Disney’s latest animation film, Turning Red, follows an adolescent girl, Mei, as she navigates puberty, parental and society expectations, and her tendency to turn into a red panda when overwhelmed by emotion. Mei, a straight-A student, hides her budding love for boys and fascination with the boy band 4*Town.
The film has deservedly received positive reviews from critics. It has brilliant Pixar graphics, rib-cracking humor, and a fantastic story. Turning Red also has an excellent tracklist, with Billie Eilish and his brother Finneas writing songs for 4*Town.
Turning Red addresses adolescent norms previously considered taboo
Puberty is usually a complicated time for teenagers: the brain releases a cocktail of hormones that spark physical and emotional changes. Unfortunately, most children go through puberty alone, despite having parents or guardians who’ve gone through the confusing stage.
Society shields children from conversations regarding adolescence, but Turning Red does the complete opposite. It brazenly – but with typical Disney warmth – addresses the physical and hormonal changes of the early teens, much to the chagrin of some audiences.
The critics attacking Turning Red claim that society should shield kids from the themes addressed in the film. To them, a Disney film shouldn’t address a topic like sexual awakening.
A major plus point for the film is that it discusses menstruation, a topic previously chewed over in hushed tones.
Parents should see this film as the perfect way to breach such ‘taboo’ topics with their children. It provides a fun and informative avenue for parents to explain oft-complicated issues to kids approaching puberty.
The film also focuses on the relationship between Mei and her demanding mother, Ming Lee. Mei becomes increasingly secretive and rebellious as her body changes, not knowing that the answers she seeks lie with her elders.
Turning Red is a film about breaking the taboos of puberty and a reminder that the answers to life’s biggest questions lie at home.
Also Read: Turning Red Parents’ Guide — Things to watch out for in a coming to age story