Few Disney films have been as controversial as one of Disney and Pixar’s newest films — Turning Red. The film told the story of Canadian pre-teen Mei Lee, who transforms into a giant red panda when her emotions get the best of her. Unfortunately, as anyone who has gone through puberty knows, your emotions pretty much always get the best of you. The film was the talk of Disney fans around the world for weeks before it was released, as many found the material too adult for Disney and Pixar’s younger audience.
Ultimately, Turning Red did not perform as well as other big Pixar films like Toy Story, UP, or Coco, but it received mostly positive reviews from both critics and audiences. However, you may remember one review that went viral for its take that the movie wasn’t meant for anyone who wasn’t a young, Asian girl. The site received so much backlash they pulled the review. Those who enjoyed the film thought that it told an important story that is still considered taboo, even though it shouldn’t be.
One major entertainment site thought the film was so good that it put Turning Red on its “10 Best Films of 2022 (So Far)”. The Hollywood Reporter‘s film reviewers compiled the list and placed Turning Red on it. The reviewers loved the family story that Turning Red shared in an unconventional and often-ignored manner, saying the following:
A 13-year-old Chinese Canadian girl is torn between remaining a dutiful daughter and liberating her wild side when heightened emotions suddenly start transforming her into a giant red panda in this funny, tender Pixar charmer. Sandra Oh brings her quick wit to the role of the protagonist’s controlling mom.
Haven’t had the chance to watch Turning Red yet? Here is the film’s official description from Disney:
Disney and Pixar’s Turning Red introduces Mei Lee (voice of Rosalie Chiang), a confident, dorky 13 year-old torn between staying her mother’s dutiful daughter and the chaos of adolescence. Her protective, if not slightly overbearing mother, Ming (voice of Sandra Oh), is never far from her daughter – an unfortunate reality for the teenager. And as if changes to her interests, relationships and body weren’t enough, whenever she gets too excited (which is practically ALWAYS), she “poofs” into a giant red panda! Directed by Academy Award winner Domee Shi (Pixar short Bao) and produced by Lindsey Collins.
Turning Red is currently available to stream on Disney+.