Turning Red

Turning Red

Maggie Flannery, writer

          The newest Disney movie has all of us early 2000’s kids feeling nostalgic in the best way possible. This movie follows Chinese-Canadian Mei Lee who is, to say the least, a confident girl. At the age of 13, Mei has straight A’s and helps at the temple where her mother works. She loves her mother and has been taught that biological family is the most important thing but Mei has 4 best friends: Abby, Miriam, and Priya. Abby has a bit of an anger issue, but with her friends by her side, she can stay calm to keep the anger inside. Miriam is the most caring of all her friends, she helps Mei see that she is beautiful no matter what. Priya is the most reserved out of all the friends, and also is obsessed with vampire books. Not going to lie, Priya was most of us in middle school. Are there any Twilight lovers out there or was that just me?

              What connects these girls together is their love for this boy band 4 Town. This boy band reminded me of rocking out in my bedroom listening to the Jonas Brothers and 1 Direction, While also being in love with all of the members, firmly believing they will all be my future husband. Yes, I said all of them.

              Turing Red has two main climaxes, they are 1; Mei Lee getting the blessing that all females of the family get of turning into a red panda, 2; m

the 4 girls trying to save enough money for a 4 Town concert. The climax that I am going to focus on is the first one. 

               At first, Mei’s mom thought that when she screamed in the bathroom and called herself a “gross red monster” Mei had gotten her period for the first time, but it in fact was not. What is funny to me is that the whole movie is pretty much a girl growing up after a big thing happened, and the panda is pretty much a clever way to bring up periods in a movie without just coming out and making a movie about the time of the month. It is refreshing to see a movie that has a playful spin on something this society has said is gross and needs to be hidden. It only gets harder for Mei when she starts to like being a panda so she must make a choice between her being mother’s dutiful little girl or being the red panda, boy crazy teen she knows that she is.

            In typical Disney fashion, the ending is all sunshine and rainbows between Mei and her Mom, but it makes me wish that the ending was not so air-tight. The Mother-daughter relationship did get better and focused more on Mei’s feelings than just being the perfect Chines daughter she was at the beginning.