When Pixar introduced the world to Toy Story, it changed the way we look at animated films altogether. It’s been years since the studio has blessed mankind with amazing animated stories meant for both children and adults! And Pixar is back again with their latest film aka Turning Red.

Turning Red revolves around a 13-year-old girl who wakes up to find that she has turned into a giant red panda. This movie is comparatively different from what Pixar has been usually doing. This time the movie doesn’t focus on a toy or a monster. Meilin Lee is a Chinese Canadian girl who is confident and lives in Toronto. She is extremely intelligent and wants to make her parents proud, especially her mother who has some crazy high expectations from her.

Mei has her own set of responsibilities like doing everything needed to become U.N. Secretary and helping her parents maintain the family’s temple. However, her life turns upside down when she wakes up as the red panda.

Pixar movie
Mei turns into a Red Panda

What Makes Turning Red Different?

Turning Red
Mei with her friends who accept her as the panda

For starters, it is the first Pixar film that is solely directed by a woman. Domee Shi not only directed the film but has also co-written it. And the movie also has the studio’s first Asian lead character (of course we aren’t taking Russell into consideration because he was the second lead in Up).

Another interesting thing is that Meilin doesn’t suffer from insecurities like other women Moana, Elsa, Rapunzel. And she is not bullied and fits in effortlessly. Fans have actually loved how they even handled periods in the film. When Mei screams after seeing herself as a panda in the bathroom, her mother is asking her if “the red peony bloomed?”. Not only that, but Ming also barged in with a huge box that had painkillers and numerous pads and she starts with her, “You’re becoming a woman”.

Domee Shi has won an Oscar for her short story, Bao. And while talking to Toronto Life, she said, “I wanted to explore this adolescent girl going through bodily and emotional changes and her relationship with the most important person in her life, her mother. And I wanted to combine it with the red panda, which I think is the cutest animal on the planet.”

Turning Red on Asian Community:

Turning Red
Ming catching Mei’s notebook

The movie focuses on the Asian community in Toronto and 4 teenage girls who obsess over boys, especially the boy band (maybe they wanted to somehow represent a boy band like the BTS). The movie is also inspired by Chinese culture and mythology. The movie is full of twists and ideas which deserve some appreciation.

Be it hormonal teenage lust, friendship, family, or ancient Chinese mythology and Gods, the movie will surely mark your heart warm. It was quite sad that the film didn’t get a theatre release and had to go straight on Disney+. But trust us, you don’t want to miss it.

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