Movie Review: Pixar’s Turning Red

While Disney’s previous film Encanto centered on generational trauma, its new film Turning Red focuses on the coming-of-age story of a teenager trying to control her emotions in a complicated family. Read on for a full review of Disney and Pixar’s Turning Red.


In Turning Red, Meilin Lee (Rosalie Chang) is a teenager who finds herself butting heads with her Cantonese mother Ming (Sandra Oh.)  Mei feels the immense weight of the expectations of perfect grades on her shoulders but soon finds her interests changing.  Instead of schoolwork and the flute, her interests include the most popular boy band “4 Town” plus burgeoning crushes on a boy that works in a local bodega. 

Big emotions combined with hormones make Mei change into a huge red panda causing absolute chaos in her school life and home life.  

turning red review

The character of Meilin is endearing, she’s just a teenager trying to navigate her love for a boy band and the expectations of her overbearing mother.  Mei is also a bit of an oddball and has an equally unique set of friends, each unique and their common theme is their love and support for Mei. 

Mei’s friendships and even her relationship with her mom have lots of up and downs, mostly due to big teenage emotions but Turning Red does a good job of portraying forgiveness between the characters.  There is also a sense of 2000s nostalgia which is a refreshing feeling throughout the film especially when spotting things like Dance Dance Revolution.

While some parts of the plot are predictable (mom + daughter drama) it’s the animation that takes this film to the next level.  Every single flutter of fur or fabric brings each character to life.  Turning Red’s colors are bold and beautiful, especially the dreamlike sequences in which Mei Lee and her panda coexist. Ultimately Turning Red is a coming-of-age story with lots of bold colors and even bolder laughs.

Rating: 4/5 stars


Activate Red Panda Mode When Disney and Pixar’s Turning Red Bursts onto Digital April 26 and 4K Ultra HD™, Blu-ray™ and DVD May 3! The DVD will include never-before-seen bonus material including seven deleted scenes, three featurettes and audio commentary with Director Domee Shi. 

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