Turning Red: Review

Not even two minutes into this movie and I’m already cackling because this kid is me and my friends. Loud, clumsy, and awkward and we’re 30 now. For years, Pixar has been excellent at tapping into my real life and expressing it in unforgettable movies like Up, Soul, and Inside Out. They work hard to show the real human experience and I like that this movie took the form of a live diary, of sorts. Remember the Judy Blume books we read as a child? This is the animated version of those books for me.

Does anyone remember when Pretty Ricky came out and we thought it was one person? Imagine our surprise when we discovered is was a four-man group. Her mom was us then when she asked why 4 Town was called 4 Town if there were five of them. Questions that demand answers! But this is where draw the line with the relatability of the mom to myself. She does remind me of my mom who is, most times, very overprotective of me. My friends are also protective of me, although I am more so the protective and annoying one. Anyway, her mom is doing a little too much in this movie. Not asking many questions. Just assuming which is making is harder for Mei to effectively communicate with her mom. And dad hasn’t really been a help until she actually turned into a panda. Attention parents, do not wait until the last minute to tell us important information like cancer running into the family or we have a legacy of turning into red pandas! Also, when she explained banishing the red panda, did it not sound like when Elsa and her dad were trying to conceal her powers? I heard, “Conceal it, don’t feel it” during that scene, which we know didn’t go well for Elsa. Speaking of moms, I never forgave mine for denying me my right to go to the Scream Tour. You got to think about that when you say no, parents. Us kids remember.

Does anyone want to answer how they went from having no money to having money for merch? And are these kids spending their lunch money on these pictures and merch?

Moving on. No one is safe when grandma comes to town and this situation is no exception. Asian and Black families operate similarly in the sense that we have this deep respect for our elders that is a pillar of our upbringing. So I felt exactly how Mei’s mom felt when her mom left and told her to not fail her child. We’ve just gotten to the stage where we may rebel or ignore what our parents tell us. If anyone knows me, then you know the journey I’ve gone through with my mom. It’s been rough during the pandemic, but since no one will take her, I have no choice but to keep the best mom. Same as Mei’s mom, mine had to understand that I am not her and this is not the 80’s. I’m different and the things I have and will experience is vastly different than she did. In this movie, she got to keep her mom, found herself, and gained a new friend in Tyler. I also love that the theme or background of this movie is based in Asian culture. One of the pillars of their culture, from my understanding, is balance and duality.

Hey Pixar, explain why her momma was the only one that big. I don’t know of it’s supposed to be obvious, but it’s not and now I need an answer.

When I talked to one of my coworkers, he mentioned that this movie was more for girls. I disagree. I see this movie as the picture of puberty told from the perspective of a teenage girl. Honestly, the movie is for me and my friends. My 11-year-old can learn from this movie, too, but it’s the nostalgia of going through this phase in my life of trying to find out who I was and what made me tick. I learned about the various parts of myself (I’m still learning actually) and found that not all of me is equal or bad just different. Turning Red is about self awareness, moms who are made they included scenes about pads. There’s a bigger picture here for boys and girls. I also like how Tyler liked 4 Town and he didn’t have to be gay to be a fan. I have friends who enjoy Chris Brown and Trey Songz because of their music. Doesn’t make them any different from anyone else who listens to their music.

For all the mommy blogs that have given a warning to parents, calm down. Your kids have the TikTok. They’ve seen worse on a daily basis. Disney and Pixar are not trying to poison your kids mind or parent your kids better than you can. Pixar and Disney are trying to make it easier for you to have these conversations about feelings, parental relationships, generational relationships, and more! Let them do their job.

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