Movie Review: Turning Red



Watch Turning Red now on Disney+.

Sarah Yang, Infographics Editor-in-Chief

On March 11, 2022, Pixar released their animation film Turning Red worldwide. This cute coming-of-age movie highlights Chinese culture and stars Rosalie Chiang as the protagonist, Meilin Lee.


Turning Red is centered around 13 year old Meilin Lee living in Toronto, who is constantly living up to her mother’s “Asian tiger mom’s” expectations, which includes perfect grades, chores, no concerts, and no hanging out with boys. Because of this, Meilin is bullied for having a “psycho mom,” because her mom often follows Meilin to school and watches her. Despite this, Mei has an incredible, supportive friend group, who loves her unconditionally. 

One day, Mei wakes up and finds herself transformed into a red panda. Her parents then explain this is a gene from her mother’s side and only a ritual performed under the red moon can reverse the transformation. Whenever Mei expresses any kind of strong emotion, she transforms. The next red moon happens to fall on the day when 4-Town (a famous boy band) is performing in Toronto. Mei and her friends are obsessed with 4-Town, however, all of their parents refuse to buy them tickets, plus Mei’s mom is worried that Mei might transform into the panda during the concert due to excitement.

Mei must find a way to attend the concert, including learning how to control her emotions and the panda.

Pros and Cons

The movie is filled with cute animations and details, and may highlight some struggles young teens are going through. Because of this, the movie may seem to be childish or cringy to most of Gen Z, since Turning Red is targeted towards the younger/new generation. However, the movie is totally worth watching because of all the funny and hilarious moments. Also, the band 4-Town in the movie can be seen as a portrayal of One Direction, a huge throwback for many teens. Lastly, Turning Red shows the development of Mei’s relationship with her mother and captures what good friendships look like through Mei’s friend group; watching this is a heartwarming feeling.


Overall, Turning Red is an enjoyable movie for everyone. The movie brings out Pixar’s lively animations. It also encapsulates Chinese culture in a western society and the pressures teens face these days to satisfy their parents and peers.