Review: Turning Red

Disney/Pixar return with yet another film that makes it’s way straight to the streaming service Disney+ after delays eschewed it’s cinema release. Does that show signs of no coincidence in Turning Red or that Disney believes it gains a wider audience on the service and brings new subscriptions in?

Mei Lee is a 13-year-old girl who is torn between being her mother’s obedient daughter and the chaos of her youth. As if that were not enough, when she gets too excited, she turns into a big red panda.

Disney only seems to have once plot device when it comes to female driven characters. Turning Red follows a familiar plot pattern to Moana, Encanto, Mulan and The Little Mermaid etc. A young adolescent female character who is railing against a parent/s with decisions over what to do in life. Turning Red simply follows the template with K-Pop and food added in.

In this Animated version Teen Wolf, Young Mei goes through all the tropes of the aforementioned movie and successfully guides her way to the finale where life choices are to be made and family unification is to be achieved. Of course this is Pixar so proceedings are masterfully handled and the animation is absolutely on point. But once again, it’s style over substance from Disney and its starting to feel like somewhat diminishing returns for the house of the mouse. With such lofty expectations for Turning Red, it probably was never likely to achieve them.

Turning Red throws in some catchy tunes (From pop princess of the moment, Billie Elish) to aid the glorious visuals but overall Turning Red is a instantly forgettable movie from Pixar. Not a misfire, but just bland. With the themes of fitting in and emotional changes, the recent Belle is a far better choice, although Turning Red is far more accessible for the younger generation.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Turning Red is streaming now on Disney+

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