Parents' Guide to

Turning Red

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Pixar coming-of-age tale explores puberty and parent issues.

Movie PG 2022 100 minutes
Turning Red Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 270 parent reviews

age 5+

Watching this movie will help you PROTECT your child!

This is one of the best movies Disney has put out in years for launching important conversations with your kids! We watched it last night with our 6yo son, and paused it to talk about: - periods (which he already knew about) and how some people think they're shameful or embarrassing, - if the mother was respectful to her daughter, - if the daughter was respectful to her mother, - what they might have done differently to communicate, - the father's role, and if/how/when he could have helped with the conflict and stood up for his daughter, - managing strong emotions, - bullying, - lying and keeping secrets, and - what blackmail is and why it's so important that he ALWAYS tell us if someone tries to get him to do something he doesn't want to and then tells him that they will tell us and he'll get in trouble if he doesn't do what that person wants. That last one is BY FAR the most important, because that's how predators prey on children - they convince them that they can't tell their parents something because their parents would be upset with them or wouldn't believe them. Even without all of the deep topics, this was a delightful, funny, silly movie that anyone who has ever struggled to manage their emotions should be able to relate to. The way it so deftly handled serious topics, normalized periods, and normalized people with Type 1 Diabetes, made it an absolute standout among the entire Disney collection of films. Definitely watch this with your kids. Have those talks with them. If you see something in the movie you don't approve of, talk with them about why. Don't just stick your kid in front of the screen and rely on Disney to provide your values for you. Having those conversations with your child will not only help impart the morals you want them to have, but it also teaches them to view other media through a more careful lens, and think more critically about what they see, hear, and read.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
22 people found this helpful.
age 13+

Adolescents dream, parents nightmare!

First of all, if your kids don’t know about puberty and all the things that go along with that- you better have a chat before you watch. However, this wasn’t my issue with the movie. My problem? This movie empowers impressionable, pre-pubescent kids to blatantly disrespect their parents. Kids, especially tweens, don’t need empowerment in this area, they will naturally push against the grain regardless. Which is normal. But this movie isn’t doing parents any favors. PIXAR produced a movie that gives kids permission to be disrespectful and thoughtless. It’s hard enough parenting tweens and this movie just adds fuel to their hormonal and rebellious fire. I was so disappointed, it had potential to be an inspiring movie giving parents and kids tools to navigate puberty effectively and productively . Instead, it just seemed overwhelmingly angry and chaotic. There are some valuable lessons from the movie if you can get past all the cringe worthy scenes, but in my opinion, the juice isn’t worth the squeeze.
21 people found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (270):
Kids say (269):

Delightful, funny, unapologetically girl-centered, and a surprisingly touching allegory for adolescence, this is Pixar's most teen-friendly film. It's also a gift for anyone who remembers the onset of puberty, pining over musicians (in this case, a shout-out to millennials who crushed on O-Town, *NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, and the like), and struggling to balance meeting parental expectations with friendships and newfound interests. Chiang does a lovely job conveying Mei's emotional and physical changes -- how she genuinely wants to obey her parents, take care of their family temple, and be a good girl but also enjoys her BFFs, loud music, and, yes, boys (even if they are of the unattainable pop-heartthrob variety). And Oh, who's also Canadian, is ideally cast as Mei's mom, who's more complex than the fussy helicopter mom she initially seems to be. Although dad Jin is a kind and loving presence, Turning Red is at heart a story about mothers and daughters. Mei and Ming's dynamic is in some ways universal: the bittersweet and at times outright confrontational push-and-pull of surviving teen rebellion (whatever that looks like).

Visually, Turning Red, like all Pixar movies, is phenomenal. Director Domee Shi (who herself is Chinese Canadian and was 13 in 2002), is clearly drawing on her own lived experiences of Toronto, its Chinatown, and being a teen in the early '00s. The movie, like her short film Bao, is also an emotional reminder of the tender joy and turbulent angst of growing up -- particularly with a demanding but loving mother who has sky-high expectations. But audiences don't need to be Canadian, Chinese, women, girls, or millennials to relate to and enjoy this story, because its themes and central metaphor work for everyone who has or will experience the awkward excitement of transforming from child to teen. Like Inside Out or The Mitchells vs. the Machines, Turning Red is a standout addition to animated movies that capture the overwhelming feelings of coming-of-age.

Movie Details

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