Disney and Pixar’s Turning Red is a coming-of-age story guaranteed to bring out the awkward teen in all of us. Without a theatrical release and heading straight to Disney+, does it earn the Pixar gold star standard? Is Turning Red kid-friendly? I’m breaking down all of the thematic elements, including its PG rating, in my Turning Red Parents Guide and Movie Review. Here’s what parents need to know to help YOU decide if it’s appropriate for kids. As always, no spoilers!
Turning Red Parents Guide + Movie Review
Growing up is a beast, and well, let’s face it, that sure is the truth. We might not realize it while we’re doing the whole growing part, but looking back on my teen years and knowing what I know now…that is really the hard truth. Turning Red brings us back to that time in our life. It’s an emotional journey. Because aren’t teenagers filled with all sorts of strong feelings? Mood swings, hormones, it’s a hard time. I think we make it through because, thankfully, we’re naive enough to believe we know everything!
Pixar’s latest introduces us to Mei Lei (Rosalie Chiang), a quirky 13 year old who is literally brilliant in all the things. She has a unique personality and beats to her own drum. Mei’s mother is a bit…much. Ming Lee (Sandra Oh) is the type of mother who truly believes her daughter can do no wrong. She has held her daughter to these perfect, unrealistic standards, and inevitably it catches up to her.
One morning, Mei wakes up from a frightening dream and discovers she has turned into a giant red panda! Shocked at this transformation, she tries to (unsuccessfully) hide it from her parents. Soon she learns the truth about her family history, and that whenever her emotions get too strong, she unleashes her panda! How’s that for dealing with teen angst?!
Now Mei needs to learn how to keep her emotions in check so she doesn’t change into a literal animal, all while dealing with her raging emotions. She suddenly finds herself boy crazy and is obsessed with a popular boy band. For once in her life, she is testing her boundaries with her mother. But through all of this, she is finding a different version of herself. Like it or not, Mei is growing up and her mother needs to take a step back to let her go, even if that means watching her fall.
This is a Pixar film so your standards are already set high, but WOW. Turning Red has anime touches infused with vibrant, crisp CGI. My 8 year old told me the other day he loves when he doesn’t realize he’s watching an animated film because it looks so REAL. Turning Red gives you that feeling. From the picturesque settings to the details in the food, the visuals are beyond brilliant.
IS TURNING RED KID-FRIENDLY? HERE’S YOUR PARENTS GUIDE:
A coming-of-age story about a teen girl who turns into a panda when her emotions get too carried away. Is Turning Red okay for kids? Here’s what parents need to know about Disney’s latest movie.
Turning Red has an MPAA rating of PG for thematic material, suggestive content, and language. It has a runtime of 1 hour 39 minutes. Let’s break down the thematic elements and take a closer look.
Mei has a scary dream that might be frightening for little ones. She also turns into a panda and there is a chase scene. There are a few scenes that could appear violent, but it’s more suspenseful. Overall I would say it’s very low-key in terms of violence.
There is no profanity in Turning Red, however, there are certainly some words used that are worth mentioning. These include: stupid, dork, hobo, degenerate, sicko, sexy, perv, jerkwad, butthead, delinquents, dorkbag, jerk face, and freak. One character says, “aww fudgesicles,” which is innocent enough, but some parents might appreciate the heads up. Pixar is known for testing the language boundaries, and while there isn’t anything too terrible, there were a few words I wish were omitted.
There is a lot of talk about girls getting their period, although that word was never used. However, there were several obvious implications.
A comment is made about “doing drugs all day,” which really surprised me. There is also bullying and a twerking panda.
Turning Red is a family adventure meant to be shared with all ages. Parents will appreciate reminiscing about their teen years and relating to those big feelings. Kids will enjoy the fun characters, and let’s face it, the giant red panda. I would recommend Turning Red for ages 8 and up. I think it could have been shortened by 10 minutes and some of the language was unnecessary.
Pixar’s Turning Red is a heartwarming mother-daughter story about accepting your children no matter what. It’s about watching them grow and discover who they really are, stepping back, and letting them be. A coming-of-age story about change and acceptance. It gives a whole new meaning to the term “mama bear.” Turning Red will encourage you to unleash your inner beast and to never forget the importance of honoring yourself. Pixar brings the heart in this emotional journey of self-discovery. Turning Red is exclusively on Disney+ March 11, 2022.
TURNING RED SYNOPSIS
Young actress Rosalie Chiang lends her voice to Mei Lee, a 13-year-old who suddenly “poofs” into a giant red panda when she gets too excited (which is practically ALWAYS). Sandra Oh (“The Chair,” “Killing Eve”) voices Mei Lee’s protective, if not slightly overbearing mother, Ming, who is never far from her daughter—an unfortunate reality for the teenager. Directed by Shi and produced by Lindsey Collins, Disney and Pixar’s “Turning Red” releases March 11, 2022.
I HOPE YOU FOUND THIS TURNING RED PARENTS GUIDE AND MOVIE REVIEW HELPFUL FOR YOUR FAMILY. WILL YOU BE WATCHING?!
Looking for more Disney Plus movies? Don’t miss these posts HERE!
Grab this free printable Turning Red activity packet HERE!!