Turning Red Review: Pixar’s Puberty Movie Signals the Studio’s Next-Gen Growing Pains

Author : Dhowcruise
Publish Date : 2022-03-07


Turning Red Review: Pixar’s Puberty Movie Signals the Studio’s Next-Gen Growing Pains

movies to be centred on a female character. (A couple of sequels or spin-offs fall into the bracket, making for a grand total of five out of 25 movies. The other 20 are male-driven.) Turning Red is responsible for an even bigger Pixar first behind the scenes, with director Domee Shi — an Oscar winner for her 2018 short Bao, released in front of Incredibles 2 in cinemas — being the first woman to solely helm a Pixar movie. (Prior to this, Brave's Brenda Chapman held the sole honour of a female Pixar feature-length director. Brave is one of those other two aforementioned original efforts.) It's clear then that Pixar — or maybe animation as a whole — is in dire need of an imbalance correction, even more so than the rest of Hollywood. And thanks to its female perspective — Shi wrote the Turning Red screenplay alongside playwright and TV writer Julia Cho (Halt and Catch Fire), based off a story designed by Shi, Cho, and The Wilds creator Sarah Streicher — the coming-of-age middle school animated comedy pushes into virtually uncharted territory for a Pixar movie. On one level, Turning Red is about a 13-year-old girl dealing with puberty and adolescence, as her rapidly-changing body freaks and scares her out. But on another level, Turning Red offers commentary on the classic misogyny remark: women are too emotional. The new Pixar movie's young protagonist is repeatedly told to “contain her energy” — with characters alleging that it would be “impossible to contain the dark side” if she displays too many emotions. There's diversity and a couple of more firsts in other avenues too. Turning Red is the first Pixar film with a Chinese character, and only the second with an Asian character, after Russell in 2009's Oscar-winning Up. And thankfully, their identity is not spelled out, they just are. Turning Red is also the first to take place in Canada — but though Toronto's multiculturalism is checked, it's never explored in any meaningful manner. In fact, all the supporting characters are left majorly underdeveloped, be it Maitreyi Ramakrishnan (Netflix's Never Have I Ever) as the protagonist's Indian-Canadian friend who has a handful of lines, or Pixar storyboard artist Hyein Park as the animated Korean-Canadian friend who beatboxes. Turning Red's diversity should've meant more than surface-level inclusions.

movies to be centred on a female character. (A couple of sequels or spin-offs fall into the bracket, making for a grand total of five out of 25 movies. The other 20 are male-driven.) Turning Red is responsible for an even bigger Pixar first behind the scenes, with director Domee Shi — an Oscar winner for her 2018 short Bao, released in front of Incredibles 2 in cinemas — being the first woman to solely helm a Pixar movie. (Prior to this, Brave's Brenda Chapman held the sole honour of a female Pixar feature-length director. Brave is one of those other two aforementioned original efforts.) It's clear then that Pixar — or maybe animation as a whole — is in dire need of an imbalance correction, even more so than the rest of Hollywood. And thanks to its female perspective — Shi wrote the Turning Red screenplay alongside playwright and TV writer Julia Cho (Halt and Catch Fire), based off a story designed by Shi, Cho, and The Wilds creator Sarah Streicher — the coming-of-age middle school animated comedy pushes into virtually uncharted territory for a Pixar movie. On one level, Turning Red is about a 13-year-old girl dealing with puberty and adolescence, as her rapidly-changing body freaks and scares her out. But on another level, Turning Red offers commentary on the classic misogyny remark: women are too emotional. The new Pixar movie's young protagonist is repeatedly told to “contain her energy” — with characters alleging that it would be “impossible to contain the dark side” if she displays too many emotions. There's diversity and a couple of more firsts in other avenues too. Turning Red is the first Pixar film with a Chinese character, and only the second with an Asian character, after Russell in 2009's Oscar-winning Up. And thankfully, their identity is not spelled out, they just are. Turning Red is also the first to take place in Canada — but though Toronto's multiculturalism is checked, it's never explored in any meaningful manner. In fact, all the supporting characters are left majorly underdeveloped, be it Maitreyi Ramakrishnan (Netflix's Never Have I Ever) as the protagonist's Indian-Canadian friend who has a handful of lines, or Pixar storyboard artist Hyein Park as the animated Korean-Canadian friend who beatboxes. Turning Red's diversity should've meant more than surface-level inclusions.

movies to be centred on a female character. (A couple of sequels or spin-offs fall into the bracket, making for a grand total of five out of 25 movies. The other 20 are male-driven.) Turning Red is responsible for an even bigger Pixar first behind the scenes, with director Domee Shi — an Oscar winner for her 2018 short Bao, released in front of Incredibles 2 in cinemas — being the first woman to solely helm a Pixar movie. (Prior to this, Brave's Brenda Chapman held the sole honour of a female Pixar feature-length director. Brave is one of those other two aforementioned original efforts.) It's clear then that Pixar — or maybe animation as a whole — is in dire need of an imbalance correction, even more so than the rest of Hollywood. And thanks to its female perspective — Shi wrote the Turning Red screenplay alongside playwright and TV writer Julia Cho (Halt and Catch Fire), based off a story designed by Shi, Cho, and The Wilds creator Sarah Streicher — the coming-of-age middle school animated comedy pushes into virtually uncharted territory for a Pixar movie. On one level, Turning Red is about a 13-year-old girl dealing with puberty and adolescence, as her rapidly-changing body freaks and scares her out. But on another level, Turning Red offers commentary on the classic misogyny remark: women are too emotional. The new Pixar movie's young protagonist is repeatedly told to “contain her energy” — with characters alleging that it would be “impossible to contain the dark side” if she displays too many emotions. There's diversity and a couple of more firsts in other avenues too. Turning Red is the first Pixar film with a Chinese character, and only the second with an Asian character, after Russell in 2009's Oscar-winning Up. And thankfully, their identity is not spelled out, they just are. Turning Red is also the first to take place in Canada — but though Toronto's multiculturalism is checked, it's never explored in any meaningful manner. In fact, all the supporting characters are left majorly underdeveloped, be it Maitreyi Ramakrishnan (Netflix's Never Have I Ever) as the protagonist's Indian-Canadian friend who has a handful of lines, or Pixar storyboard artist Hyein Park as the animated Korean-Canadian friend who beatboxes. Turning Red's diversity should've meant more than surface-level inclusions.

movies to be centred on a female character. (A couple of sequels or spin-offs fall into the bracket, making for a grand total of five out of 25 movies. The other 20 are male-driven.) Turning Red is responsible for an even bigger Pixar first behind the scenes, with director Domee Shi — an Oscar winner for her 2018 short Bao, released in front of Incredibles 2 in cinemas — being the first woman to solely helm a Pixar movie. (Prior to this, Brave's Brenda Chapman held the sole honour of a female Pixar feature-length director. Brave is one of those other two aforementioned original efforts.) It's clear then that Pixar — or maybe animation as a whole — is in dire need of an imbalance correction, even more so than the rest of Hollywood. And thanks to its female perspective — Shi wrote the Turning Red screenplay alongside playwright and TV writer Julia Cho (Halt and Catch Fire), based off a story designed by Shi, Cho, and The Wilds creator Sarah Streicher — the coming-of-age middle school animated comedy pushes into virtually uncharted territory for a Pixar movie. On one level, Turning Red is about a 13-year-old girl dealing with puberty and adolescence, as her rapidly-changing body freaks and scares her out. But on another level, Turning Red offers commentary on the classic misogyny remark: women are too emotional. The new Pixar movie's young protagonist is repeatedly told to “contain her energy” — with characters alleging that it would be “impossible to contain the dark side” if she displays too many emotions. There's diversity and a couple of more firsts in other avenues too. Turning Red is the first Pixar film with a Chinese character, and only the second with an Asian character, after Russell in 2009's Oscar-winning Up. And thankfully, their identity is not spelled out, they just are. Turning Red is also the first to take place in Canada — but though Toronto's multiculturalism is checked, it's never explored in any meaningful manner. In fact, all the supporting characters are left majorly underdeveloped, be it Maitreyi Ramakrishnan (Netflix's Never Have I Ever) as the protagonist's Indian-Canadian friend who has a handful of lines, or Pixar storyboard artist Hyein Park as the animated Korean-Canadian friend who beatboxes. Turning Red's diversity should've meant more than surface-level inclusions.



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