Pixar's Turning Red is a bold and ambitious film about a Chinese Canadian girl who is transformed into a panda. The story is about a young woman who discovers that she is red, just like a panda. Aside from the wonderful visuals, this film has some great ideas, and the underlying message is one of relatability. While the subject matter is universal, the film is especially relevant to Asian audiences. Its setting and conceit are also based on Asian adolescence, but its premise is a little wild. The story follows 13-year-old Meilin Lee, a straight-A student, who helps run a temple honoring her Chinese ancestors. East Asian influences are evident throughout the film, as well as in its character designs. For example, Mei's panda has the plush proportions of a Toy Story character. Meanwhile, the action-filled climax is reminiscent of Godzilla and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
This is a dazzling movie that is a must-see for any movie lover. Despite its obvious East Asian influences, Turning Red lacks maturity and has an ethos that is shortsighted. Themes about sexuality, friendship, and family life are explored. The narrator of the movie, Mei, is a straight-A student, but she is still a troubled adolescent, with a family history rooted in Chinese culture.
I'm excited because with Luca and this movie it feels like Pixar is finally evolving past being the "by dads, for dads" studio — smeallie (@KyleSmeallie) February 25, 2022