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Disney Pixar’s ‘Turning Red’ is worth the watch

Disney Pixar’s ‘Turning Red’ is worth the watch

Disney Pixar’s ‘Turning Red’ is worth the watch
March 26
10:24 2022

Caution: Spoilers ahead.

Pixar has always strived to push storytelling forward and bring it to new heights. They’ve created plenty of classics and stories that can be enjoyed by anyone no matter their age, gender or demographic. How does their latest film “Turning Red” fare compared to Pixar’s other films?

“Turning Red” focuses on Chinese-Canadian teen Meilin “Mei” Lee who resides in 2002 Toronto with her parents, including her perfectionist and overbearing mother. Like most teenagers, she enjoys spending time with her friends Miriam, Priya and Abby and enjoys the music of a popular boy band. In this case, the boy band is a group known as 4*Town despite having five members, which leads to one of the funniest lines from the film.

During the film, she discovers a secret about herself and her family which had been hidden all of her life. Mei learns that like her ancestors, when she gets emotional, she transforms into a red panda. Mei also hopes to attend 4*Town’s concert, which would be her and her friend’s first step into womanhood.

Due to the expectations placed on her by her family and this time in her life that’s causing her stress and anguish, Mei must figure out whether to accept this new part of herself or suppress it for the sake of what others want. Can Mei handle her inner red panda or will it be too difficult to keep in check?

I’ll admit that when I saw the trailers and promotional material, I had mixed on how the movie was going to turn out. On one hand, I was looking forward to the film since the story seemed quite promising and had tons of potential. However, the trailers did have moments that were soaked in cringe and had me worried about the quality of the film.

Putting the promotional material aside, how was the film? Well, I will admit I think the movie did have its moments and was even good, but unfortunately, I can’t say I’d call it great. Which is OK. But, I won’t be a negative Nancy — I’ll get the moments I didn’t care for out of the way.

The humor was inconsistent. It could be downright hilarious, but the jokes often died. This mostly came from when the film went to the mindset that goofy and exaggerated faces automatically mean laughs and there were times that the film tried too hard to be funny.

Despite the moments I didn’t care for, I wouldn’t call this film a failure. In fact, there’s a lot about it to praise. For one thing, this film does a solid job of showing the difficulties one faces when dealing with the changes that come with puberty and wanting to be yourself while not wanting to disappoint your parents and their expectations.

The animation and colors are breath taking, the acting’s solid, the setting has a lot to offer and the jokes, when on point, can be quite funny. I’ll be honest and admit a certain moment from the later part of the film was close to bringing me to tears. I won’t spoil it, but reconciliation’s involved. This is not the first Disney film this decade to show it and that’s a good thing.

Like puberty, “Turning Red” can awkward, embarrassing and not always easy to handle, but the good that can come from it makes it all worthwhile. Domee Shi, the director and co-writer of this film, and everyone else involved did an excellent job making it and they should all be praised for their hard work. I would highly recommend checking out “Turning Red” and “Embrace the Panda: Making Turning Red,” the documentary about making the film, for yourself and seeing first-hand what you feel about it.

Grant’s final rating: 4/5 

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Grant Tittle

Grant Tittle

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