Turning Red (2022) Movie Review
"Growing Up Is A Beast"
Disney Pixar's Turning Red was probably one of the most huggable and surprising films they have created. A mixture of laughs, cuteness, and much Asian culture surrounds this film like a big call out to their heritage.
Plus, there's a giant red panda who is too cute to handle.
Turning Red follows the story of a young teenager named Meilin Lee or Mei. She lives in Toronto, Canada, with her parents, Ming and Jin. Mei helps take care of their family's temple and works to make her mother proud. However, she keeps secrets about her friends being fans of the boyband 4-Town. Her mother, Ming, is overprotective and gets angry when she finds out Mei has a crush on Devon, a 17-year-old convenience store clerk.
One night, Mei dreamt of red pandas in a spiritual forest. She discovers she has transformed into a huge red panda when she wakes up. She hides it from her parents and discovers she can only transform if her emotions are high. She successfully reverts back to her normal form except for the color of her hair, which is red. She proceeds to go to school while her mom follows her. Ming discovers that Mei's hair has changed and humiliates her at school. Mei panicked and transformed into a red panda. She runs home crying.
Ming and Jin explain to Mei that her transformation is because their ancestor, Sun Yee, was granted this ability to protect her village and daughters. All her female descendants have the same qualities. Since modern times, this unwanted transformation has been inconvenient, so they made a way to seal it through a talisman on a ritual night during a lunar eclipse. Mei's friends find her transformation cute and help her control her emotions.
Turning Red is a fun coming-of-age animated movie with many cute features and character designs while tangling with Asian culture and beliefs. There are a few moments that made me laugh, and the red panda is irresistible.
This is an easy-to-understand and easy-to-appreciate movie with many scenes that would make you a throwback to your teenage or early adult days.
You cannot deny there is a close resemblance to the Totoro design from the highly acclaimed Studio Ghibli classic My Neighbor Totoro. Similarly, the fun, exciting, and happy parts are the same.
A good 4 out of 5 stars.