So another Pixar movie has come out, which is presumably here to keep me on edge until Lightyear comes out in a couple of months. Turning Red is its name, and I have to be honest I did not have the best initial impression. I saw a trailer for this at the cinema and it looked really bad. So bad that I internally gasped for breath when I saw the Pixar logo at the end of it. Thankfully because it’s Pixar the worse they can ever get is when they make a sequel disguised as a cash grab.
Turning Red is unique because it’s the first major movie I have seen to be covered in 2000’s nostalgia. This movie has flip phones, CDs, video cameras, and a Tamagotchi knockoff of all things. Plus the whole plot is built around 4 young teenage girls wanting to see a boy band, because you know we all remember The Back Street Boys and N’ Sync. For some reason, the thing that brought me back the most was seeing the boy band had their own magazine line and not being reminded that I have a Tamagotchi that probably hasn’t been fed in the last 15 years.
Turning Red is unique because it’s the first major movie I have seen to have red pandas in it. Mei is a young teenage girl, until one day she becomes a big red (puberty) panda. Mei only flip-flops between a teenage girl and a red panda whenever she feels any strong emotion, such as going boy crazy for boy bands and reacting to strange body changes that probably only older audiences will get a laugh at. Luckily for Mei, she’s got her over-supportive wacky friends, who don’t definitely get annoying after a while. Plus Mei’s got her overbearing/overprotective mother who is also pretty annoying, but her redeeming qualities are she’s voiced by Sandra Oh and makes for a good foil.
I guess like my initial impressions of the trailer it did take me a while to warm up to this one because the humour in this isn’t my cup of tea. Unless the point of it is to give you PTSD flashbacks of the stupid things you used to do as a teenager, then Pixar did it again. Also, the animation has a Mitchell’s vs The Machines vibe where the animation gets very cartoony and characters are even designed to be more cartoonish than other Pixar films. Turning Red isn’t as exaggerated as that film, but I applaud the change from Pixar for changing up their animation formula a little bit.
I like the concept of the puberty panda, as it’s simple and it can bring some fun slapstick, just like last year’s Luca. It doesn’t have the best plot to work and is easily the worst part of the movie. The latter half of the movie is pretty boring as Mei has a complete grasp of things and has beaten all the obstacles and now she just wants to save up to see the big popular boy band. There’s nothing really enticing going on (Unless you find seeing a fictional boy band exciting.) but how they bring drama back into the plot feels incredibly forced and worst of all out of character. The mum is the worst offender as she does things that are so ridiculous and unbelievable, that it pulls you out of the movie. It’s not the worst Pixar plot ever, but it’s far from its best.
Turning Red is not a bad family movie, it will teach your kids that they have awkward times ahead of them, but with the right support, they should mature into fine adults. For that reason alone I’m sure this would be a good watch for everyone who isn’t more fascinated by the 2000s nostalgia they can pick up on. Turning Red is not as good as Luca, nor the one before that, but I don’t know maybe Lightyear will send me to the moon. I have been The Blog Complainer, signing out.
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If you’ve seen the Kung Fu Panda films, Shifu is a red panda.
That’s very true, my bad I must have blanked on that one.