Turning Red Review

*You kidding me..

IMDB Synopsis

Mei Lee is a 13-year-old girl who is torn between being her mother’s obedient daughter and the chaos of her youth. As if that were not enough, when she gets too excited, she turns into a big red panda.

“My Panda, My Choice”

Another new Pixar movie you say? Wow it feels like I mark time in my life by when these movies come out. I mean since I started this blog alone I have reviewed TOY STORY 4, ONWARD, SOUL, LUCA, and now their latest effort TURNING RED. They continue to uphold their reputation by telling stories that appeal to all ages, and find ways to explain common things in life with incredible metaphors.

TURNING RED is in the new line of these movies though that has been released on Disney+ only which has been a source of controversy online. These movies deserve to be seen on the biggest and most immersive screens possible, so for me it is sad they are not getting that chance. But, I do understand the business perspective from Disney of course. Enough about that though and let’s get to the ratings.

Animation – A-

The movie looked great as pretty much every Pixar movie. There are some incredibly fun animation sequences though like the opening narration, and the money making montage, that are just so exciting to look at though. I also thought the Panda’s all looked great and really popped off the screen like the great Pixar characters tend to do.

Voice Cast – B

Not a ton of superstars in the cast but everyone here did an awesome job with their characters. Rosalie Chiang in particular was incredible as Mei because the character was so energetic and so exciting that her voice and energy needed to match that, and she nails it. Sandra Oh, probably the biggest star in the movie, also brings so much to the character of her mother and is the bedrock of that relationship in the movie.

Music – A-

This movie really shined in this department. You have up and coming legend Ludwig Göransson getting his chance to make an asian influenced Pixar score. You also get original songs written by Billie Eilish (ever heard of her) and Finneas O’Connell, that are in the style of an early 2000’s boy band. All of it is very fun and gives the movie a real unique style as far as the sounds are concerned.

Story – C

I loved the idea that her Panda was a metaphor for Puberty, it almost felt like a tamer version of BIG MOUTH on Netflix. I thought that idea was really fleshed out and everything that her mom was doing felt natural to how mom’s react in those situations. I also read that Domee Shi who directed the movie (and the incredible short BAO) wrote many of these scenes based on her childhood in Toronto. So having that autobiographical element brings more personality to the scenes. What I did not love about this was the wrapping up of the story, because it felt like they took a big page out of the Marvel playbook (another Disney property) and just ended it with a big noisy battle. The story though is about friendship and how friendship can get us through anything. Overall, though I did enjoy a lot of elements to the story even if we had seen a lot of them before.

*A couple other tidbits

  • The food all looked incredible, clearly Shi is amazing at putting animated food on a screen. I particularly liked the Filet Mignon Waffle, and the dumplings.
  • I do think it is interesting Pixar is really focusing on people oriented stories recently than Toys, or Cars, etc..
  • How did those girls get last second floor seats?

Pixar continues to just pump out quality and for their 25th feature film Turning Red does not disappoint. It is not my favorite of their stuff but I think it will have a big audience, especially with girls wanting a story to help them cope with how our bodies evolve.

Juice Rating:

*You can find my 2022 Movie Rankings here.

*You can find my Pixar Rankings here.

*You can find all of my Movie Ratings here.

*You can follow my Letterboxd account here.


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