When It comes to Pixar, I’m all in for anything they make, I’m a huge Pixar fan, and I was very excited when Turning Red was announced, It had a great style and I thought it would be a fun story, I was also very happy that this was Dome Shi’s directorial debut, since she won an Oscar with her short Bao I expected great Asian representation and that charming feel Bao had.
And it actually did have all those things, I really liked Turning Red, the characters were fun, the story had a great meaning showing both sides of two different cultures mashed into one, the overly exaggerated dramatic moments Mei had during the film, the music was fitting and overall I thought it was a solid film. But the negative reviews, racist comments, and Christian censorship online made it hard for people to watch the film.
It seems like nowadays nothing is taken seriously, especially animation, it’s hard enough for creators to break the stigma of animated movies being only for kids, and when they tell a personal story or touch on more adult themes or just make something people always see the bad side of it. Turning Red was not only accused of being racist but also about having subliminal messages of anti-Christian propaganda.
Turning Red is about how different cultures impact children with immigrant family, it’s about the relationship of a mother and a daughter trying to understand each other, it’s about friends and growing up to find yourself, about puberty and how it can affect young girls, the message is pretty clear. But still people are disliking it for no reason. The topics about puberty are discussed in a very discreet and humorous way, making it feel natural because well it is, and the strangest thing for me is that parents are not comfortable with their kids watching this movie because of those subjects.
At some point in a kids life there’s gotta be a conversation and education about sexuality and puberty, if there’s no proper education then kids will become inexperienced adults that will likely make mistakes, that’s why movies like Turning Red are important for kids to not just see but also understand. I respect peoples opinions and I think it’s ok to dislike something, but not to hate and talk poorly on a film that had a whole team working hard on it to tell a story.
Animation is powerful and it can impact not just a kid but adults too, films like this tell stories that talk about real subjects in a different way, making it relateable and personal, I loved Turning Red so I recommend you watch it and make your own opinion about it.