Turning Red (Pixar): an amusing metaphor for puberty

Domee Shi, director of Turning Red, says that she was inspired to create the film by her own puberty. In 2015, the Disney factory surprised us with Inside Out, a film that moved away from previous scripts and, perhaps, more focused on adults due to the depth of its message. In fact, the film tackled the subject of emotions in a somewhat complex way for the youngest members of the family, although it was quite successful. Perhaps the deeper themes of the film are intended to reach an older audience. In 2020, the film Soul once again showed us Pixar’s most sensational side with a film that sensitively delved into human emotions and invited reflection.

Two years later, Pixar returns with Turning Red , a film that delves, this time, into the emotions of a girl in the throes of puberty. In any case, whatever the intention of this dream-creating company, the truth is that with Turning Red, it has once again come up trumps. Red is tender and charming. Undoubtedly a jewel to enjoy with the family.

Review (Turning Red) Pixar

Crítica Red Pixar

Mai Lee is a 13-year-old girl with a very quiet life. A daughter always interested in pleasing her parents, an excellent student, and with very clear ideas. One day she encounters a small inconvenience: every time she feels an intense emotion, she transforms into a red panda bear. And anyone who has been a teenager can only smile at the film’s amusing metaphor. Transforming into a gigantic panda bear is exaggerated, of course, but who hasn’t felt like that?.

The first time Pixar mentions menstruation

The day on which the protagonist dawns as a panda bear seems to coincide with her first menstruation. For the first time Pixar dares to mention this subject by explicitly showing elements related to it: the concern of her parents, the fear and insecurity of the protagonist or, for example, the sanitary towels.

turning red Disney Pixar

In addition, the film is full of nods to manga and Japanese series. Fans of this genre will quickly identify them. The fact that the film was directed by a woman of oriental origin (Domee Shi) probably had a lot to do with this. But far from seeming out of place, these nods give the film a delightful charm never before seen in Pixar films. Chinese-Canadian animator, director and screenwriter Domee Shi (b. 1989) has been working with Pixar since 2011. In 2018, with Bao, she became the first woman to direct a short film at Pixar. The filmmaker has just been named creative vice-president of the company.

A gem that leaves a good taste

Other films by the company, such as Toy Story (1995) or Brave (2012), already dealt in some way with the feelings of teenagers, but not in such a sincere and realistic way. In short, a film to enjoy with the family that will delight both adults and children (even if they can’t read between the lines). A wonderful fable about change (which is not always for the worse), about true friendships and about self-esteem and identity. A journey to the beginning of the 21st century that brings back Japanese series or Backstreet boys music groups. The desire for a concert. The need to rebel and reinvent ourselves. In short, life before the pandemic.

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