Runtime 1 hr. and 40 minutes
Released: March 11, 2022
Starring: Rosalie Chiang, Sandra Oh, James Hong
Streaming on Disney Plus
The year is 2003 and we are set in Toronto, TURNING RED focuses on 13-year-old Meilin “Mei” Lee a rule-following elementary school kid who’s the only child of her overprotective Asian parents. They run a Buddhist temple in the city’s Chinatown. Mei and her three best friends — Miriam (Ava Morse), Priya (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), and Abby (Hyein Park) — are head over heels with popular boy-band 4Town and crush on a boy they frequent at the convenience store. Teenage years are not so easy though with changes that are both physical and emotional there are some crazy hijinks coming our way. One morning, Mei wakes up transformed as a red panda. She finds out that the metamorphosis is an ancestral rite of passage for the women in her family when they reach puberty, but that a lunar ceremony can confine the panda into an amulet. Since strong emotions can bring on the transformation, Mei must call upon all her meditation skills to resist the change until the ceremony can take place. That works for a while until her friends convince her that changing into the panda could be fun — and lucrative.
Pixar tells the coming of age and puberty story in a relatable way to older kids. Even with all the focus on girl power the onset of high-strung emotions, boys we all fell for, and our changing moods. It’s all done playfully without being overbearing. We also relate to the bonds of our BFFs and how they are our rock when family isn’t the best place for a teenage girl to confide in. We especially see this in Mei’s relationship with her mom.
This is a movie that moms should definitely watch with their daughters going through during their teenage years. They can both reminisce about their time of the month, all the physical changes they have to endure, all the hormones and emotional feelings, and even more significant, mental health and self-care. The topic crosses all generations and even males can get a sense of what really happens when she grows up. It not really
recommended for children below 10 as they will not have any real clue of the story or what the adults are talking about.