Pixar’s newest movie, “Turning Red”, which was released this past week, has received multiple mixed reviews by viewers. The film follows 13-year-old Meilin, or Mei, a Chinese-Canadian as she navigates puberty, growing up, and identity. For the most part, she is a typical young girl, battling bullies, trying to please her mom, and hanging out with her friends. However, her experience with puberty is exacerbated as she begins to turn into a giant red panda whenever she finds herself experiencing strong emotions. Many enjoyed this movie, raving about the fact that the awkwardness of growing up and puberty should be discussed more and put into movies to increase awareness and lower the feelings of being alone.
turning red has led to many women bonding over the fact that as tweens we were little gremlins who had ~niche~ obsessions that we filled fanart/fanfic notebooks with, 100/10 ty domee shi and julia cho
— Gretchen 🌻 (@gretchen_smail) March 14, 2022
However, there was still some controversy in the film, as there will be. Some complained that the movie was too mature for children’s audiences. Though some tried to reiterate that it was PG, not just G, and clearly marketed for older children, some said that the adorable, giant red panda suggested otherwise, especially since it was on Disney+. In one scene, the main character doodles her and another boy kissing or the other boy as a mermaid, which some said was explicit. Others argued that it was completely PG, as it was not suggestive, and was not worse than any of the other kissing scenes found in Disney movies.
It is alittle much for younger viewers. Not bc of the period stuff but the sexual/ animal drawings 😳. I think the movie is for 13+ personally.
— My oh Mya (@mya_swag_) March 14, 2022
Others noted that the discussion of puberty should be normalized, as everyone eventually experiences it, and is not inherently sexual. Still, some thought that the material was too mature for younger children and that there should be some kind of warning before parents allow their children to watch. Another argument people had was that the movie was not relatable enough. However, many wondered how movies about bugs or rats, which are characters that have been included before in Pixar movies, would be more relatable than this film. And, many brought up the fact that not all movies are meant to be relatable to your experience and can still be enjoyed.
Men are complaining that Turning Red wasn’t “relatable” like other Pixar movies, so I guess it’s easier for them to relate to bugs, toys, monsters, cars, rats, elves, or robots than it is to relate to actual human girls.
— The Volatile Mermaid (@OhNoSheTwitnt) March 13, 2022
Overall, it seems like women are enjoying the movie more, which should not be a surprise. There are not many movies that highlight young adult women, especially experiencing their period and other aspects of puberty, in a positive and accurate way. Many felt the movie did a great job portraying teenage girls being “weird” and not having to change for this and portrayed how hard it can be to be a teenager.