mood swings/changes ... how could this not be over the top and exaggerated? You just have to go with the flow.

Engaging and really fun, still has some issues with cliches if you care. But it also is one of the best animated movies of the year. You can call it woke, you can call it cringe ... but the target audience loves it. And that is just showing that the movie achieved what it set out to do. I don't think or believe I know what goes on or happens in puberty with young girls ... but this movie probably gets as close to it, while remaining entertaining and funny as it can be.
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2/10
Missed the mark
sdimcg15 March 2022
This is not up to the usual high bar Pixar has set over the years. Characters were not endearing, it felt like they were trying too hard to be relatable and it just wasn't entertaining for a wide range of viewers. Very disappointing as most Pixar movies have universal themes & characters that reach all generations with positive messages and engaging plots.
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9/10
Very good
cparousis-3061514 March 2022
First, if you're focused on "wokeness" in a cartoon, go watch reruns of Bonanza. You have too much time on your hands.

This film is beautifully made. Nice story. Lots of laughs. Keeps you watching because of how heartfelt the film truly is.

Kids will love it. Adults will enjoy it as well. And it's on Disney+. A nice addition to the Disney library. Watch it.

You won't regret it...
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8/10
TYPICAL ASIAN PARENTS.
andrewchristianjr13 March 2022
I can recognize myself in a lot of Mei's experiences and learned something new about them as well. There are not a lot of movies that normalize other significant parts about puberty like periods and understanding your parents, but this one does and they do it perfectly. Even for those watching who cannot relate to Mei's experience, it's a great watch to see where she and other girls may be coming from.
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7/10
Slightly cringey but what 13 year old girl isn't?!
vicanderson-6511111 March 2022
There's a reason this movie is a PG and not a U! Everyone having a little turn because a 13 year old girl is given some maxi pads and has crushes on boys - it's not woke, it's reality.

And if you have a problem with characters wearing turbans/hijabs, then I really think you need to look deep inside yourself!

This movie doesn't feel like a Disney/Pixar because it's cringey and has anime elements - but it's still fun, and my 10 and 8 year old boys had no problem at all with seeing sanitary protection because guess what, they see it in our bathroom every day!
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1/10
Good thing I didn't pay to watch this.
Eleete_8815 March 2022
Talk about two of the most irritating characters Pixar has ever created. The overbearing mother Ming and her overly dramatic daughter Mei, made this film extremely difficult to watch. Both characters were beyond insufferable! Pixar is completely losing its touch! This is the 3rd film in a row they make, that I would not want to watch more than once.
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2/10
First Pixar movie I've disliked
fibrowarrior8912 March 2022
I'm normally a huge fan of Pixar. There hasn't ever been one that I haven't enjoyed. The movie did not feel like Pixar, it felt like I was watching anime with CGI. The animation felt like a mix of Disney and cartoon network, and it lacked the magic that makes Pixar films special. There were a few spots that made me laugh and that I found endearing, but overall I wish I could have gotten my time back.
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4/10
Beautifully animated cringe.
benjaminskylerhill13 March 2022
Well, the animation is often creative and incorporates some anime elements to highlight the culture on display.

Let's see...what else positive can I say?... There is an attempt at strong characterization as Mei learns to be independent and learns the value of her independence. But it comes across as hollow because from the film's opening scene she says that she takes pride in being independent. So, there's no change in values for her. She just becomes more outspoken.

Also, I found the movie rather distasteful in that it seems to encourage rebelling against your parents because they'll never understand you, as opposed to appreciating what they do for you and having honest, open two-way communication with them.

Lastly, good gracious this is one of the most cringe-inducing films I've ever seen. The writing and dialogue often comes across as a horribly dated Disney channel movie from 2002. The movie is loud, anxious, and obnoxious for almost the entirety of its runtime.

This is Pixar's first true misstep since Cars 2. I guess they can do wrong.
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7/10
A film aimed at women...but that doesn't mean guys can't enjoy it as well.
planktonrules30 April 2022
My oldest daughter was thrilled as we watched "Turning Red", as she really could relate to the main character, Mei and her struggles with the emergence of puberty. It's something that might make many men uncomfortable...but it IS a part of life that has long been ignored in movies. So, while the film is clearly a metaphor for a girl's first period, it's pretty amazing that any film would talk about this in any way....and my advice to guys is just accept it and enjoy the story. As a father with two daughters, I got over my fears of female sexuality and puberty long ago....and like the film seems to say, it's NOT a curse or something that should be a taboo.

Mei Lin is an 8th grader whose transition to puberty is MUCH worse than she could have imagined. This is because party of puberty is also the onset of a family curse (or gift...depending how you look at it). What is the curse? Well, when women from this Chinese-Canadian family lose their emotional control, they literally become giant red pandas. Now red pandas are about the cutest animals on the planet, but a 7 foot (or larger) red panda is difficult to explain!! The film is about Mei Lin's struggle...as well as how her mother and extended family also struggle with this beast within them.

As you'd expect from Pixar, the animation is lovely and the film looks pretty. I also appreciated the daring plot. My only regret is that the first half of the story is great...the last half is a bit formulaic...especially the big confrontation scene between Mei Lin and her mother at the stadium. It's not at all bad....just a bit disappointing. Overall, it's a film girls will adore and guys will like IF they let themselves appreciate and aren't afraid to see a film about girls' first period.
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6/10
My daughter and her friends didn't finish it
zorro_4213 March 2022
Interesting. I thought my 14 year old & her 13 yr old friend would have loved this movie. We waited for it to come out and they had a movie night. 3/4 of the way through they were bored and switched to the Nintendo switch. They said they didn't really "get" what the point of the story was and they lost interest. Head scratcher. I need to watch it myself but if the target audience don't enjoy it - is it really for them?
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1/10
Underwhelming and annoying
Nagitokomeda10 March 2022
This film has a decent premise. But the plot and characters feel very cliche and boring, with the main theme being a good message but poorly portrayed.

The art style is HORRIBLE. The character models look like some cheap bowling alley screen display characters.

This film lacks Disney Pixars magic. What happened to the creativity of Monsters Inc, Up, Coco?
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8/10
Turning Red is undoubtedly the riskiest, possibly the most divisive work in Pixar history. But also one of the best movies of the year until this day.
msbreviews12 March 2022
If you enjoy reading my Spoiler-Free thoughts, please follow my blog to read my full review :)

"Turning Red is undoubtedly the riskiest, possibly the most divisive work in Pixar history. Without any remorse or restraint, Domee Shi and Julia Cho unapologetically approach the sensitive topic of (female) puberty in a quite shocking, positively impactful manner.

A narrative that unquestionably explores the hormonal, emotional, and sexual developments of its characters, conveying a message of self-acceptance and understanding of human evolution through its metaphors loaded with youthful excitement.

With the well-known technical attributes from the successful studio, this film will serve as an essential companion for all pre-teens who will deal with or are going through this inevitable and "inconvenient" phase of life.

One of the best movies of the year until this day."

Rating: A-
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2/10
Yep, Pixar lost it
guillermomirp14 March 2022
Let me put it this way: a genius way to present a subject is to make it so watchable from so many angles that it will represent something to each viewer. Take Mafalda comics as example: once can read it is a kid, as a teenager or as an adult. It makes different senses, it means different things.

That was Pixar's films from its start to 2010 or so.

Since then, each new film has the same audience target. And it's not me. It's every time ticking the same boxes: friendship, family, self-maturing. With a touch of magic or oneirism.

Visuals are great, music is blah, jokes are nah, it is not super enjoyable and it is very much forgettable.

I hope animation gets out of this dark age.
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2/10
Excellent first half, Very Terrible second half.
charlieedmond15 March 2022
The movie delivers it's message quite strongly in the beginning but as the story goes on, things become more and more weird and I think it's mainly because Pixar is out of touch with the younger generation and didn't know how to progress the story whilst keeping the underlying message.

The scenes where the movie spiraled downhill was particularly when the kids started making money by selling their photos of the Panda and doing all kinds of weird favors, it just tacks on with a weird undertone which I think is one of the more toxic traits being reinforced in the younger generation. You would think that students who get straight A's would know of better ways to make money than selling photos of their appearance. (That is how poor the message became in the second half, that their value is based on their appearance)

The story could've easily become something more wholesome, but they were clearly lazy in the writing.

I mean, if a twerking Panda is a positive trait then maybe I'm the one who is out of touch.
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2/10
Only watch if you're a preteen girl
JakeBrinkman12 March 2022
The animation is really, really good, as expected from Pixar, but they wasted it by making their first film to completely break their mold by having a target audience. Pretty much every one of their movies attempts to be likable by all people of all ages, so I'm not sure why they did this, but the movie is solely targeted at preteen girls and no one else at all, and the plot is entirely focused on explaining puberty. The plot is weird and awkward, and every moment of screentime jumps back and forth between extremely cringey or mind-numbingly cliche. At least it has a consistent plot, so it's still better than Encanto, but not by much.
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6/10
I miss the usual Pixar
eryui13 March 2022
The idea, the metaphor is not bad, coming of age or rather turning red (and honor your parents but stay yourself). Pixar production and graphics as good as ever. What is missing in the latest productions, in my opinion, is the genius of Pixar. They seem closer and closer to a typical Disney production, beautiful and musical but not brilliant.

This decline, I fear, may be due to an excess of production wanted by the Disney company, and I understand it but, there is a big difference between a tailor's shop and an industrial distribution of clothing.

Although I am an adult (and perhaps for this reason), I loved Pixar because in the past its target has never been solely that of children, they have included adults. Outstanding Pixar movies like "Wall-e", "Up", "Inside / Out", "Coco", "Finding Nemo" and Dory, also "Soul", even more than the still wonderful "The Incredibles", "Toy Story", "Ratatouille" , "Cars" etc. They bring with them messages, often moving, that do not concern only our children but also adults. Indeed, some messages are not immediately understandable by a very child / adolescent audience but they leave the fun to them anyway. In fact liked these movies as much as my son did.

This latest movie as well as "Brave", to a lesser extent also "Luca", show a slight flattening to Disney standards which I'm not saying are bad but they lack that typical modern tell and sneaky, Pixar genius.
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1/10
Garbage
allismile26 March 2022
What is the message here? Parents doing their best to raise their kids right are completely wrong and should allow their kids to do and be whatever they want. This isn't just the classic parent just don't understand storyline it's much worse- it's parents are wrong if they stand in their children's way. No parent is prefect, and some put too much pressure on their kids, but this is more of an attack on conservative values and pushing the agenda of allowing kids to do and be whatever society influences them to be. Like everything in life, balance is the key to figuring out the complexities of our identity- this movie goes to the opposite extreme of strict parenting. Horrible message for kids and families alike.
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8/10
East Meets West Coming of Age Story
view_and_review14 March 2022
"Turning Red" is an East meets West coming of age story with some "I've become my mother" as well.

The movie takes place in 2002 Toronto. The main character was Meilin (pronounced May-leen (Rosalie Chiang)), an effervescent Canadian thirteen-year-old of Chinese heritage. She was like most teens with parents: she behaved one way at home and totally differently at school. Still, she was a good girl with straight A's and friends. With her friends she was outgoing, sassy, and a ham. With her mother, Ming (Sandra Oh), she was obedient, helpful, and much more toned down. It wasn't like she was repressed at home, she loved helping her mother and pleasing her mother, it's just that her mother was a helicopter parent--always hovering over her.

One of Meilin's loves was 4-Town, a five-member boy band like Nsync or Backstreet Boys. 4 Town, and boys in general, is where Meilin's desires came to a head with her mother's opposition.

One ordinary day Meilin woke up a giant red panda. That would freak out anyone. She did her best to hide it and found that calming down actually made her transform back to normal, with the exception of red hair. She was going to keep the secret to herself until her mother absolutely humiliated her at school which brought the panda out of her. It was then that her mother had to have the "I was looking for the right time to tell you" talk. That part of the movie was very much like "Teen Wolf" (1985) when Michael J. Fox woke up and was a werewolf and his parents already knew about it.

"Turning Red" was funny, upbeat, and entertaining. I enjoyed Meilin and her crew: Miriam (Ava Morse), Abby (Hyein Park), and Priya (Maiteyi Ramakrishnan). They all had their own distinct personalities, they weren't shy or ashamed, and together they made a very amusing quartet. Ming, Miriam's mother, was equally hilarious. Even though what she did was often mortifying for Meilin, it was done in such a humorous and entertaining fashion.

The whole movie came together quite nicely. The story was good and the characters were all a joy to watch. It was emotional without being depressing or a tearjerker. It was the type of emotionality I look for in an animation.
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1/10
Movie Changes Midway Through
Josef Tura-213 March 2022
The beginning of the movie is a beautiful and cute description of life as a preteen. But just around the halfway mark the storytelling basically stops and there's nothing but hammer-blow-subtle messaging. If you agree with the message you may not dislike it as much but even you will have to concede the sloppy storytelling and dramatic shift in tone.
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1/10
Clumsy metaphors and a toxic mother
steven_kearns12 March 2022
Straight out the gate this movie not appropriate for all ages and those involved should be ashamed for not giving prior warnings to parents. I have no idea what movie those scoring this highly were watching but it's certainly not the movie I watched.

The main character is extremely arrogant and just not relatable or likeable and the mother is so far beyond controlling that she's a borderline psychopath and of course the father is just some overweight dude there for appearances.

I've no idea what message this sends to kids but it's not that puberty is natural and part of life but that it's a bizarre rollercoaster and you can pretty much do anything you want when experiencing it.
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5/10
One of Pixar's worst films
jancape12 March 2022
Pixar often has a reputation of tugging at your heartstrings while delivering on emotional, intelligent storytelling, and lovable characters. This movie has none of that.

What is has are: Annoying and one note characters that act like caricatures. Seriously, there's the tomboy, Asian stereotype, deadpan snarker, bully, tiger mom, etc.

A basic message of accepting who you are that they beat you over the head with.

A tired depiction of preteen girls as overly emotional and boy crazy. They tried to adapt the style of anime where characters act in an overexaggerated manner and it just comes of as really cringy.

This is the only Pixar movie I struggled to watch from start to end and would probably never watch again.
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9/10
Just because it's animated doesn't mean it's for kids
aandb200113 March 2022
Pay attention to the rating.

It's PG = Parental Guidance.

It's not intended for 8 year olds.

Read the storyline. Read the reviews that have spoilers.

I found it a refreshing and light hearted look at the relationships smart and funny young girls have with each other, with their peers, and with their parents.

Yes they "lie" to try and go to a concert. Yes, the girls have crushes on boys. Yes they focus on the main character needing to be NOT overly dramatic. These things happen in real life to 13 year olds.

But they also show incredibly close relationships within family and extended family. They show how important respect for your elders is.
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