Review: Turning Red


Capturing the early 2000’s aesthetic, humor, and charm, “Turning Red” is easily one of the most beautifully animated and furry films released this year. Being enjoyed by both children and adults alike, this film perfectly explains and executes its more mature and adult topics/messages in a way children are able to understand, while also not underestimating itself in the way it is delivered. With its diverse cast and hints of cultural appreciation within the film, it is no wonder the film was a success.

The movie’s high achievement in popularity did come as a bit of a surprise though. “Turning Red” was not released in theaters, but was directly released in Disney+ for immediate streaming and it did amazing. It had over 2.5 million streams just within the first 2 days of its release date, towering over other films that were not as successful when they released on the same streaming service, such as “Raya and The Last Dragon”.

In summary, “Turning Red” follows our protaganist Meilin “Mei” Lee (VA: Rosalie Chiang) as she discovers and tries to hide her new found ability to turn into a giant humanoid red panda. With the help of her besties Priya, Abby, and Miriam (VA’s: Maitryi Ramakrishnan, Hyein Park, and Ava Morse), Meilin learns to suppress the panda by suppressing her emotions. As her journey of self discovery unfolds, Meilin learns that hiding a part of herself is more harmful to her than helpful towards others and that finding a support group that accepts you for who you are can help you move on. 

Throughout the whole movie Meilin deals with many issues that in today’s children’s media are being talked about more due to their importance yet keeps it in a family friendly way so it isn’t too complex for younger audiences to understand.

 Examples of many of these issues that Meinlin deals with throughout the movie are heavy parental expectations, puberty, self worth, and generational trauma. All these experiences are things that many of us have had to go through and the way Meilin reacts, adjusts, explores, and takes in these new and at times scary situations, can really resonate with the audience, giving them a stronger understanding of the concepts the film is trying to reach.

Overall, the movie is a great first watch, but watching it repeatedly, the humor does at times get a bit stale. However, the animation is one of the reasons I rewatched it. Every scene is beautifully animated and full of fun and colorful details that would be impossible to notice on a first watch basis.The story is always fun to watch unfold because of how emotional it is. Overall the film is a great heartfilled adventure, I give it 4/5.