Turning Red (2022)
March 11, 2022 3:02 PM - Subscribe

A 13-year-old girl named Mei Lee turns into a giant red panda whenever she gets too excited. (IMDB)
posted by Countess Elena (24 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I loved this.
posted by Faintdreams at 3:18 PM on March 11, 2022 [2 favorites]

Just finished this. Absolutely loved it, and very unlike any Pixar I've ever seen before, or perhaps any other movie, period.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:49 PM on March 11, 2022 [3 favorites]

As a kid, I used to daydream about doing a lot of big things, and one of them was making an animated movie about high school that was really about my school, a real place and time instead of the nowhereville of TV and movies. Naturally, I grew up and figured I had to forget about all that. Domee Shi did not. She has made that movie that I desperately wanted to see as a teen. I'm in awe.

Of all the things I adored about this movie, the one that's the most unique -- one that I didn't expect to see done so well in any movie, much less a big animated feature -- is the scene where Mei starts drawing. It perfectly captures the feeling of being a young artist (in any art) and creating something so intense and romantic that you just can't take it and you have to get up and stop your sinful hand but you keep working on it and giggling the whole time. Thank God my mom couldn't find it! The scene after that was so humiliating I thought for a second it was a dream sequence.

There are plot holes, particularly the ones caused by how public everything got, but artistically it cohered in the ways that matter. I think it should be remembered as one of Pixar's best.
posted by Countess Elena at 4:05 PM on March 11, 2022 [13 favorites]

The second hand embarrassment was through the roof (especially at the beginning).

I LOVED IT. it was touching and charming and surprisingly complex. The details were superb, between the details of Toronto down to the time specific paper Canadian money. The ads and trailers sold this movie short.

I might make this a mother's Day tradition. As someone who now has a 19 month old and has lots of years to think about the generational trauma plaguing my family, it really touched me. Lots to think about

Also my favourite detail/line: "Why are they called 4Towns when there's 5 members?" As a fan of Kpop, I cackled.
posted by vespertinism at 4:15 PM on March 11, 2022 [7 favorites]

Wow. I never thought I'd identify so strongly with a teenage girl. The depth of feeling was extraordinary.
posted by SPrintF at 5:36 PM on March 11, 2022

Petite Maman 2: Grand Maman
posted by adrianhon at 1:52 PM on March 12, 2022 [4 favorites]

I didn't get all the gushing over Encanto (although "We don't talk about Bruno" is a great song), but if Turning Red doesn't get the same or a greater amount of buzz, something's wrong with people. What a fun movie!
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 7:12 AM on March 13, 2022 [5 favorites]

I'm glad this movie is great, because (parent of a 4 year old) it's playing in my house for the 6th time in 24 hours. (I think 6th? It's all blurring together a bit.)

Domee Shi also wrote and directed Bao which won Best Animated Short a couple years ago. It's definitely on Disney+, YouTube appears to have bootleg versions as well.
posted by ethand at 8:02 AM on March 13, 2022 [2 favorites]

Bao is something that utterly confused, then delighted me, and I've rewatched it several times. It's beautiful and unsettling and such a truthful way of depicting parental angst.

Plan to watch this today, looking forward to it.
posted by emjaybee at 9:36 AM on March 13, 2022

I have already watched this twice, and have cried hard at the bamboo forest scene, twice. I am almost 40 and I want 4*Town merch. On my second watch I had a great time pausing and searching out the little details that made this such a delight as both a Canadian (a "Loons Unlimited" t-shirt on a student) and as an Asian (lap cheong hanging in the Lee's basement).

As a second generation Canadian and a mother, I was equally touched by both Meilin and Ming's stories. I hope we see much more from Domee Shi in the future.
posted by Rora at 1:55 PM on March 13, 2022 [4 favorites]

We saved this to watch in a rare family conjunction where all my siblings and all their children were in the same city and it was so worth it. It’s beautiful and warm and funny and touching. Plus I spent a lot of time on Spadina Ave in Toronto as a kid / teen / young adult / adult so it was really special to see it!
posted by sixswitch at 6:33 PM on March 13, 2022

This movie was so good. Best Pixar since Inside Out.

The animation and overall style were incredible. The visual references to anime were spot on, from the Sailor Moon backgrounds to the DBZ fighting sequences (her mom went straight super saiyan!!).

Also loved how specific the setting was. Really felt like a vibrant, lived in place, with things going on outside the characters’ world.
posted by TurnKey at 2:20 AM on March 14, 2022


in addition to being a nonstop delight from start to finish, I really liked how “hand-drawn” it felt in so many subtle ways
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:09 AM on March 18, 2022

oh my god, i cannot describe how much i love this movie. the fact the movie got cheated out of a theatrical release is a true crime.
posted by cendawanita at 9:34 AM on March 19, 2022 [1 favorite]

Started watching this a week ago, had to stop and wait until I could watch it together with my partner. We laughed, I cried, we cringed, we adored it.
posted by rrrrrrrrrt at 11:50 PM on March 22, 2022

This was just incredibly great. I loved it so much!
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:56 AM on March 23, 2022

I was definitely having heart palpitations from the humiliation squick stuff--Mei's mom was just a nightmare for me in the first part. But I'd heard such good stuff that I pushed on and I'm so glad I did. What an utterly charming story. I loved all the Canadian elements and the Toronto specificity, I loved the glimpse into a culture that's not mine and the ways in which something from the old world (the red panda protector) becomes integrated into the new one (Mei's unique way of using it first to see 4 Town and then keeping it and making it pay off), I just loved the friendship of the girls, I loved her dad and his quiet way of loving the women in his life. The scene where her grandmother and the aunties show up made me laugh out loud, something I don't often do. This is just stellar all the way around.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 11:51 AM on March 23, 2022 [2 favorites]

just finished watching this, it was a lot of fun, and I really loved the depiction of Toronto. It very much captured the way this city feels to someone who loves it. So nice to see my home being itself in a movie instead of standing in for somewhere else.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 11:17 PM on March 24, 2022 [2 favorites]

We haven’t had a menarche movie this good since My Girl in 1991.

It totally went differently than I expected; thought she’d be hiding the panda all movie but instead she flaunted it, it was amazing.

Notice how she physically grew during to movie too, got taller, older looking.

There was some reviewer calling it unrelatable because of the Chinese Canadian girl : Toronto framing but that’s bonkers. My 7yo boy and I had big conversations about it afterwards. It’s fabulous. I cried when she finds her mom in the bamboo forest and then her mom decides to hide her panda again and how sad the panda was iM not Crying YOURE crying
posted by St. Peepsburg at 1:42 PM on March 26, 2022 [3 favorites]

Nothing much to add. Watched it a few weeks ago and it went over well with the family. Best new animated movie I've seen in a while. I miss my home town.
posted by Alex404 at 1:22 AM on April 25, 2022

I recently got Disney+ in a Hulu bundle (we sign up for Live TV for the hockey playoffs every year) and watched this while I had the chance. As someone who enjoys CanCon, '00s nostalgia, and magical realism, this was a lot of fun for me. I also really liked how it captured that particular mix of obliviousness and awkward self-awareness that comes with the transition from childhood to adulthood.
posted by Johnny Assay at 1:00 PM on May 21, 2022

Rewatching this movie yesterday I was SMACKED IN THE FACE by that sequence in the beginning where her mom finds her drawings. Hooooly crap, you guys. That scene has lost none of its power.
posted by MiraK at 5:43 AM on October 13, 2022 [1 favorite]

that sequence in the beginning where her mom finds her drawings

Oh man, that part. I can't remember the last time I had that feeling of cringing myself well-nigh inside out in sympathy. Oh god and then she DROVE TO THE STORE TO CONFRONT THE KID AHHH AAHHHHHHH
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 8:04 AM on October 13, 2022 [5 favorites]

Ming as an enraged red panda is exactly like my biological excuse for a mother in a fury and was fucking triggering for me.
posted by brujita at 1:40 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]

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