Domee Shi won an Oscar for directing the short film, 'Bao'.
Turning Red is the latest offering from Disney and Pixar, and follows the story of Mei Lee, a 13-year-old who turns into a giant red panda whenever her emotions get the best of her. The animated film comes from writer-director Domee Shi, who won an Oscar for Pixar's 2018 animated short, Bao. This is Shi's first full-length animated film and the moviemaker had reportedly always planned on bringing the same level of "weirdness" to her recent movie. "I definitely want to keep putting in all the elements that I love from Bao into a feature," Shi told IndieWire in 2018. "That weirdness, that fun energy, the surprises. But it's still early."
The movie follows Lee (voice of Rosalie Chiang), who has been very close to her "protective, if not slightly overbearing" mom, Ming (voice of Sandra Oh). Now, as she enters adolescence, she's trying to find herself and goes on a path of becoming her own person. One quirky thing about the film is that whenever she's excited or angry, she "poofs" into a giant red panda!
Early reactions are pouring in for the film. CinemaBlend's Sean O'Connell acknowledges that he is not the target audience for the movie, tweeting: I am not the target audience for TURNING RED. Like, at all. So it might work very well for you. It’s sort of “coming of age” but also about sexual awakening, puberty, TEEN WOLF type family curses, boy bands… it’s all over the place. More exhausting than entertaining. Jazz Tangcay from Variety called Turning Red "pure joy and absolute fun," writing: #TurningRed is pure joy and absolute fun. Thoroughly enjoyable. A wonderful story about puberty and parenting from Domee Shi with a catchy soundtrack to boot. Rosalie Chiang is going to be a star.
Turning Red launches on Disney+ on March 11, 2022.
Check out more reactions below!
#TurningRed is inspired. A smart, sensitive allegory with heart. Beautifully crafted design brings the groundbreaking movie to life, and the cast revels in a nuanced script that is tight, funny, and insightful. The third act is *chef’s kiss*. We can all learn from Mei’s journey. pic.twitter.com/4zp42Gl3It— Simon Thompson (@ShowbizSimon) February 21, 2022
As an Asian woman who was a tween who listened to her parents & loved (& still loves) boybands & anime, #TurningRed hit me harder than most Disney films. Like most Disney films, it's abt friendships & family, but trying to figure out what it means to grow up & not grow apart. pic.twitter.com/0lOGQX5Mxb— Laura ลอร'า 劳拉 (@lsirikul) February 21, 2022
#TurningRed is a visually stunning and emotional coming of age East meets West film that blends Pixar’s story driven styles w/ anime influences. It’s funny, heartfelt, honest and not afraid to shy away from the messiness of growing up. I can’t believe how much I laughed and cried pic.twitter.com/v4EL2aAkGN— Michael Lee 🍥 (@IamMichaelJLee) February 21, 2022
I related so hard to Turning Red. As a mom of girls & as a boy band fanatic. I get Mei, but I also get Ming. This a HEARTWARMING coming of age film about mothers & daughters, growing up, & embracing who you are -- beautiful in many ways. The end moved me to tears. #TurningRed pic.twitter.com/IWl5gqiqcq— Tessa Smith - Mama's Geeky (@MamasGeeky) February 21, 2022
Pixar’s #TurningRed is a delight. Domee Shi's coming of age TAIL is a celebration of culture, the early 2000s, and Toronto. I LOVED this movie and seeing the CN Tower and SkyDome in animated form gave me all the feels. One of @Pixar's BEST.@PixarTurningRed @DisneyStudiosCA pic.twitter.com/GAzZrhTrjB— Daniel Baptista - The Movie Podcast (@dbapz) February 21, 2022
Pixar’s #TurningRed is absolute joy! Seeing Meilin tear through early 2000s Toronto gave me the biggest smile on my face. Domee Shi has crafted one of @Pixar’s finest movies to date and has brought the multiculturalism of the city to life. @PixarTurningRed @DisneyStudiosCA pic.twitter.com/YWwr7A20Kj— Shahbaz - The Movie Podcast (@shayhbaz) February 21, 2022
#TurningRed is a brilliant Pixar film for families to watch, a lot to enjoy & learn for adults & children alike.— Jacob (@JacobDFilm) February 21, 2022
Not to mention the brilliant & inventive animation techniques used all throughout this film, such a cute & enjoyable film that’s definitely worth a watch. pic.twitter.com/5326Q0nKhm
#TurningRed is so, so wonderful. Co-writer/director Domee Shi is the real deal, a filmmaker who fearlessly breaks new ground both in terms of storytelling and design. This movie is just as much fun as you've imagined, and way more emotional/spiritual than you could have dreamed💖 pic.twitter.com/gPMHD1cxbV— Drew Taylor (@DrewTailored) February 21, 2022