Summary of the post
The following summary includes the list of the topics we will cover in our Turning Red Review and Explanation.
- Why you should watch Turning Red
- Turning Red – The Story
- Turning Red – Trailer
- Where you can watch Turning Red
- What did we learn from Turning Red– (Spoilers Begin)
- What we did and didn’t like about the film – Pros and Cons
Have you watched Turning Red? – Spoiler Alert
In this post we analysed the film and therefore it contains spoilers. Make sure you have watched the movie. If not, check our movie introduction to discover the story, other curiosities and watch the trailer.
Turning Red Review and Explanation.
As we always mention, Pixar never disappoints. After the incredible successes of Luca and Encanto, Pixar and Disney brought us another great story for the whole family. Turning Red is the second Pixar film directed by a woman, and the first one staged by a lady of Asian descent.
There is, in fact, a solid reference to the Asian culture, but beautifully embedded into a multicultural world made of genuine integration.
Why is the colour red important in Turning Red?
The Asian influence is strong, and the red colour symbolizes luck, joy, happiness and celebration within this culture. And it’s not a case that a Panda is a protagonist.
Why is Panda important in Asian Culture?
Panda is a symbol of China and significant to their culture. For Chinese people, they are like warriors because Panda can find food, climb trees, and resist cold temperatures. Pandas are, like tigers, a symbol of strength. But, they also represent friendship and peace because Pandas are known for not attacking anyone.
And finally, Pandas have the power to combat evil spirits, at least according to the Chinese. Is this description similar to Meilin’s personality?
And their temple, featuring the statues of the two pandas, Bart and Lisa (yes, after the Simpon’s characters), is the symbol of a new way to intend religion.
What did we learn from Turning Red?
Pixar’s movies usually have great insights, and even with Turning Red, they provided us with meaningful messages to help our children and us grow our personalities and mindset.
Honour your family.
In the movie’s beginning, Meilin reminds us of the importance of family because it provides food, a roof and life. Therefore, we must honour our parents, and Mei-Mei teaches us something powerful that becomes the key in Turning Red.
Love your family, but don’t forget yourself.
Ming, Meilin’s mother, is overprotective, and she never really listen to her daughter’s needs or desires. Instead, Ming wants that everything looks perfect within her family. And we used the word look on purpose because things are far from excellent.
Jin, Meilin’s father, becomes a funny character in the film. However, he can’t express himself because his wife constantly prevents him from talking. When Meilin is sad because of the concert, Jin visits Meilin in her room and tries to open himself far from his wife’s eyes. And we loved him, especially at the end of the film, when Jin finds, at least a bit of courageous rebellion, and goes in the basement to listen to the 4-Towns and lose himself into their music.
If Jin tries to embrace his Panda’s energy, Meilin understands that she can’t continue the masks game between her mother and friends. So, what did Meilin learn?
Meilin teaches us how to get rid of our masks and be free.
Meilin behaved differently between home and school. But, of course, that’s normal when there aren’t any needs to cover it. Ming wanted a perfect daughter, and she loudly said that Meilin would be the next UN secretary. Well, not precisely the best way to remove pressure from your daughter’s life.
Lies do damages; therefore, being honest and able to listen. It is the real secret.
Meilin tries to please Ming in any way, until the point where Meilin decides to delude her friends to don’t hurt her mother. Ming blames her friends because they are ruining Meilin’s behaviour, totally ignoring that she is the cause of the issue. What makes this issue sadder is that Ming experienced the same behaviour from her mother. Unfortunately, people don’t always learn from other mistakes.
Ming prefered a world of lies to keep the image of her family perfect from the outside. Ming didn’t want to listen to Meilin or Jin because of the fear to delude her mother and family. But for this reason, we have the Panda.
The Red Panda changes the story bringing wisdom.
The Panda appears when Meilin can’t control her emotions. It works similar to a self-defence mechanism to scare the threat and makes you stronger. While it seems that it’s ruining her life, in reality, the Panda teaches Meilin and us that we must control our fears and emotions, becoming the authentic version of ourselves.
As a result, Meilin doesn’t need to play the sassy and outgoing girls at school and the obedient and helpful ones at home. Instead, Meilin learns to keep her Panda and how to explain to Ming the need to become a grown-up with all the fears behind, but with the bravery to explore life.
Why is the Panda red?
For the first time, Pixar introduces a fundamental topic, often not discussed within families: the menstrual cycle. And Pixar does it in a genial way, playing with the red colour of the Panda and the same colour of the period.
The Red symbolizes the coming of adolescence and new life.
The Panda wakes up in Meilin the need for rebellion but, most importantly, the desire for independence. In the end, Meilin is now ready to embrace her Panda, designating her willingness to strike a balance between her family’s legacy and the life and culture Meilin shares with her friends. The Panda’s strength helps Meilin achieve her goals but without unhealthy behaviours.
Meilin learned how to control herself and express their needs in the best way possible so that a new bond with her mother and family could finally start.
But are you ready to embrace your Panda?
It’s the question you should ask yourself after watching Turning Red. Meilin taught us how to drop all the masks we need every day and welcome the best version of ourselves. If we can control our Panda and the way to express our feelings to our loved ones, then we learnt the meaningful lesson Meilin brought to us.
We are talking about the beauty to be free to embrace yourself and the world around you. So now your life is ready to welcome your authentic version of yourself. What a great and powerful message. Turning Red is inspiring, and we loved it.
But Turning Red is also the celebration of true friendship.
There is a fantastic bond between Meilin and her friends. They become family to Meilin. They are the ones who gave Meilin the strength to hold and control her Panda. And this is because Meilin could be herself with them.
Growing up, the girls discover the art of surviving.
There was a significant threat to their lives. They didn’t have any money to celebrate their dreams to see the 4-Town’s concert. But they didn’t give up. Instead, they brought our minds together and found a genial solution to make the cash. So, not only little girls become adolescents, but also entrepreneurs.
It’s kind of a today myth where everyone wants to make easy money, with any idea they may have. It’s the celebration of our society full of ideas to stand up and make the best of your life. And they taught us that together everything is possible.
Why Turning Red doesn’t have an antagonist or a villain?
Have you noticed that we don’t have a villain’s role during the film? Someone may see that Ming is the antagonist in this story, but we don’t think so. Ming learned her faults and started to listen, at least to Meilin, looking at poor Jin in the basement. But in reality, we believe that an antagonist is in the film.
The villain in this story is the fear to be ourselves, the bad habit of when we don’t listen to the needs of our loved ones. Lies are the antagonists to the truth and life. And we think that Meilin flawlessly defeated them. And we hope that also you will embrace your Panda and make the best of your life.
What did we like about Turning Red?
Turning Red is one of the most inspiring Pixar stories we have ever seen. As we mentioned above, there is so much to learn and enjoy that the Panda should become an essential part of our day to day life. The animations are top-notch, as often Pixar delivers. In addition, the positive environment Pixar brings, even in the most challenging situations (see Ming’s Panda), reminds us that we can solve any problematic issue together.
Finally, Turning Red shows us how to build a perfect multicultural world. It’s enough to look at the differences within Meilin’s friends her family and how all of this created the strengths Meilin needed to change her life.
What didn’t we like about Turning Red?
It’s a movie full of energies, anxieties and fears. Sometimes it looks, perhaps, too overwhelmed. But in a way, we think that it can be, instead, another pro for the movie. Adolescence is a critical moment in our lives, and Meilin reminded us. I can be a ton of emotions, not always easy to control.
For this reason, we think that Turning Red is a family movie, not just for children. In the end, they will need their parents ready to walk them through the path of life, and with Jin and Lily’s help, now we know how to do it.