Turning Red is the latest offering from Disney and Pixar, telling the story of Meilin Lee, a 13-year-old navigating the awkward world of being a young teenager. The kicker? When she gets excited or nervous, Mei turns into a giant red panda. The trailer gave us strong Teen Wolf vibes, but now critics have had the chance to screen Turning Red and are sharing their first reactions on social media.
Rosalie Chiang voices Mei, leading a cast that includes Sandra Oh as Mei’s mother, and Ava Morse, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, and Hyein Park as Mei’s friends. Set for a March 11 release, this movie is skipping theaters and going straight to Disney+. While both Soul and Luca were released the same way, the announcement still caused some disappointment for Pixar’s staffers. Let’s take a look at the first reactions from Turning Red.
CinemaBlend's own Sean O'Connell acknowledges that he is not the target audience for Turning Red, but says the movie exhausted him, which is a fair reaction any time puberty and boy bands are the topic of conversation.
I am not the target audience for TURNING RED. Like, at all. So it might work very well for you. It’s sort of “coming of age” but also about sexual awakening, puberty, TEEN WOLF type family curses, boy bands… it’s all over the place. More exhausting than entertaining. pic.twitter.com/2HgenKpZHCFebruary 21, 2022
Tessa Smith of Mama's Geeky relates with both Mei and her mother in Turning Red. She says the movie is heartwarming and, no surprises here, it sounds like this one's going to be a tearjerker.
I related so hard to Turning Red. As a mom of girls & as a boy band fanatic. I get Mei, but I also get Ming. This a HEARTWARMING coming of age film about mothers & daughters, growing up, & embracing who you are -- beautiful in many ways. The end moved me to tears. #TurningRed pic.twitter.com/IWl5gqiqcqFebruary 21, 2022
Jazz Tangcay of Variety says this movie is going to make Rosalie Chiang a star, and also noted the catchy soundtrack. Many of the first reactions mention the fictitious boy band 4*Town, and there's a good reason those songs are getting stuck in your head — they were written by Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas.
#TurningRed is pure joy and absolute fun. Thoroughly enjoyable. A wonderful story about puberty and parenting from Domee Shi with a catchy soundtrack to boot. Rosalie Chiang is going to be a star. pic.twitter.com/NgHFjSI5a6February 21, 2022
Many who were able to screen Turning Red ahead of its Disney+ release are commenting on the animation style that blends East and West cultures. Pixar actually created new technology for this movie to help bring diversity into every scene. Critic Michael Lee calls the movie "visually stunning," and praises it for not shying away from the messiness of adolescence.
#TurningRed is a visually stunning and emotional coming of age East meets West film that blends Pixar’s story driven styles w/ anime influences. It’s funny, heartfelt, honest and not afraid to shy away from the messiness of growing up. I can’t believe how much I laughed and cried pic.twitter.com/v4EL2aAkGNFebruary 21, 2022
Laura Sirikul connects with Turning Red on a stronger level than she expected. She relates to Mei as an Asian woman, and like so many, she loves the boy bands.
Did I mention... boybands?! This is MEEEEEEEEE. This was my lifeeeeeeee!!! Like... AM I DOMEE?! DID WE LIVE THE SAME LIFE BUT DIFFERENT CITIES?!#TurningRed pic.twitter.com/cJ2iZ5qV1rFebruary 21, 2022
Simon Thompson gives the latest Pixar offering a chef's kiss for its heart and sensitivity. He says there are lessons to be found for everyone in Mei's journey.
#TurningRed is inspired. A smart, sensitive allegory with heart. Beautifully crafted design brings the groundbreaking movie to life, and the cast revels in a nuanced script that is tight, funny, and insightful. The third act is *chef’s kiss*. We can all learn from Mei’s journey. pic.twitter.com/4zp42Gl3ItFebruary 21, 2022
Most of those who were able to screen the film seem to think this is another win for Disney and Pixar. Along with its relatable story and captivating soundtrack, Turning Red also features beautiful animation and brings the emotion, according to these reactions.
Turning Red will be available for streaming exclusively on Disney+ on March 11. In the meantime, check out these other movies on Disney+, as well as our 2022 Movie Release Schedule to see what else is coming soon.
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Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.