“Turning Red” is the latest feature-length animated film from Pixar, and the third to be a Disney Plus exclusive after 2020’s “Soul” and 2021’s “Luca.” Marking the feature directorial debut of Domee Shi (who previously directed the animated Pixar short “Bao” in 2018), the film presents a hilarious and brutally honest coming-of-age story that adds to a long line of acclaimed animated movies.
Set in Toronto, Canada in the year 2002, the story follows 13-year-old Meilin Lee (voice of Rosalie Chang). Dealing with all the challenges that teenage years entails, things are further complicated by Meilin turning into a massive red panda whenever she’s in a strong emotional state – something that happens frequently at that age. With the help of her mother Ming (voice of Sandra Oh) and her friends Miriam (voice of Ava Morse), Priya (voice of Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) and Abby (voice of Hyein Park), Meilin must master her inner self to honor her family legacy and make the concert for her favorite boy band in another masterful animated film from Pixar.
The animation and story take stylistic cues from classic anime such as “Sailor Moon” and “Ranma ½,” with the color palette and character expressions blending the best elements of east and west. Without spoiling anything, Meilin’s character arc is as hilarious as it is emotionally earnest. Domee Shi has crafted an engaging script alongside fellow first-timers Julia Cho and Sarah Streicher, and the music blends the fictional pop group “4-Town” with a riveting score from Ludwig Goransson (“Creed,” “Black Panther,” “The Book of Boba Fett”).
As their third feature-length Pixar film to be a Disney Plus exclusive, “Turning Red” is an easy recommendation as an animated film that’s sure to turn anyone who watches it a joyous shade of crimson.
Directed by Domee Shi
Starring the voices of Rosalie Chiang, Sandra Oh, Ava Morse, Hyein Park, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan and Orion Lee
Available on Disney Plus