It is scientifically proven puberty changes you but does it convert you into a red furry panda? In a new tale Turning Red by Pixar and Disney, the 13-year-old Meilin Lee has to go through something a little different. Every time she feels a strong emotion, she transforms into a giant red panda.
Turning Red is one of those rare films that emerge on almost every scale, with each character, scene, and banter ending up making it a movie worth watching again and again. The characters are expressive and well-designed, and the lighting is excellent. Pixar made a movie away from realism in 3D animation, which is one of a kind.
Turning Red, directed by Domee Shi, is a coming-of-age movie and narrates the story of young Chinese Canadian girl Meilin Lee, living in Toronto’s Chinatown, with her parents. She depicts every child in an Asian household, an obedient perfect child. Mei is an eager to please overachiever, straight-A student who volunteers at her parents’ temple to honor their Chinese ancestors.
The plot revolves around her experiencing womanhood, crushing over a pop boy band, friendship, and pleasing her mother, Ming. She is a stereotypical Asian mom, considerate to being intrusive. In addition to being heavily involved in her daughter’s studies, strictly monitors her daughter’s social circle in the desperate hope that she will never be too influenced by the Western norms.
Mei is not a perfect daughter as she seems to be; like every teen she has an interest of her own which involves a hardcore obsession on a boyband – 4Town – probably inspired by One Direction and N’ Sync. The film has successfully shown the notion of female friendships through Mei and her three best friends, Abby, Miriam and Priya. The feelings of love and care for a friend could not have been shown in a better way. The problem begins for the young teen, Mei, when after one night she turns into a giant red furry panda and she keeps turning into one every time she feels a strong emotion, either it is anger or happiness. It turns out the conversion is rooted in her ancestry.
The animated film has its own touch of charisma, some graphics appeared to be heavily inspired by Japanese anime. Domee has drenched it in colors, bright blues and red, mellow touch of greens and yellows were all put together very well to pace the movie in its entertaining and heartwarming tale. The quirky teen life humorously came alive in the script. It keeps a person hooked as the one-liners and banters of each character are exchanged.
One of the best parts of Turning Red is how relatable it is. We’ve all had those awkward moments in our teen life that make us shudder. Mei has most likely gotten herself into a worse situation than your embarrassing situation. You can’t help but burst out laughing at her and even feel sorry for her. It also perfectly depicts how Asian mothers are, exceeding every limit to have control on their children. The representation of culture and values have been implemented in their true essence. Moreover, the stereotypical concept of Asian women, how they are emotionless and prefer values over themselves was tackled in this movie.
The movie has emphasized the importance of becoming your own individual. Parents are not vilified and are portrayed as good people with imperfections, and it’s evident that they’re just doing their best, like everyone is. And to some extent, the movie provides a more essential message to adults than to children. You will only drive your children away from you if you do not allow them to make their own decisions and love them as they are, with their imperfections and all.
Overall, this is a fantastic film that combines a lot of laughter with a heartwarming message. I’m hoping that thoughtful, hilarious films like Turning Red might help people connect. Even if people don’t share the same language, culture, or anything, we can all relate to unpleasant situations in life and enjoy them too.