There’s no debating that Pixar has produced some of the highest-quality animated films to date, tugging at our heart strings within the first ten minutes of UP, teaching us the meaning of friendship in Toy Story, and inspiring us to find our passion in Soul, to name a few. As a result, I’ve come to expect nothing but the best from Pixar. So when I heard about Turning Red, I was over the moon. A film centered around an Asian lead with Asian writers and an Asian Director!? Sign me right up!
However… after watching an early screening (thank you Disney/Pixar), I was… a little more than disappointed. I found the character development to be lacking and the conflicts between characters to be underwhelming at times. Keep in mind that I am not the target audience for this film. Although I am Asian American and could relate to certain themes the main character struggles with (high standards and pressure from Asian Parents), I believe this film is largely for mothers, daughters, and those who love boybands.
I will say, despite being disappointed, Turning Red had its moments. It doesn’t shy away from experiences that I believe many women have experienced and it was refreshing to see Pixar and Disney bring those experiences to a mainstream audience (trying not to spoil anything, hence the vague description). It hilariously blends together Eastern animation styles with the Western Pixar animation style that we’ve all come to know and love. The movie was pure, high energy, and visually stunning. And although I may not have found myself personally loving the movie, I find myself eagerly anticipating others to watch it so I can discuss it with them. I have a lot to learn, and would love to see how others may connect with the movie.
Turning Red comes out on Disney+ on March 11. I hope you watch it.
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