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Review: Turning Red

Title: Turning Red
MPAA Rating: PG
Director: Domee Shi
Starring: Rosalie Chang, Sandra Oh, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan
Runtime: 1 hr 40 mins

What It Is: 13-year-old Meilin (Chang) is a girl whose biggest concern is making sure she makes her parents proud. But as she comes into her womanhood it’s discovered that whenever she gets upset she turns into a giant red panda. Couple this with teenage angst and a desire to go to a concert featuring her favorite boy band and the pressures of life are certainly there. Can she figure out exactly how to deal with it all without giving in to the panda?

What We Think: This is a fun, funny, and fairly smart piece of animated cinema. Chang’s voiceover work as Meilin is well done and Sandra Oh is perfect as Meilin’s mom Ming. The script is pretty well put together and the subtext of the story, while overt is interesting and makes its statement well. That subtext was seen as a bit of controversy when the film debuted and I really feel as though those of you who made that a thing, well missed the point. Being that it’s a Pixar release you know the animation is sharp and the film itself is funny.

Our Grade: B, This is one that I went into with high expectations and it mostly hit them. The lessons in womanhood and diversity are something we could all stand to sit back and listen to. It’s a film written by Asian women, directed by an Asian woman, and about Asian women. Diversity is as important as it has ever been and seeing an underserved population get it’s due is something I’m all about. That the film is also another excellent entry in Pixar’s filmography is just a further feather in the cap of American animations greatest studio.

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