Hollywood Insider - News Entertainment & Culture

Substance & Meaningful Entertainment

Against Gossip & Scandal

Independent Media Network

Global Stories From Local Perspective

Factual Culture News

The Hollywood Insider Turning Red Review

Photo: ‘Turning Red’

Pre-Release Anticipation

There was a lot of buzz surrounding ‘Turning Red’ during the months leading up to its release. That on its own is par for the course for Pixar (or any major hyped blockbuster for that matter), but what made the discourse for this film different was how mixed people’s reactions toward it were, especially on social media sites like Twitter. On one hand, you had the people who were fairly excited to see this film. On the other hand, quite a few people were turned off by aspects like the character designs, or the “quirky teen” perspective that seemed apparent from the trailers. While naturally, people could only speculate towards what the movie was really like, the general attitude was far more polarized than usual. As for my personal feelings at this time, I was always somewhat indifferent. I wasn’t entirely sold based on the trailers and the premise, but at the same time, I was still curious to see just how the story would be tackled.

Related article: OSCAR-NOMINATED – EXCLUSIVE: ‘Dune’ Full Commentary, Reactions, Making Of – Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac

Related article: OSCAR-NOMINATED – ‘House of Gucci’ Full Commentary & Behind the Scenes – Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Jared Leto, Al Pacino

Related article: OSCAR-NOMINATED – ‘Belfast’ Full Commentary & BTS – Jamie Dornan, Caitriona Balfe, Judi Dench

Related article: OSCAR-NOMINATED – ‘West Side Story’ Full Commentary – Rita Moreno, Steven Spielberg, Rachel Zegler

Related article: OSCAR-NOMINATED – ‘No Time to Die’ Full Commentary, Behind the Scenes & Reactions, Daniel Craig, Rami Malek, Bond

With the movie having just premiered on Disney+, the reviews are in, and they’re generally very positive. Now having seen the movie for myself, I can certainly see why. ‘Turning Red’ is about a thirteen-year-old girl who discovers the hard way a very unique power she’s inherited: she turns into a giant red panda when she’s overcome with emotion. While she waits for the night this unwanted ability can be removed, she begins to discover who she really is as an individual person.

Tone and Perspective

Right off the bat during its opening minutes, ‘Turning Red’ puts the audience in the shoes of the protagonist Mei Lee (Rosalie Chiang), a young teen living in the year 2002. The direction itself shares Mei’s boundless energy, with lots of electronic-beat-heavy musical scoring and fast, exaggerated character movements. There’s a good chance some people might find Mei’s introduction more exhausting than endearing, but as someone who enjoys cartoons quite a bit and is used to loudness and breakneck pacing, I actually didn’t mind it, especially since the movie manages to pace itself well overall. A big part of what made this movie work for me was how personal it felt to the director, Domee Shi. Similar to her short film ‘Bao’ which played before ‘The Incredibles 2’, there’s a certain emphasis on Chinese culture that’s integrated into the story very naturally, and it’s clear that Shi was able to tell the story that she wanted to.

Related article: All Best Actor/Actress Speeches From The Beginning Of Oscars 1929-2019 | Hollywood Insider

Related article: EVOLUTION: Every Henry Cavill Role From 2001 to 2021, All Performances Exceptionally Poignant

Related article: EVOLUTION: Every Chris Evans Role From 1997 to 2020, All Performances Exceptionally Poignant

Related article: ‘In the Heights’ Full Commentary & Behind the Scenes +  Reactions – Lin Manuel Miranda, John M. Chu

As far as the rest of the movie goes, it’s pretty fun. The story plays out in a way that’s engaging, the humor manages to land more often than it doesn’t, and the emotional beats one would come to expect from a Pixar movie are definitely satisfying. If the logline didn’t give it away, ‘Turning Red’ gets pretty wild, and some of the most entertaining parts of the movie are when it embraces its unusual premise. The scene where Mei turns into her panda self in public and begins running through Toronto in a panic is every bit as thrilling as it should be, the direction once again giving us an excellent sense of Mei’s perspective of the situation.

Being a coming-of-age story, ‘Turning Red’ also alludes to certain topics that one may not expect from a Pixar movie, including menstruation. Again, a bit unexpected, but I think that the willingness to tackle slightly more mature subject matter shows growth as a studio; Pixar has been fairly experimental these past couple of years as far as tones and story go, and after a decade focusing more on sequels than new and original ideas, I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of films they come out with later this decade.

Related article: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase: “The Importance of Venice Film Festival as the Protector of Cinema”

Related article: The Masters of Cinema Archives: The Hollywood Insider Pays Tribute to ‘La Vie En Rose’, Exclusive Interview with Director Olivier Dahan

Related article: – Want GUARANTEED SUCCESS? Remove these ten words from your vocabulary| Transform your life INSTANTLY

Some Minor Setbacks

Despite all the fun I had with ‘Turning Red’, I’d be lying if I said there weren’t a few moments that I questioned or felt took me out momentarily. I, unfortunately, can’t specify it without giving away a minor spoiler, but there is one contrived plot point that broke my suspension of disbelief a bit, as it was clearly something the plot demanded. And while I was able to get behind the energetic nature of Mei and her group of friends, there is another scene early on in which Mei’s mother (Sandra Oh) freaks out over a series of romantic drawings her daughter drew of an older teenager.

Related article: Why Queen Elizabeth II Is One Of The Greatest Monarchs | Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of United Queendom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (Video Insight)

Limited Time Offer – FREE Subscription to The Hollywood Insider

Click here to read more on The Hollywood Insider’s vision, values and mission statement here – Media has the responsibility to better our world – The Hollywood Insider fully focuses on substance and meaningful entertainment, against gossip and scandal, by combining entertainment, education, and philanthropy.

Related article: #metoo Revolution: Powerful Questions That Need Answers

Related article: FACT-CHECKED Series: Timothee Chalamet and 32 Facts about The Young Superstar

Assuming he was preying on Mei, she drives over to the boy’s workplace to chew him out in person, leading to everyone in the shop, including the film’s bully character, to laugh at Mei. This particular scene is presented in such an over-the-top manner, I was genuinely surprised when it didn’t end with Mei waking up and realizing it was just a bad dream (if this isn’t telling of how many cartoons I watch, I don’t know what is). I understand this was all necessary to further characterize Mei’s mother, as well as to be humiliating enough to lead to Mei’s inciting transformation, but when compared with every other non-supernatural element of the movie, it feels almost cartoonishly out of place.

Should You Watch ‘Turning Red’?

As someone who enjoyed ‘Turning Red’, the question of “do I recommend this movie” should be a no-brainer, right? Well, my thoughts are a bit more complicated than a simple “yes” or “no”. On one hand, I do recommend giving it a watch and forming your own opinion, but at the same time, I recommend doing so while keeping in mind the sort of movie it is. As previously stated, the main character and her friends are all quirky and hyperactive, and the way the movie opens by establishing them as such might be grating on some, but if that’s not something that bothers you then I’d say you’re good to go.

Related article: MUST WATCH – The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s Love Letter to Black Lives Matter – VIDEO

Subscribe to The Hollywood Insider’s YouTube Channel, by clicking here.

This is a movie that I think is a very good family movie; some of the aforementioned topics may prompt parents to incite discussions with younger kids, but again, that’s something that I admire. ‘Turning Red’ isn’t one of my favorite Pixar movies ever, but it’s one that I’m happy exists. If Pixar keeps taking small risks and making movies that touch on important themes in unique ways, I think it could see a renaissance of sorts.

‘Turning Red’ is available to stream for all Disney+ users.

Cast and Crew:

Director: Domee Shi

Writers: Domee Shi, Julia Cho, Sarah Streicher

Starring: Rosalie Chiang, Sandra Oh, Ava Morse

By Austin Oguri

Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Cinema, TV and Media. An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, We have the space and time for all your stories, no matter who/what/where you are. Media/Cinema/TV have a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so. Talent, diversity and authenticity matter in Cinema/TV, media and storytelling. In fact, I reckon that we should announce “talent-diversity-authenticity-storytelling-Cinema-Oscars-Academy-Awards” as synonyms of each other. We show respect to talent and stories regardless of their skin color, race, gender, sexuality, religion, nationality, etc., thus allowing authenticity into this system just by something as simple as accepting and showing respect to the human species’ factual diversity. We become greater just by respecting and appreciating talent in all its shapes, sizes, and forms. Award winners, which includes nominees, must be chosen on the greatness of their talent ALONE.

I am sure I am speaking for a multitude of Cinema lovers all over the world when I speak of the following sentiments that this medium of art has blessed me with. Cinema taught me about our world, at times in English and at times through the beautiful one-inch bar of subtitles. I learned from the stories in the global movies that we are all alike across all borders. Remember that one of the best symbols of many great civilizations and their prosperity has been the art they have left behind. This art can be in the form of paintings, sculptures, architecture, writings, inventions, etc. For our modern society, Cinema happens to be one of them. Cinema is more than just a form of entertainment, it is an integral part of society. I love the world uniting, be it for Cinema, TV. media, art, fashion, sport, etc. Please keep this going full speed.

More Interesting Stories From The Hollywood Insider

Want GUARANTEED SUCCESS? Remove these ten words from your vocabulary| Transform your life INSTANTLY

A Tribute to Martin Scorsese: A Complete Analysis of the Life and Career of the Man Who Lives and Breathes Cinema 

Do you know the hidden messages in ‘Call Me By Your Name’? Find out behind the scenes facts in the full commentary and In-depth analysis of the cinematic masterpiece

A Tribute To The Academy Awards: All Best Actor/Actress Speeches From The Beginning Of Oscars 1929-2019 | From Rami Malek, Leonardo DiCaprio To Denzel Washington, Halle Berry & Beyond | From Olivia Colman, Meryl Streep To Bette Davis & Beyond

In the 32nd Year Of His Career, Keanu Reeves’ Face Continues To Reign After Launching Movies Earning Over $4.3 Billion In Total – “John Wick”, “Toy Story 4”, “Matrix”, And Many More

turning red, turning red, turning red, turning red, turning red, turning red, turning red, turning red, turning red, turning red, turning red, turning red, turning red, turning red, turning red, turning red, turning red, turning red, turning red, turning red, turning red, turning red, turning red, turning red

Website It Up