turning red is here but it’s not your typical Pixar movie does it break some of the company’s established rules and if it does is that even really a bad thing Turning Red may not be one of the best Pixar movies ever, but it has a powerful message that stands among the greats.
Here’s the thing: though turning red doesn’t feel like what we’re used to with Pixar, why is it so surprisingly specific in its perspective? We follow a 13-year-old Chinese girl, Mei, who lives in Toronto, Canada in the early 2000s. Her transformation into a red panda is meant to be puberty.
Pixar’s Turning Red Movie Review
That’s what she’s going through. Checking all the boxes of Mei’s identity is something that not a lot of people can identify with, which begs the question: The question was, was the audience for turning red too specific? Was this movie appealing to only a small group of people? Long story short, no overachieving dork narc, I accept and embrace all labels.
This is different than other Pixar movies, but that’s a good thing because, in the past, Pixar stories generally appealed to universal audiences. Toy Story is about growing up with toys and what happens when you don’t need them anymore. INC was about the fear of monsters and the unknown.
Again, what most of us have been through with Wall-e is the entire human race getting lazier and relying on technology. It’s a problem for everyone, inside and out. It’s about the complex nature of feelings, which we all have. I could keep going here.
I think you get the idea. Of course, not everyone is Chinese, or a young girl going through puberty, or someone living in Canada. When she was all of those things, she got to share her personal story with the world, and it’s a perspective we don’t get to hear about much.
Not only that, but this personal nature also feels unique in the topics it handles. When was the last time we got a massive animated movie that dived into puberty and generational trauma at the same time? Producer Lindsay Collins talked about this during an interview.
Did you have any producer worries about how audiences may react to these very real, yet somehow still taboo topics? No, not really. I think I was laughing too. I thought it was always done with so much sweetness to it or innocence to it. It is a mom struggling to be a good mom in that moment of like, let’s talk about it, knowing full well she doesn’t want to talk about it. The daughter doesn’t want to talk about it.
Nobody wants to talk about it. I think that fumbling is because, as much as you’re like, “oh hey, I’m going to be more evolved, I’m going to talk about it with great sensitivity and a matter of effectiveness, you stumble your way through it. I don’t want to make this worse.
Trying to make
I’m just trying to make it better, and, invariably, you stumble into it and make it worse by trying to be delicate with it. So I just thought it had so much truth to it that I was like, “There’s no way that an audience is going to see this as inappropriate.”
It’s such an honest and funny portrayal of a moment that we’ve all gone through at least once, if not twice, or once on either side. At first, turning perspective feels like a limiting one, but that’s also what makes it special. Betting on DomDomi, her personal story gets to step into someone else’s shoes and understand what they’ve been through.
Domed had the freedom to make the movie exactly how she wanted, with a lot of things from the original pitch making it into the final version. It’s the kind of pixPixarory that’s different but refreshing. Turning red feels like the start of a new era.