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“Turning Red”: The Lucky Color?

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by Mateo Biggs

     The early 2000s was a time many Roanoke students wish they could forget, from the collecting of loom bands to the early music of Britney Spears and KE$HA that echoed through the speakers of nearby radios. Many can even recall the good memories of watching TV shows like “iCarly” and “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody,” but many want to forget any cringey phases early Gen Z kids and even some Millennials went through.

     ​However, Disney/Pixar’s newest movie “Turning Red” does have a lot of these painful aspects that happened to turn viewers off from the movie itself. Many parents critiqued the movie for “inappropriate” themes, with the talk of puberty in adolescent girls, while other people critiqued the movie because they “could not see themselves” within the film.

     ​The issue with these critiques is that the filmmakers delved into deep topics that are aimed at a specific audience, and sometimes this audience is not the people writing these 1-star reviews. For instance, the movie was “refreshing because it was nice to see a movie talk about puberty and the changes girls go through in such a loving way as well as seeing the relationship between my mother and I portrayed through the screen’s showing of Mei and Ming,” said Alexandria Nieland.

     ​Not only that, but this movie showcases the family dynamic that is tense because of the case of “nurture v.s nature” mixed with the “wanting someone to be better than you had been in the past” trope many kids go through as their parents push them in hopes of avoiding past mistakes. Regardless of the many critiques given on Google, Rotten Tomatoes has rated the movie with a solid 95%. “There’s a special kind of joy that comes from watching a film that’s completely confident in its eccentricities,” said Caroline Siede of Fox 10 Phoenix. “One made by a filmmaker who … seemingly got the chance to execute their vision uncompromised.”

     ​On Metacritic, the film was handed a whopping 83%, with many praising this new and unique story, told bluntly and up front to its audience. At the end of the day, the animation is something beautiful, and the mixture of the music between cultures was a divine symbolism on Mei’s character as a whole. Available now on Disney+, “Turning Red” is definitely one to watch.