Movie Reviews

Turning Red Movie Review

Turning Red is another big win by Pixar animations that caught me by surprise with its lovable characters, beautiful animation, and a powerful portrayal of growing up as a woman.

Turning Red is carried by a cast of characters that I immediately fell in love with. Each character (except for Tyler) exudes positive energy that kept a smile on my face the entire time, especially the main character Mei Lee. The amount of love and care that she provides for her friends and family was adorable, and her overcoming the challenges of womanhood was inspiring. If I had a daughter, I would want her to be just like Mei Lee. There is Mei Lee’s mother Ming Lee, who breaks out of the stereotypical “motherly role” in the movie and is portrayed as the head of the household. Clearly the antagonist of this story, Ming Lee is strict and overbearing; but what’s refreshing about her role is that she still has a loving relationship with Mei Lee. Her character isn’t so black and white, Ming Lee has fun with Mei Lee, she has moments of kindness; and she can also be holding her daughter back. Turning Red gives characters like Mei Lee and her mother plenty of depth that make them feel real and easier to relate to.

The animation in Turning Red is incredible. Though at first I had my doubts, I was sold when I realized the style used in this movie was inspired by anime which helped bring out the expressiveness of the characters. Mei Lee’s face when she is going crazy on the flute or drawing pictures of her crush made her look so lifelike in ways that many animated movies can’t replicate. The color scheme of Turning Red reminded me of the previous Pixar film, Luca, where the colors used were bright and popping, giving the movie a cartoonish look that was satisfying to look at. Yet Turning Red also blends the cartoonish color scheme with a darker palette during scenes of turmoil, portraying how Mei Lee’s happy, care-free life is slowly converting into a trapped adulthood. 

What I loved the most about Turning Red was its take on a little girl growing into a woman. This movie did not shy away from the difficulties that young girls go through during puberty, all without portraying it as something to be disgusted or embarrassed by. With the giant red panda as the metaphor, Mei Lee learns to accept and embrace what is natural to her instead of trying to hide it away. The movie also literally shows Mei Lee being given tampons, pads, and pain medication to help deal with the side effects of periods. Turning Red normalizes this and that sends a positive message to not just young girls, but to everyone who watches this movie. It fights against the false stigma that women should be ashamed of their bodies.

Turning Red is a phenomenal movie that should not be missed by families. This movie will definitely make it in people’s top ten Pixar movies list.